Earlier this week we brought you our position on a number of energy bars. Today we turn to seeds. If you've been to any health-food market lately you've probably noticed foods you're familiar with (like peanut butter) have added some new ingredients-- chia seeds and flax seeds. Both of these seeds have health benefits, but how best to eat them? That can be tricky. Tricky and tasty...or not so tasty. Let's break this down.
According to celebrity nutritionist Lindsey Duncan, "Chia absorbs up to 12 times its own weight and expands to curb your appetite... chia is one of the most concentrated sources of omega-3 in any food." In addition, chia seeds and flax seed are high in fiber, which we all know is good for us. Flax seeds are also high in fiber and omega-3, but you don't want to dive in too fast, eating too much of these seeds can cause you to become bloated.
Here are some popular chia seed and flax seed products found at local healthier food stories like Sprouts and Trader Joe's, ranked one to five, according to taste. A "five" equals "it will fool your taste buds and is truly tasty," while a "one" is "try at your own risk."
Trader Joe's Valencia Peanut Butter with Roasted Flax Seeds Rank: 5 If you're not hung up on peanut butter being perfectly smooth, this is a great product to try out in a sandwich or on an apple. It contains enough flax seeds to feel you're getting a benefit but not enough to really notice you're eating something super fiber-filled. The texture provided is nice and there's little chance of bloating.
If you like kombucha, don't mind jello and enjoy an occasional boba tea, this may be the drink for you. Be warned however, it is a whole lotta chia in one drink. Best to break this down over the course of a day. Tangy, sweet and gelatinous...no one is stealing this from the office fridge on a whim.
Greens Plus Chia, Energy Bar Chocolate Rank: 3.5
Even I was skeptical about "greens" and "chocolate" together in one bar, but this is bar is dense and tasty. It is also 250 calories, so it better be. This bar definitely fills you up and isn't too bloat inducing. (Should not be eaten in combination with the kombucha.) I didn't taste the "green" part, but I trust it is there. Proof that chocolate trumps all.
Vitalyte Chia Surge Energy Gel Rank: 2 Chia seeds are supposed to provide energy, but even my gel-loving friends seemed disgusted by this idea. Their "gut" instinct was right, this gel is pretty nasty. Good news is, the serving size is small.
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Enjoy Life Crunchy Flax Cereal Rank: 1 Can something rank less than one? Taste was lacking and I felt as though I were eating dry dog food. Surely other flax options for breakfast have something more to offer than this. Also, the bloat factor was pretty high. Perhaps in desperate times.