Chia Seeds vs Flax Seeds: Difference and Comparison

Chia seeds and flax seeds are the go-to key food for many health enthusiasts and fitness freaks.

Their high nutritional value and the lack of unwanted carbohydrates make these seeds a perfect addition to many dishes such as salads and smoothies.

The health benefits provided by them are many and this helps in keeping up the number of people who use both the seeds.

Key Takeaways

  1. Chia seeds are tiny, black, and gelatinous when wet, while flax seeds are larger, brown, or golden and have a hard shell.
  2. Both chia and flax seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and various nutrients, but chia seeds have higher calcium and phosphorus levels.
  3. Flax seeds must be ground for optimal nutrient absorption, while chia seeds can be consumed whole or ground.

Chia Seeds vs Flax Seeds

The difference between chia seeds and flax seeds is that chia seeds are rounder and have a more spherical shape with black or white seed color and it has no taste. On the other hand, flax seeds are not round, but are quite flat with a bulged middle portion and have a dark shiny brown color with a slightly nutty flavor.

Chia Seeds vs Flax Seeds

Chia seeds look just like the seeds that are used to propagate spinach and are round or even at times could be a bit oval. The color might either be black or white with the white seeds having a bit more nutritional value than the black.

Whichever is the outer color, there is always a marbled texture on the outside with slight black streaks.

Flax seeds are very smooth in texture and have a monotone deep, dark brown color which is quite shiny for a seed. It is flat with a slightly bulged-out middle part that gives each seed a concave-like appearance.

These seeds are used for many other purposes and not just for human consumption.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonChia SeedsFlax Seeds
ShapeRound and sphericalConcave and flat  
ColorBlack and white 
Has Slimy Sheath When Put In Water  YesNo
Used For Purposes Other Than EatingNoYes

What is Chia Seeds?

Chia seeds mainly originated in parts of Mexico from an angiosperm or a flowering plant that had foliage that resembled those of a mint plant.

Even though in the beginning, chia seeds were restricted to regions around Mexico, they soon became popular worldwide because of the introduction of chia pets.

Back in the times of ancient Mayans, chia seeds were crushed to release chia oil that was used to lubricate weapons and was also used on the body of the warriors.

The main reason chia seeds are popular now is that it is a great source of the essential omega 3 fatty acid.

Before chia seeds were known, to obtain omega 3 fatty acids, people had to depend on fish oil tablets which had a funky smell and were hard to swallow.

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Therefore, now people prefer chia seeds with their slight earthy taste and crunchy texture before it is soaked in water.

Chia seeds are also rich in fiber and protein that is highly useful for those who have digestion issues.

Other minerals include magnesium, zinc, selenium, and a high amount of copper. Thiamine is also present in a good amount.

Chia seeds are a storehouse of macronutrients as well as micronutrients.

People with bone-related illnesses like osteoporosis and arthritis are advised to take soaked chia seed water on an empty stomach.

This is because chia seeds have high quantities of calcium and phosphorus which helps in bone strengthening and healthier joints.

Chia seeds are great for a daily boost of energy with all the nutritional value that it gives the human body.

People mainly use chia seeds as a method to reduce weight over a long period and also help in controlling inner inflammation of the body as it has anti-inflammation properties.

It also helps in maintaining the blood glucose level by increasing the production of insulin for those who are deficient in it.

Consuming chia seeds along with daily workouts majorly ensures a lower risk of many heart disorders like heart attacks or strokes.

The antioxidants in chia seeds help control many things in our body and might even help prevent cancer to a limit.

Chia seeds are used in smoothies, yogurts, salads, or even consumed as it is. It is also used in items that are baked such as cookies and muffins.

chia seeds

What is Flax Seeds?

Flax seeds need no introduction as it is one of the oldest grown crops irrespective of the place.

It was grown all over Asia, Europe, and the US for many years since the beginning of civilizations.

Even back in the day, flax seeds were not only used for the consumption of humans but were used to produce oil and draw threads to stitch clothes.

Flax seeds were always used as a good fiber source for animals as it was given to pets and domesticated animals as feed.

It is rich in omega 3 fatty acids and is also a major storehouse for many macronutrients that are not seen in most seeds or foods.

For this purpose, flax seeds are called superfoods with extra amounts of many nutrients.

Flax seeds are commonly used in the ground form which enhances its possibility of digestion.

Because the flax seeds are high in fiber and protein content, it helps in solving any kind of digestive tract disorder.

Medically it is proved that flax seeds are a great way to reduce weight and help with inflammatory issues faced by people.

Most properties of flaxseed are similar to that of chia seeds and the small difference is in the number of macronutrients.

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Flax seeds have a large number of essential macronutrients which help people who are deficient in them.

Flax seeds have a slightly nutty taste but sometimes it could be bitter if the seeds are not washed thoroughly.

It is mixed up in smoothie while in the ground form as it would be difficult to swallow it as a whole in a smoothie due to the sharp edges.

In salads, flax seeds are put in as a whole in case people find the taste unappetizing but it is commonly cut up into halves before being added to salads.

It is put in omelets and even most baked goods. It is also used as a replacement for sesame seeds to garnish loaves of bread and many other baked items.

flax seeds

Main Differences Between Chia Seeds and Flax Seeds

  1. While chia seeds are round and smooth at all the edges, flax are flatter with pointy edges that might prick the mouth or the esophagus.
  2. Chia seeds are taste-neutral with not many flavors but at the same time might have an earthy tinge to the taste, on the other hand, flax seeds taste nutty and a bit bitter.
  3. The outer surface of flax seeds is very smooth and brown whereas the outer surface of chia seeds is marbled with many streaks of black or grey depending on whether the seeds are black or white.
  4. The eventual amount of macronutrients is in general high in flax seeds when compared to chia seeds.
  5. While chia seeds are used for human consumption alone with an exception of being used for oil production back in the day, flax seeds are used by both humans and animals for consumption but it is also used for making clothes and oils, even to this day.
Difference Between Chia Seeds and Flax Seeds

Last Updated : 16 July, 2023

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