Chia seeds and flax seeds seem to be everywhere, on store shelves and in drinks. So what's with their popularity? It turns out, chia seeds are not so new. They achieved superstar status through "Chia Pets." It's actually the same seed, but they have a history that dates as far back as the Aztecs.
Chia seeds, along with flax seed, area good source of vegetarian protein, but...
"You don't have to be a vegetarian or vegan," says dietician Marisa Moore. "They're a very convenient source of protein and omega-3 fats for anyone, and especially if you don't eat fish."
In addition, flaxseed may reduce the risk of certain cancers, while chia contains more fiber, protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
"Because they are so high in fiber and Omega-3 fatty acids, they've been shown to help lower the risk of heart attack and stroke, lower cholesterol levels, and even blood pressure," Moore says.
You can mix and match them- try them in oatmeal, yogurt, or baked goods. But remember to go for ground flax to get it's benefits. Chia's great either way.
"A good rule of thumb for either flax or chia seeds is maybe to have one tablespoon in the morning and then another Tablespoon later in the day," Moore says. "So you get about two tablespoons for the day."