Tiny Giants – A Practical Comparison To The Health Benefits Of Chia Seeds And Hemp Hearts

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We seem to be hearing more and more about the incredible health benefits that come with various seeds. Infact health addicts seem to be telling us that we can never attain to our ideal health state without consuming a regular dosage of these little wonders.chia seed

Known as powerhouses of nutrients, energy and pure unadulterated goodness it is no wonder that seeds seem to be getting all the limelight these days!

So are seeds all that they are cracked up to be? In simple terms the answer is yes!

Often providing as much protein as nuts, packed full of ALA (alpha linolenic acid, an acid that is renowned for keeping the heart healthy), these little seeds really are like tiny giants when it comes to our health.

It may come as no surprise to learn that the word ‘chia’ is an old Mayan word for ‘strong’. Infact these little seeds were used to sustain workers and warriors way back in the days of the Aztecs. Who knows how many battles owe their success to the consumption of these tiny giants!

How can you decide which seed type is the right one for your health? The following information outlines the various health benefits of two popular seeds – chia seeds and hemp hearts. Perhaps you will soon wonder how you lived without these tiny giants in your diet.

What Health Benefits Can I Expect From Both Chia Seeds And Hemp Hearts?

Both chia seeds and hemp hearts are vegan protein sources and are classified as ‘complete proteins’ in that they provide the consumer with all the essential amino acids. In addition both chia seeds and hemp hearts are gluten free.

Both of these seeds will provide you with an excellent source of omega 3. To every tablespoon your body will benefit from around 2400 mg of omega 3s from chia seeds and around 1000 mg from hemp hearts.

energySuch levels of these healthy polyunsaturated fats offer great health benefits particularly to the immune system, brain functions, cholesterol levels and as an anti inflammatory.

Calorie wise chia seeds and hemp hearts are very similar. Two tablespoons of chia seeds will provide the consumer with 100 kcals, whilst two tablespoons of hemp hearts will give 115 kcals.

In fat terms the same two tablespoons of chia seeds will give 4 grams of fat, whilst the hemp hearts will give 4.6 grams – only a fraction of a difference.

Taste wise both of these tiny giants taste great and can be very versatile. Great as part of a trail mix, added to cereal, as a yoghurt topping,

thrown in with homemade smoothies or even as a standalone snack, both chia seeds and hemp hearts are as easy as pie to add to your diet.

Hemp is also available in a milk form which makes an excellent alternative to normal dairy milk or soy milk.

How Do Chia Seeds And Hemp Hearts Differ?

Fibre

Chia seeds are an excellent source of fibre. Each tablespoon of chia seeds will nourish the body with 5 grams of fibre. Hemp hearts however don’t boast the same fibre goodness.

Infact hemp hearts contain only around 1 gram of fibre to each tablespoon. If you sprinkle some hemp hearts into a little water you will see evidence of the lack of fibre – wet hemp hearts.

In addition the fibre contained in chia sees is for the most part soluble fibre. In other words the type of fibre that makes us feel full up so prevents overeating, help control blood sugar levels and lowers cholesterol – indeed an invaluable addition to any diet.

Omega 3s

Omega 3s

Whilst chia seeds provide a higher level of omega-3 to omega-6 (around three times as much), the opposite can be said for hemp hearts.

Whilst hemp hearts do provide about 1000mg of omega-3 to every tablespoon, the level of omega-6 is higher.

Infact hemp hearts contain around three times more omega-6 in comparison to the omega-3 content.

Figures for omega-3 and omega-6 levels are as follows (to every one tablespoon):

Chia Seeeds
Omega-3 2400mg Omega-6 800mg

Hemp Hearts
Omega-3 1000mg Omega-6 2500mg

Protein

In terms of protein, hemp hearts take first place. Two tablespoons of chia seeds will give the consumer around 3 grams of protein, compared to 8 grams of protein which two tablespoons of hemp hearts give.

Other Nutrients

Hemp hearts provide both iron and zinc, vital for healthy body functions. Chia seeds on the other hand contain 27% of the recommended daily requirements of phosphorus. Chia seeds are also good sources of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc.

Other NutrientsIndeed it is clear that both chia seeds and hemp hearts are packed full of wonderful goodness.

Who could not be in agreement that these tiny giants can surely make a difference to any diet.

So when it comes to chia seeds and hemp hearts, which one is best for you? That all depends on your personal needs, your current diet and your own lifestyle.

Reviewing the comparisons above and taking the time to know your own body, needs and weaknesses will help you decide which of these tiny giants is the right one for you.

Of course if you can’t decide, then why not make both of these seeds part of your regular diet. Crammed with goodness, packed with nutrients and boasting a great taste it is no wonder that these tiny giants are becoming a part of everyone’s diet.

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