What’s the best source of Omega 3s? Flax vs Hemp vs Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia!

So i already blogged before about Omega-3 supplements & why (or why not) we should take them (fish burps)! But this is about after you’ve decided to get your omega 3s from a plant based source & are just trying to figure out what the best source is or the difference between the sources. I like to mix it up and sometimes if i’m eating something that sounds good with hemp seeds i’ll eat those, if i’m making a smoothie i’ll throw in some flax, or if i’m making something to thicken i’ll throw in some chia. i like to keep things interesting. But after digging into some of this, i decided to share what i found about the pros/cons of the three!

Food Protein Fat Omega-3 Omega-6 Fiber Calories
Hemp 3.5g 4.6g 1000mg 2500mg 0.3g 57
Flax 1.5-2g 4.5g 2300mg 60mg 3g 55
Chia 1.5-2.5g 4g 2400mg 800mg 5g 60

So looking at the numbers we can see the calories and fat are pretty similar across the three. Hemp wins at protein, flax & chia win at omega-3, and hemp wins at omega 6 (which you likely don’t need to worry about). Hemp also kinda sucks at fiber. So looking at just omega-3 benefits it looks like flax & chia win!! Though chia is more expensive so if you’re trying to get the biggest bang for your buck go flax! here’s how i eat all three of these:

Hemp

I love to put hemp seeds on my smoothie bowls! they add a bit of texture that i really like but not much flavor. i sprinkle them on and they’re so freaking tasty! Plus the protein packs an extra punch!

Flax

I love using flax in baking- you can use it to replace eggs! Just mix 1T ground flax + 3T water and put it in the fridge for a few minutes and you’ll have an ooey gooey blob that will act as a binder in your baking while adding extra nutrition and not changing the flavor. I also love throwing some extra flax in my smoothies! It just gives them an extra boost of nutrition while not changing the flavor. One thing to note about flax is you need to grind it up before you eat it- otherwise it’ll just go through you in the shell and you won’t get any of that nutrition out! But if you buy it pre-ground you might not be getting something that’s fresh and still full of nutrition. so i grind my own flaxseeds in a coffee grinder and keep ’em in a jar for easy access.

Chia

and last but not least, the one i probably use the most: chia. Why do i use it the most? Because it’s great at thickening things up to make things like chocolate pudding or salad dressing! or even as a binder in veggie burgers! and you don’t need to grind it- it’s ready for you to access all of its magic right away. I find it to be super useful and in a lot of the recipes i make so i always have a jar or two on hand. i use both black and white chia seeds- the difference only being in the color. the white keep salad dressings looking pretty but don’t serve any other purpose than that!

Conclusion: i’m still gonna mix it up but not rely on hemp as a great source of omega 3s since the omega 6s are so high in them + they’re not even that high in omega-3. But i’ll still throw ’em on smoothie bowls because they’re so tasty!

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