Flax and Chia | The Meal Prep Co.

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If you walk into any health store, you’re guaranteed to see the words “flax seeds” and “chia seeds”. But what exactly are they, and why should we eat them? Is it just a fad that will go away after a while, or is it something that you should grab at your local health store to incorporate into your life?

 

We’re going to break it down for you so you can walk into any health place and know what you’re eating and why.

 

Flax Seeds:

 

My dad has his PHD in Nutrition. My entire life I’ve been told to eat these little brown seeds that look way too similar to those mini beetles that somehow burrow their way into your cereal boxes; and when you pour milk into your bowl of cereal, the dead ones float to the surface. It’s pretty traumatizing to a little girl who just wants a bowl of bugless cereal. (Is that too much to ask?!?) So when my dad would try and pour some of these bug-seeds onto whatever we were having for dinner, I was mortified. I didn’t care how important flax seeds were, nothing was worth eating those things! Now, as an adult, I still have a hard time eating them. But, knowing how important they are, I just close my eyes and throw them down the hatchet.

 

But let’s really dive into why these little guys have so much nutrients packed into such a small package, and how we get their nutritional properties into our bodies.

 

Inward benefits: (2 tablespoons)

Copper: protects all kinds of tissue in your body (9%)

Vitamin B1: (15%)

Potassium: (3%)

Magnesium: fights cancer (14%)

Antioxidant: contains the antioxidant selenium (5%)

Omega-3s: 4 grams of those good fats!

 

Outward benefits: Flax will keep your skin looking youthful and flexible. If you have eczema, psoriasis, dry skin, any of that, these little guys will help you out.

 

Pro Tip: As amazing as these little guys are, in order to get the most out of them, you’re going to need to do some work. You need to buy them whole but smash them before you eat them. If you have a little grinder, a food processor or even a blender will work. Anything to break open that hard outer shell so that your stomach can break them down completely and they won’t go straight through you. A little more work but completely worth the effort.

 

Chia Seeds:

 

Chia seeds haven’t left an emotional scar on me like flax seeds have, although they do look funny in certain things. Personally, I like throwing them in my yogurt in the morning. A lot of people make them into pudding which can help curb those sweet cravings while also helping you feel full. It’s a better option than eating a few of those sugary pudding cups that we ate as kids growing up. Realistically speaking, who really eats only one of those in one sitting?!

 

Inward benefits: (2 tablespoons)

Fiber: (20%)

Magnesium: fights cancer (12%)

Antioxidant: contains the antioxidant selenium (5%)

Omega-3s: 4 grams of those good fats!

Phosphorus: helps make your bones strong (12%)

 

Outward benefits: it has anti inflammatory properties that help with everything in your body, including acne, and helps promote moisture in your skin. And since they expand when placed in any kind of substance (yogurt, milk, smoothies, etc) they help fill you up without filling up your calorie count. Chia seeds are great little additives to your lifestyle. Their health benefits aren’t as amazing as flax, but they’re easier to incorporate and they pack a lot of important micronutrients that it’s hard to get in other places. Also, they get bonus points since they don’t look like little brown beetles.

 


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