Ask Jennifer: I’m thinking of adding more seeds to my diet. Which ones are the healthiest? I’ve been told chia, flax and hemp seeds are good ones to try.
Chia seeds, flax seeds and hemp seeds are all good sources of fiber, protein and nutrients. And all three offer a nice bit of crunch and mild flavor to salads and other recipes.
Here are some details about each of these healthful seeds, to help you decide which are right for you:
Chia seeds. Of the three seeds, chia contains the highest amount of fiber. The key is that it’s largely soluble fiber, which assists in lowering cholesterol, reducing appetite and promoting regularity.
As well, chia seeds are high in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, and other micronutrients, including calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus. Chia seeds’ properties are also heart-healthy, support healthy skin, balance blood sugar and boost energy levels.
Because these seeds are easy to digest (and unlike other seed types may be consumed whole or ground) chia seeds are often used in recipes.
Flax seeds. These contain the most omega-3 fatty acids per serving (versus chia and hemp seeds), which reduces inflammation, constipation, and development of chronic diseases such as diabetes.
Flax seeds are also high in lignans, antioxidant plant compounds that help prevent cancer and heart disease.
Unlike chia seeds, however, flax seeds should be ground-up before consumption to maximize the health benefits. Flax is available as seeds, oil, powder, tablets, capsules and flour.
Hemp seeds. Compared to chia and flax seeds, hemp seeds have the highest amount of plant-based protein.
Hemp seeds are also rich in essential minerals (magnesium, zinc and iron) and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) that assists with hormone health, ADHD, high blood pressure, and more.
However, hemp seeds contain a higher ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, a nutrient many people already ingest too much through foods. Keeping this ratio low is essential for inflammation relief and prevention of chronic diseases.
To find out which of these seeds your body tolerates and processes the best, I do recommend making an appointment with Katherine or Carol.
Sources: Food is Medicine by Dr. Axe and Medical News Today
Jennifer Salos, MS, CNC
Jennifer has a Master’s degree in Holistic Nutrition. She is also a nationally Certified Nutritional Consultant and Diplomat of the American Association of Nutritional Consultants.
“I first started seeing Jennifer in May of 2018 with my fiancé Jim W… I was a mess after losing my mother and husband within 6 months of each other, and then my 33 year-old son was diagnosed with cancer. I was eating and drinking alcohol excessively and became very unhealthy…
Within a few months of first seeing Jennifer, and following her supplements and eating plan, I am down 30lbs and I’m off 3 different Rx medications. My energy is through the roof and I have never felt better! I thank Jennifer for saving my life!”
– Terry M.