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Hemp Seeds Vs. Chia Seeds: Battle Of The Wonder Seeds

Hempco Administrator
May 27, 2022

Hemp seeds are a superfood that everyone ought to try. 

Have you ever wondered how other plant seeds measure up to the health benefits that hemp seeds offer?

Many people who are on plant-based diets (vegans, vegetarians, etc…) are adding seeds to their diets to complete their nutrients, especially as a source of plant proteins & healthy fats. 

Hemp seeds are obtained from the Cannabis sativa plants that are cultivated and bred specifically for high yield and nutritious seeds – that’s right, just like recreational or medicinal cannabis, industrial hemp also has an unfathomable number of “strains” that are bred for a specific purpose.  

On the other hand, chia seeds are from the Salvia hispanica species. Both seeds are highly nutritious.  

Hemp seeds are quite similar to chia seeds in many ways, but there are some key differences that we think shows a clear winner…

Let us compare both seeds, and you can choose which is best for you.  

Nutrient: Hemp vs. Chia seeds

Here are the nutritional profile of hemp seeds and chia seeds

Hemp seed (30g)Chia seed (28g)
Carbohydrate2.6g11.9g
Protein9.5g4.8g
Energy166138
Fiber1.2g9.75g
Fat14.6g8.7g
Water1.49g1.64g
Sodium1.5mg4.54mg

A unique similarity between hemp and chia seeds is that they are both plant-based complete protein sources.

Chia seeds contain fewer calories but more carbohydrates, calcium, and fiber in each serving. On the other hand, Hemp seeds have more protein, fat, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, and copper.

Hemp Seeds Vs. Chia Seeds: Battle Of The Wonder Seeds

Chia and hemp seeds are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which significantly reduce inflammation and support brain health. In addition, both hemp and chia seeds have a higher percentage of unsaturated fat. However, they are also rich in polyunsaturated fat.

Method of consumption: Hemp vs. Chia seeds

You can make a delicious chia pudding for breakfast or dessert after dinner. A tablespoon of chia spoon in a vegan smoothie is a power-packed meal. Salad dressings also look better and more nutritious with the addition of chia seeds.

Chia seeds have a gelatin-like structure. They can absorb about 15 times their weight in water. Therefore, chia seeds are excellent replacements for eggs in baking. In addition, chia seeds can be used instead of bread crumbs as a binder. Consuming chia seeds may interfere with blood-thinning medications. Therefore, consult your doctor before incorporating chia seeds into your diet if you are on any medication.

You can incorporate hemp seeds into numerous dishes. Cereals and yogurts are definitely better with hemp seeds. Adding hemp seeds to your baking recipe is a fantastic idea. You can make hemp milk with hemp seeds. Smoothies and salads also have a complete nutritional profile with hemp seeds. Hemp seed oil can be applied directly on food or used instead of some cooking oils.

Impact on health

Chia seeds and hemp seeds have a unique nutritional profile. Therefore, consuming both seeds may improve health in various ways.

Both seeds have a high percentage of antioxidants, which protects the cells and organs from the effects of free radicals. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, making them potent anti-inflammatory agents. However, the proportion of omega-3 fatty acid present in hemp seeds is more than what is contained in chia seeds.

In addition, both seeds provide a complete source of protein. Proteins are essential for tissue repair, overall growth, and improved immune function. Most vegan diets cannot provide all the essential amino acids that the body needs for effective functioning but cannot produce.

Furthermore, chia seeds contain about ten times more fiber than hemp seeds. Therefore, it keeps you fuller for a longer time. This may be significant in reducing appetite for individuals trying to lose weight. Regardless, they still get their daily nutrient requirements.

Consuming foods rich in fiber like chia seeds optimize digestive tract health, reduce cholesterol levels, and help to manage blood sugar levels.

Possible side effects of eating hemp vs chia seeds

Remember that chia seeds pack a high-calorie content. Therefore, eating too many chia seeds may put individuals at risk for abdominal pain, bloating, and gas. 

Chia seeds can also absorb a large amount of water. So, if swallowed wrongly or taken by individuals with difficulty swallowing, it may cause them to choke. In addition, some individuals may have a chia seed allergy, although it is not common. 

Hemp Seeds Vs. Chia Seeds: Battle Of The Wonder Seeds

Hemp seed is considered to be generally safe for consumption. However, it may cause throat irritation, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, reduced heart rate, and hypertension. Hemp seed has high-fat content, so it may cause diarrhea or upset the digestive system. Therefore, it is advised to start with a small portion before going for a big serving.

Furthermore, hemp seed may interact with glycosides and diuretics. Hemp seeds can potentiate their actions, resulting in a medical emergency.

Storage: Hemp vs. Chia seeds

Hemp seeds have a shelf life of about a year when you store them in a refrigerator. However, if you store them in a cool place (not a refrigerator) when properly sealed, they remain good for about three to four months. Hemp seeds are high in Vitamin E, which is a natural preservative to keep them from going bad. 

Chia seeds have a longer pantry shelf life, as they can remain good for about 2-3 years. However, if you want to increase their lifespan, ensure you store them in an airtight container and place it in a fridge. You would be amazed that it could last for about 4-5 years.

However, when air enters into the storage containers of hemp and chia seeds, they can go rancid. Remember to smell them before use. Suppose you notice any rancid smell. It is best to discard them for safety purposes.

Can you use chia seeds instead of hemp seeds?

Yes, you can use hemp and chia seeds interchangeably in a recipe. However, chia lacks the distinct hemp seed nutty flavor when you use chia. You can add nut powder with chia seed if you love the nutty aroma. 

Hemp and chia seeds make great toppings for yogurts, cereals, salads, pancakes, and many other meals. 

Conclusion

Hemp has more protein, while chia is more fiber content. They both contain healthy amounts of fat, but there is a unique difference. Chia seed has higher omega-3 fatty acids, similar to salmon. On the other hand, hemp has more omega-6 fatty acids, similar to poultry and whole grains. 

You can use hemp and chia seeds alternatively to get all the nutritional goodness they promise.

Hemp Seeds Vs. Chia Seeds: Battle Of The Wonder Seeds
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Come on down and say hi to the team at our stores!
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