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  • Madi Hahn

Benefits of Chia Seeds, Flaxseed, and Hemp Seeds

Written by Madi Hahn, Dietetics Student Mentee


Keeping seeds at your disposal is a great way to spice up your usual meals with nutrients and a crunch! Chia seeds, flaxseed, and hemp seeds all contain good amounts of fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids. Fiber aids in relieving digestive stress and increases fullness, protein helps your body to maintain and build muscle mass, and omega-3s play important roles in cell and brain function. These seeds can be added to smoothies, yogurt, and even baked goods!



Chia Seeds

Serving Size: 1 T (10.1g)

Calories per serving: 49 kcal

Price per 12 oz. bag: $7.39

Other benefits:

Carbs: 4.25g (2% DV)

Fats: 3.1g (6% DV)

Protein: 1.67g (3% DV)

Omega-3: 1.773g (122% DV)

Fiber: 3.5g (14% DV)


If you’re looking to add some extra fiber and Omega-3s to your day, chia seeds are a great way of doing so! You can keep them in their original packaging and leave them in the pantry. Bonus if you can keep them in sight so you’re reminded to add them to your food for some crunch and extra nutrients! Chia seeds are quick to coagulate with moisture, so you can make them into a pudding by just mixing them up with any type of milk and vanilla extract! They’re also great as a salad topping, in a smoothie, on toast, and you can even make them into a jam.




Flaxseed

Serving Size: 14g (2 T)

Calories per serving: 75 kcal

Price per 15 oz. bag: $6.81

Other benefits:

Carbs: 4.04g (2% DV)

Fats: 5.9g (12% DV)

Protein: 2.56g (5% DV)

Omega-3s: 3.239g (222%)

Fiber: 3.8g (15% DV)



Flaxseeds are a good source of fiber and omega-3s. It’s recommended to purchase ground flaxseed or use a food processor or blender to grind them yourself. Ground flaxseed is easier to digest than whole flaxseed because the whole seeds can go straight through the intestine without ever getting absorbed or broken down. Add ground flaxseed to smoothies, top on a yogurt bowl, oatmeal, incorporate in baked goods like pancakes, cookies, muffins, and more.


For plant-based eaters or those looking for a substitution for eggs in a recipe, many opt to make a flax egg! Just mix 1 T of ground flaxseed and 2.5 T of water. Then, let it rest for 5 minutes to allow the ‘egg’ to thicken.



Hemp Seeds

Serving Size: 3 T

Calories per serving: 180 kcal

Price per 8 oz. bag: $12.00

Other benefits:

Carbs: 2.0g (1% DV)

Fats: 14.0g (22% DV)

Protein: 10.0g

Omega-3s: 2.79g

Fiber: 2.0g (8% DV)

High in Magnesium (50% DV) and Iron (13% DV)


If you’re looking for a way to incorporate more plant protein or just protein in general to your diet, hemp seeds are a great start! They also include all 9 essential amino acids (protein building blocks that your body cannot create on its own). It can be used as a topping on toast, salads, yogurt, make a hemp seed hummus, or add to your pesto recipe!


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