Whether you need an extra dose of protein, a heap of fiber or you want to stock up on those omega fatty acids – these three seeds got you covered. But what if you want to take just one, which one should you choose? It depends on what your body needs.
Hailing from the south, chia was cultivated by Aztecs, Incas and Mayans for centuries before we got wind of the tiny black seed. Chia is the Mayan word for strength. It contains eight times more omega-3 fatty acids than salmon. It is also one of the most digestible plant proteins and an excellent source of fiber. To boot, its packed with antioxidants that protect the healthy fat in the seeds. What does that mean? Chia will help you fight those nasty free radicals. As if you needed more of a reason to add this seed to your diet – chia seeds are a whole grain food and are usually grown organically, are non-GMO and naturally gluten free. Have a lactose intolerance? They are packed with calcium to help keep your bones strong. Chia seeds are easily incorporated in your diet through smoothies, yogurts, vegetable stews and more.
Dating back to as early as 3000 BC, records show flaxseed was cultivated in Babylon around that time. Flax is Latin for the most useful. This super seed also has a high omega-3 fatty acid content that helps to fight inflammation. With both soluble and insoluble fiber, this little seed is a complete fiber source. For extra energy, flax is bursting with an almost complete profile of the B vitamins too. Not sure what to do with the seed once you buy it? Try to incorporate it into oatmeal, smoothies, casseroles or meatloaf. You can even find flours and other staples with flax milled into them.
Tired of just omega-3? This white seed is high in healthy omega-6 fatty acids. In fact, it has a balanced ratio of omega 3 to 6 fats at around a three to one ratio. Hemp doesn’t stop there though; it also contains all 20 amino acids including the 9 essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce. At first you thought you were missing something – but not to worry, it also contains a high amount of protein and fiber. Mix it into a protein shake for that plant-based source of power. Or try it in a rice dish or with your morning bowl of yogurt.
Of all three, chia comes around the bend, claiming the number one spot on our list. With such a comprehensive collection of nutrients, this ones best for a balanced diet. Looking to fill up on more of those amino acids? Go with our close second, hemp. It is a plant based protein that is ideal for the athletic person, helping build muscles after a strong workout. Rounding the corner in third is flax. This one is Chia’s younger sibling that’s loaded with fiber to keep you regular. Experiment and see which one fits best into your diet and brings you the most vitality!