Ask Dr. Everett

Dear Dr. Everett,

I have heard so many things about the health benefits of chia seeds and flaxseeds. Which one do you think is more nutritious? 

Chia Seeds

Chia, it's not just a pet anymore.

Chia, it’s not just a pet anymore.

 

The Chia Pet was a novelty item in the mid 80’s and early 90’s. Since then it has emerged on the health and wellness scene as an add in to cereal, salads and smoothies. Once the little black seeds are added to liquid they form a gel,  adding volume to soups and stir frys. Two tablespoons has:

69 calories

4.4 grams of fat

2.3 grams of protein

6 gram of carbohydrate

Chia seeds have a recommended daily allowance (RDA) of 20% of fiber  plus many essential vitamins and minerals:

Calcium – 9% RDA

Phosphorus – 12% RDA

Magnesium – 12% RDA

Potassium – 2% RDA

B1 – 6% RDA

The seeds do not have a taste and some anecdotal reports by runners claim that the seeds help provide energy for long distance runs.

 

Flaxseed

This seed doesn't take any flax!

This seed doesn’t take any flax!

 

Flaxseed has been getting a lot of positive press as a food that can help improve heart health. The seed has a hard hull and has to be ground before using (please make sure you use a different grinder than the one you use for coffee beans). Any unused ground flaxseed must be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator to stay fresh.

Two tablespoons have:

75 calories

6 grams of fat

2.6 grams of protein

4 grams of carbohydrate

Flaxseeds have a RDA of 15% of fiber

Calcium – 4% RDA

Phosphorus – 9% RDA

Magnesium – 14% RDA

Potassium – 3% RDA

B1 – 15% RDA

 

The Winner Is….

 

Both seeds have valuable nutrients that can help supplement a healthy eating plan. The high fiber content can act as a natural laxative, so start with a teaspoon or two per day before adding two tablespoons to your diet. The slightly higher RDA of vitamins and minerals along with it being deemed a “functional” food places flaxseed as Dr. Everett’s favorite.