Insights & Actions for Healthy Living

What are flax and chia seeds? What do I do with them?

Flax and chia seeds have begun appearing in supermarkets and on restaurant menus more and more lately but it seems we still have much to learn about their health benefits and how to use them to take advantage of these plant dynamos.

Have you tried different seeds? They are growing in popularity among people who want to increase food sources of nutrition so that they don’t feel a need to take supplements. Many experts recommend plant based sources of our nutrients and these seeds definitely fit the bill.

Seeds are powerhouses of protein and fiber. They also contain omega 3 fatty acids which help with healthy heart function. Chia and flax seeds have phosphorus, magnesium, B1, folate, copper, selenium, iron and potassium.

Chia seeds may be new to you but they have actually been a part of the diet of people for centuries and date back to the Aztecs.

Chia seeds absorb liquids easily and are therefore a bit easier to digest than some other seeds such as whole flax seed. They contain twice the calcium of flax seeds. Chia seeds can be eaten whole and will add a crunch even when allowed to become gelatinous in liquid.

Flax seeds should be ground or used in their oil version for easiest digestion. You can buy flax seeds whole and grind them yourself.

Ways to use Flax:

  • Chips
  • Granola
  • Cereals
  • Topping for oatmeal
  • Smoothies
  • Salad dressing
  • Muffins or quick breads
  • Ground into condiments like mustard or mayo
  • Breading

Ways to use Chia:

  • Pudding
  • Sprinkled on hot cereal, yogurt and salads
  • Granola bars
  • Muffins, quick bread, pancakes
  • Bread
  • Energy bars
  • Smoothies
  • Breading
  • Snack on seeds
  • Spreads
  • Skin scrub

Incorporating plant based foods that can add nutrition to your plate such as chia and flax seeds can help you stay healthier and prevent some chronic diseases.

Trying new foods and sharing your finds with others can be fun too!

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