Did you know that many diseases come from inflammation in the body? One of the best ways to reduce inflammation is to increase your consumption of omega-3 essential fatty acids. 

Two foods in particular stand out with their high levels of omega-3’s – flax seeds and chia seeds. (Yes, these are the same seeds we used for our Chi-Chi-Chi-Chi-Chia Pets). In this blog, I’ll be comparing the two types of seeds so you can figure out which ones are best for you.

**All of the information here is based on a 2-tablespoon volume. 

Calories

Chia seeds: 69 calories, 6 grams of carbs and 4.4 grams of fat

Flax seeds: 75 calories, 4 grams of carbs and 4 grams of fat

Nutrition

Chia seeds have 5 percent more daily fiber than flax. Chia seeds also have double the calcium and more phosphorus, which helps you build stronger bones.

However, flax seeds have a higher level of brain-boosting vitamin B1, folate and copper. Both seeds are very close in their potassium and magnesium content

Flavor

I think that both have a very mild flavor when they are ground and added to meals, but flax seeds tend to have a stronger aftertaste if you add them to dehydrated foods. 

Usage

You can eat chia seeds ground or whole, while flax seeds need to be ground in order for you to get their benefits. I recommend buying whole flax seeds, grinding a week’s worth supply at a time, then storing them in the fridge. You can use your coffee grinder or a blender for grinding. I don’t recommend buying already ground flaxseeds as they can go rancid very quickly.

Conclusion

All in all, I think that having both of chia and flax seeds in your diet is an absolutely fabulous idea! Why not alternate them: have chia one day and flax the next? Go ahead. Add them to your smoothies or sprinkle them on your oatmeal or cereals. As an extra bonus, their fiber content can help you feel full faster, eat less and release extra weight.

Here are two of my favorite recipes that include these superfoods: 

Vanilla Chia Pudding with Dried Currants, Almonds and Berries

Pudding ingredients: 

1/3 cup chia seeds (pick a color, white or black, or make a mix)

1/2 cup vanilla almond milk

1/2 cup water 

1 tablespoon coconut or agave nectar 

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon salt

For Topping:

2 tablespoons almond slivers

2 tablespoon dried currants

1/2 cup raspberries or strawberries

Mix chia seeds with almond milk and let sit for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The mixture will thicken into a pudding that’s rich in Omega-3. Add cinnamon, agave, vanilla, almonds and dried currants. Garnish with fresh berries.

Peach Cobbler

5 to 6 organic peaches, pitted

4 dates

3 teaspoons ground flax seeds

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla powder

For Topping:

6 tablespoons chopped walnuts (one per serving)

6 teaspoons coconut shreds (one per serving)

Process three peaches with dates, flax seeds, salt and vanilla in the food processor until blended well. Chop three peaches and add to mixture. Place into dessert dish, sprinkle with walnuts and coconut. Enjoy!

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About Alina Z.

Alina Z., aka “The Green Goddess,” is a certified holistic health coach, detox specialist and raw-food chef (she conducts occasional classes at Whole Foods in Boca). Prior to moving to Florida,  Alina hosted her own TV show in Maryland—“Entertaining A to Z”—for people who didn’t have time to cook but wanted to eat healthy. Catch one of her web episodes at eHow.com, visit Alina’s website at alinaz.com, or follow her on Facebook (facebook.com/CoutureFood) or Twitter (@CoutureFood). The Green Goddess blog runs every other Wednesday at bocamag.com.