Chia Seeds Or Flax Seeds

About chia seeds and flax seeds

What are chia seeds

  • Chia seeds are edible seeds harvested from the flowering plant called Saliva hispanica.
  • This is an annual herbaceous plant producing white or purple flowers.
  • This plant belongs to the mint family, Lamiaceae, which is a natural insect repellent .
  • It is mainly grown across South and Central America.
  • This plant reaches up to 1 meter in height.
  • This plant bears round-shaped fruits with number of tiny seeds.

  • These seeds are very tiny - they are 2mm long and 1 mm wide.
  • The surface  of the seeds are smooth and shiny.
  • The colour of seeds can be white, brown or gray.
  • It is mainly grown in Argentina, Mexico, Australia and Peru.
  • In European countries it is grown in greenhouses.
  • This plant was cultivated back in 3500 BC.
  • It was offered to Aztec gods in ritual ceremonies.1,2

What are flax seeds

  • Flaxseed plant is commonly known as common flax or linseed.
  • It is a flowering plant.
  • It belongs to the family Linaceae.
  • This plant is mainly grown in Canada, U.S, Indiaand Ethiopia.
  • Canada is the world’s biggest producer of flaxseeds.
  • Every part of the plant is useful.
  • Each part is used either directly or indirectly..
  • Its stem has very strong and durable fiber that can beused to make clothes and paper.
  • Oil from flaxseed and other products from the seed is used for animal feed making.
  • Flaxseeds can be yellow or brown in colour.
  • Flaxseeds are available in a variety of forms ,such as roasted flax, milled flax, whole flaxseeds and flax oil.
  • Flaxseeds and linseed are the two main terms used.
  • The term flaxseed is used when it is consumed by humans.
  • The term linseed is used to describe it when used for industrial use or feed purpose.3

Nutritional value of chia seeds and flax seeds

Nutritional value of chia seeds

Chia seeds have a lot of nutritional benefits.These seeds are popularly called “super foods” because they can improve heart health, maintain cholesterol levels and many more. Chia seeds are excellent source of: 

  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Fiber
  • Protein
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Zinc

Nutritional profile of chia seeds per 100 grams is:

Total lipids(fat)30.7grams
Dietary fiber34.4grams

Chia seeds are also very good source of all nine essential amino-acids.1,2

Nutritional value of flax seeds

Flaxseeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, soluble fiber, high protein,alpha linolenic acid and phenolic compounds.

Alpha-linolenic acid exhibits very good anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Flax seeds are also a very good source of:

  • Calcium
  • Manganese
  • Phosphorus
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin C
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin B-6

Nutritional profile of 100 grams flaxseeds is as follows:4

Total lipids(fat)42.2grams
Total dietary fibers27.3grams
Total sugars1.55grams

Health benefits chia seeds2,5,6

Chia seeds are full of nutrients.Their health benefits are as follows:

  1. Rich in antioxidants: Chia seeds are powerful antioxidants. Free radicals are often related to various diseases such asheart disease, diabetes and cancer. This antioxidant property helps them to fight against serious diseases.
  2. Development of strong bones: Chia seeds are a good source of calcium. Calcium is important for healthy bones as it helps to prevent osteoporosis. These seeds also contain magnesium and phosphorus which are crucial for bone density.
  3. Mood booster: Chia seeds contain tryptophan, an amino acid, which plays an integral role in calming down activity by promoting the release of certain brain hormones. It helps to fight against depression.
  4. Helps to manage blood sugar levels:These seeds are rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. This combination helps to improve metabolism and prevents sugar spikes. A diet high in fiber and protein inclusive of chia seeds plays an important role in maintaining blood sugar levels.
  5. Helps to lower cholesterol levels: Omega-3 fatty acids in chia seeds help to lower increased cholesterol levels.
  6. Prevention of heart diseases: These seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help to regulate heart rhythm as well as blood pressure. It also prevents blood clotting.
  7. Anti-inflammatory action: Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, chia seeds help to fight against inflammation.
  8. Prompt health weight loss: Chia seeds contain soluble fiber. This makes the stomach expand and feel fuller. Fiber also helps for a smoother digestion process. They are also rich in protein, so it helps to control appetite as well.
  9. Good for oral health: Vitamins and minerals in chia seeds help to develop strong teeth. Vitamin A in chia seeds stimulates saliva secretion, whereas zinc prevents plaque formation on teeth.
  10. Muscle growth and repair: Chia seeds are rich in protein and they contain essential amino acidswhich are required for muscle repair and growth.
  11. Easy to add in diet: It is very easy to use on a daily basis, as it can be used in muffins,  mixed with yogurts or smoothies.

Health benefits of flax seeds3,7

Flax seeds are full of nutrients and it provides a lot of health benefits.

Their health benefits are as follows:

  1. Loaded with nutrients: Flax seeds are a rich source of thiamine which is a B Vitamin. .It plays an important role in energy metabolism (to provide energy from food) and cell function.
  2. Anti-inflammation: These seeds contain high amounts of alpha-linolenic acid, which has strong anti-inflammatory action. It is very useful for the treatment of inflammation.
  3. Anti-cancer activity: Flax seeds are rich in lignin. Lignan has the capacity to decrease cancerous cells growth.It has cancer fighting properties which are good for breast cancer.
  4. Gut friendly: It has soluble and insoluble fiber, which gets fermented in our body and makes a very good environment for gut bacteria.It helps to maintain optimal gut health iif  taken regularly.
  5. Treatment of constipation: Insoluble fibers from flaxseeds provide bulk to stools. It helps to maintain regular bowel function and to treat constipation.
  6. Maintaining cholesterol levels: Because of the alpha-linolenic acid found in flax seeds, its anti-inflammatory action reduces inflammation and prevents cholesterol deposition in heart vessels.
  7. Blood pressure maintenance: In the case of hypertension, it helps to lower blood pressure.
  8. Prevention of stroke: By lowering blood pressure in hypertension,it reduces the risk of stroke.
  9. Stabilizing blood sugar levels: Soluble fibers from flax seedsslows the absorption of sugar in the blood. It helps to reduce blood sugar level in patients with high sugar levels.
  10. Weight management: Soluble fiber slows down the digestion and keeps you fuller for a longer period of time.
  11. Easy to use in diet: It is very easy to use on a daily basis - it can be added in water or in smoothies, mixed with yogurt or as a salad dressing.
  12. Egg substitute: Flax seeds with water can be used as an egg replacement. 

Risks of eating too much chia seeds and flax seeds

Chia seeds and flax seeds are full of nutrients. They are a rich source of fibers, vitamins,minerals and many other important components. Although they are very good for your health, everything and anything in excess is not good. Additionally, some health conditions do not support the intake of these seeds if eaten, it may show some side effects.

Risks associated with excess consumption of chia seeds are as follows:2,8

  • Can cause constipation or diarrhea: Chia seeds are a high source of fiber. If it is taken in excess, it might cause bloating, flatulence, constipation or diarrhea.
  • Choking hazard: If you consume chia seeds in an incorrect way, it may become a choking hazard. While it is unnecessary to pre-soak or roast chia seeds before including it in your diet, raw chia seeds can absorb water in the food pipe and cause choking.
  • Prevent blood clotting: Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which act as a natural blood thinner. Chia seeds should be avoided right after any operation or if you are already taking blood thinner medicines such as warfarin or clopidogrel.
  • Allergic reactions: If you are allergic to nuts or seeds, then intake of chia seeds should be avoided.
  • Trigger prostate cancer: Chia seeds are rich in alpha -linolenic acidwhich may trigger an increased risk of prostate cancer.
  • Can worsen diverticulitis: Some people have condition in which they develop  diverticula (small pockets) along the lines of intestine. When these pockets become infected, the condition is called diverticulitis. Chia seeds are very tiny, thus they can stick in these pockets and may lead to pain and inflammation.

Now, let’s see the risks related to excess eating as well as side effects of flax seeds:9

  • Flax seeds can cause bloating, nausea and gas.
  • Raw or unripe flax seeds are poisonous.
  • Not recommended during pregnancy:Flax seeds are not recommended during pregnancy as it shows the hormone estrogen type action.
  • Not recommended for hormone sensitive conditions or cancers: It mimics estrogen thus may worsen cancers which are hormone sensitive such as breast or ovarian cancer.
  • Bleeding disorder: Flax seeds act as a blood thinner, so it should be avoided before and after surgery. They may interact with anti-platelet medicines due to their bold thinning properties.
  • Excessive lowering of blood pressure: Flax seeds taken along with antihypertensive medicines (which lowers blood pressure) can cause blood pressure to drop too low.

Chia seeds or flax seeds, which is best10

Chia seeds and flax seeds both share similar nutritional profiles. Their health benefits as well as their side effects are also similar. There is no correct choice between them, as both provide high fiber, protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Both also exhibit anti- inflammatory and antioxidant properties. They are beneficial for cardiovascular conditions, diabetes and for many other health related issues. It all depends upon  individual diet preferences.


Chia seeds and flax seeds are both rich in fibers and nutrients.They are also called ”super foods” because of their rich nutritional profiles. However, if they are eaten in excess, people may experience some side effects. It is important to take them in limited amounts and at the same timenecessary to consult a doctor before incorporating these “superfoods” into your diet if you have any medical conditions.

These seeds are versatile and can be added in smoothies, yogurt or used as a salad dressing.

Because of their similar benefits and side effects, both are great choices. In the end, it’s up to you, which one you prefer and enjoy the most!


  1. Ullah R, Nadeem M, Khalique A, Imran M, Mehmood S, Javid A, et al. Nutritional and therapeutic perspectives of Chia (Salvia hispanica L.): a review. J Food Sci Technol [Internet]. 2016 Apr [cited 2022 Nov 13];53(4):1750–8. Available from:
  2. Boston 677 Huntington Avenue, Ma 02115 +1495‑1000. Chia seeds [Internet]. The Nutrition Source. 2018 [cited 2022 Nov 13]. Available from:
  3. Kajla P, Sharma A, Sood DR. Flaxseed—a potential functional food source. J Food Sci Technol [Internet]. 2015 Apr [cited 2022 Nov 13];52(4):1857–71. Available from:
  4. Fooddata central [Internet]. [cited 2022 Nov 13]. Available from:
  5. Chia seeds pack nutritional punch [Internet]. Mayo Clinic Health System. [cited 2022 Nov 13]. Available from:
  6. Uwitonze AM, Ojeh N, Murererehe J, Atfi A, Razzaque MS. Zinc adequacy is essential for the maintenance of optimal oral health. Nutrients. 2020 Mar 30;12(4):E949.
  7. Parikh M, Maddaford TG, Austria JA, Aliani M, Netticadan T, Pierce GN. Dietary flaxseed as a strategy for improving human health. Nutrients. 2019 May 25;11(5):E1171.
  8. Diverticulitis diet: what to eat and avoid [Internet]. Cleveland Clinic. 2020 [cited 2022 Nov 13]. Available from:
  9. Flaxseed and flaxseed oil [Internet]. Mayo Clinic. [cited 2022 Nov 13]. Available from:
  10. Plant sources of omega-3s [Internet]. Cleveland Clinic. [cited 2022 Nov 13]. Available from:
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

Get our health newsletter

Get daily health and wellness advice from our medical team.
Your privacy is important to us. Any information you provide to this website may be placed by us on our servers. If you do not agree do not provide the information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * presents all health information in line with our terms and conditions. It is essential to understand that the medical information available on our platform is not intended to substitute the relationship between a patient and their physician or doctor, as well as any medical guidance they offer. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions based on the information found on our website.
Klarity is a citizen-centric health data management platform that enables citizens to securely access, control and share their own health data. Klarity Health Library aims to provide clear and evidence-based health and wellness related informative articles. 
Klarity / Managed Self Ltd
Alum House
5 Alum Chine Road
Westbourne Bournemouth BH4 8DT
VAT Number: 362 5758 74
Company Number: 10696687

Phone Number:

 +44 20 3239 9818