Flaxseed vs Hemp Seed: (Nutrition Comparison)


Flax and hemp seeds (aka hemp hearts) both make a great addition to a variety of meals like salads, oatmeal, and baked goods.

And while they share many nutritional similarities, there are some big differences as well.

We’ll be looking at those differences in this side-by-side comparison of hemp seeds and flax seeds per 100 grams.

Nutritional Value Comparison of Flaxseed and Hemp Seeds

Looking at the macronutrient profiles of these seeds, both are high in fat and calories, but have some differences:

  Flaxseed Hemp seeds
Energy (kcal) 534.0 553.3
Protein (g) 18.3 31.6
Total Lipid (g) 42.1 48.7
Carbohydrate (g) 28.9 8.7
Fiber (g) 27.2 4.0
Sugars (g) 1.6 1.5

Note that:

  • Hemp seeds are significantly higher in protein
  • Flaxseed has much more fiber

Some people need extra protein in their diet, while others need fiber, so the best choice comes down to your specific needs.

Omega 3 and 6 Fat Ratios of Flaxseed and Hemp Seeds

seeds variety

The importance of omega fats and their role in inflammation and general health is one of the most important aspects of diet to focus on.

Having a good omega 6 to 3 fat ratio (generally 4 or below) is a very desirable property for a food to have.

  Flaxseed Hemp Seeds
Omega 3 Fats 22.8 10
Omega 6 Fats 5.9 27.5
Omega 6:3 Ratio 0.26 2.75

Both flax and hemp have great omega fat ratios, although flaxseed is obviously better.

If you’re trying to balance out a high amount of omega 6 fats from foods like nuts, it may make sense to prioritize flax.

If you’re curious about how they stack up to other seeds, see my page with a summary of the omega fat ratios of seeds.

Vitamins and Minerals of Flaxseed and Hemp Seeds

I’ve included a column for the recommended daily amount (RDA) for a general adult on the table below. Your actual number may vary based on your age and gender.

Remember that this data is per 100 grams of each seed. In reality a serving is closer to 30 to 40 grams on average, so don’t be alarmed if the amount exceeds the RDA.

  RDA Flaxseed Hemp seeds
Manganese (mg) 2.3 2.5 7.6
Phosphorus (mg) 700 640.8 1650.0
Magnesium (mg) 400 393.2 700.0
Thiamin (mg) 1.2 1.6 1.3
Zinc (mg) 11 4.3 9.9
Potassium (mg) 2000 810.7 1200.0
Niacin (mg) 16 3.1 9.2
Selenium (µg) 55 25.2 0.0
Vitamin B-6 (mg) 1.3 0.5 0.6
Iron (mg) 18 5.7 7.9
Folate (µg) 400 87.4 110.0
Riboflavin (mg) 1.3 0.2 0.3
Calcium (mg) 1200 257.3 70.0
Choline (mg) 550 78.6 0.0
Vitamin K (µg) 75 4.4 0.0
Vitamin E (mg) 15 0.3 0.8

I’ve highlighted the biggest differences in these micronutrient profiles:

  • Flax has much more selenium, calcium, and choline
  • Hemp seeds have much more manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, potassium, and niacin

Flaxseed vs Hemp Seeds: Which is Healthier?

Whether flaxseed or hemp seeds are healthier depends on someone’s specific situation.

Flax seeds have a better omega fat ratio, more fiber, and more of certain minerals like selenium and calcium.

Hemp seeds have more protein, and more minerals like zinc, magnesium, and potassium.

Both are very healthy foods, but one may be considered healthier than the other if someone needs more of a particular nutrient in their diet.

Should You Eat Flax and Hemp Seeds Together?

Eating flax and hemp seeds together is a great way to improve the taste of a meal while getting extra nutrition. The mixture will give you the strengths of both seeds: protein, fiber, omega 3 fats, and several nutrients.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance nutrition writer. I've been vegan for years and try to make life easier for others by sharing what I've learned.