When it comes to nutrition, flaxseed, hemp seed, and chia seeds are all excellent sources of essential fatty acids, proteins, and minerals. Flaxseed provides the highest source of ALA and the most ideal omega-6 to 3 ratio. Hemp is the richest in protein and provides an excellent source of zinc. Chia seeds are the richest in calcium and fiber.
It's important to note that flax fiber is primarily beneficial when using ground flax, not oil. The oil is most useful for inflammation and cell membranes. Hemp seeds contain 3 grams of fiber in a 3-tablespoon serving, while flax seeds provide 8.4 grams. This means that if eating more fiber is important to you, perhaps to facilitate digestion or to feel full for longer, then ground flaxseeds could be the option to choose.
Both flaxseeds and hemp seeds are complete proteins, meaning that they contain all 9 essential amino acids that the body can produce on its own. However, hemp seed is a superior plant source of essential fatty acids. Although flaxseed oil is high in omega 3, the perfect balance of essential fatty acids in hemp allows the body to better digest the excellent properties of hemp oil. Flaxseed contains 5.7 grams in a 3-tablespoon serving, while hemp seed contains 10 grams of protein in a 3-tablespoon serving.
Flaxseeds are particularly rich in lignans, compounds that appear to provide additional protection against many types of cancer, a benefit that chia does not offer. Both flax and chia provide approximately 2400 mg of omega-3s per tablespoon, while hemp only provides about 1000 mg. Nutritionists have recommended that by adding hemp seeds to your breakfast, you can stay full for longer and reduce hunger pangs throughout the day. Unshelled hemp seeds contain 3 grams of fiber in a 3-tablespoon serving, while flax seeds provide 8.4 grams. However, it's important to note that lignans are only available in the form of ground flaxseed and not in oil. Eating flax and hemp seeds together is a great way to improve the taste of a meal while getting extra nutrition.
If you're feeling tired, try adding hemp seeds to your breakfast instead of eating a sugary energy bar, which could have the opposite effect of a drop in sugar. Among other things, flaxseeds are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are useful for people who do not eat fish. When it comes down to it, both flaxseed and hemp seed offer numerous health benefits and can be used interchangeably depending on your needs. Flaxseed provides more fiber than hemp seed but hemp seed offers more protein than flaxseed. Hemp seed also contains more essential fatty acids than flaxseed oil does.
Ultimately, it's up to you to decide which one works best for you.