Which Has More Omega-3, Chia Or Flax?

Flax seeds, 1 ounce (2.5 tablespoons) contains 6,388 mg omega-3 (11.8 g total fat, 1,655 mg omega-6, 8 g fiber)
Chia seeds, 1 ounce contains 4,915 mg omega-3 (8.6 g total fat, 1,620 mg omega-6, 11 g fiber)
Walnuts, 1 ounce contains 2,542 mg omega-3 (18.3 g total fat, 10,666 mg omega-6, 2 g fiber)

Omega3ChiaFlax

I threw walnuts in there as a reference because they’re often touted as being a good source of omega-3. Both chia and flax are higher in omega-3 than walnuts. Flax has the edge. Of course, these numbers are just ball park. You can’t measure a fatty acid down to the thousands of a gram in a natural food product. But it’s a good guide.

More telling here is that both chia and flax contain more omega-3 than omega-6, while walnuts have more omega-6 than omega-3. Walnuts have less fiber and more calories/ounce too. But, as we saw, it’s hard to determine the amount of fat (and, so, calories) absorbed from foods, especially when that food is a nut or seed in its natural form. (Can I use the word “natural” here?)

Really, they’re all good. I think a diet that includes nuts and seeds is better than a diet that doesn’t.

5 thoughts on “Which Has More Omega-3, Chia Or Flax?

  1. Marj

    IMO all three are great included in the diet. Chia can be utilized in so many ways–I particularly like it in desserts (something I’ve tried to get away from). But chia makes tapioca-like puddings and can also be substituted for eggs in some dishes. And all good for you! Amazing!

    Reply
    1. Bix Post author

      So, chia is like a thickener? I didn’t know that. Do you grind it first? Or heat it? Or just use it as is?

      Reply
  2. RB

    I like all three too. I put chia in my oatmeal cereal as is. When making oatmeal cereal with chia, you need to use more water because chia is good at absorbing water.

    Some people add chia to a glass of water. After a few minutes, the chia begins to absorb the water and adds a gel like texture to the water. People use this chia water as an energy drink.

    The best part about chia seeds is they last a long time. They don’t go rancid like flaxseed.

    Reply
  3. Marj

    Yes, chia becomes gel-like when soaked in water and can be used as a thickener instead of flour and/or cornstarch. Bix, just use it as is, say 1 tbls to a cup of water and let it sit until thick (stir a bit to avoid clumps). Use 2 tbls for a very thick gel. It absorbs 8 to 9 times its weight. I’ve used it in soups, stews, etc. instead of flour. Also as an egg substitute and as mentioned before as a dessert additive for texture and thickening purposes. I didn’t realize chia does not go rancid as does flax and have kept it in the fridge, guess that’s not necessary, thanks to RB for that info. Also for adding it to oatmeal which would add to the nutrition–great idea.

    Reply
    1. Bix Post author

      I bought some chia and tried just a teaspoon in about a half cup of water. Wow, it does really thicken! I tasted it like that and it’s not a strong taste, just very slightly nutty and a bit crunchy. It reminds me of eating Jello that hadn’t set yet. I loved doing that growing up. My mother didn’t love me doing it.

      Reply

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