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Cashews vs Flax Seeds: How Are They Different?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between cashews and flax seeds, foods from the nuts and seeds group. Read on to learn more about the cashews vs flax seeds comparison.
Michael Whaley, Health Writer

Written by Michael Whaley, Health Writer. Updated on December 31, 2022.

Cashews and flax seeds belong to the nuts and seeds food group, an important group for a healthy diet, as they provide a wide range of essential nutrients, such as protein, healthy fats, dietary fiber, and vitamins and minerals.

In this article, we’ll put a spotlight on cashews and flax seeds and compare their similarities and differences.

They both provide a variety of nutrients and are relatively high in calories, like other nuts and seeds.


Cashews (Anacardium occidentale) is a type of nut that is native to South America.

These nuts have a sweet and buttery flavor and are often used in a variety of dishes, including sweet and savory recipes.

Cashews are a good source of nutrients, including protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

They are also a good source of healthy fats, including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

There are many ways to incorporate cashews into your diet. They can be eaten raw or roasted and are often used in dishes as a creamy and flavorful addition.

Cashews are a common ingredient in vegan and vegetarian dishes, as they can be used to create a creamy texture when blended or soaked.

They can also be ground into flour or used to make cashew butter.

Cashews are widely available and can be found in many forms, including whole, chopped, and ground into flour.

They can be purchased raw, roasted, or salted and are often sold with the skin removed.

Whether you’re looking for a tasty snack or a versatile ingredient to add to your cooking, cashews are a great choice.

They are delicious and nutritious and can be easily incorporated into many dishes.

Cashews are an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and Vitamin K.

They also contain a good amount of Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) and some Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B9 (Folate), and Vitamin E.

Flax Seeds

Flax seeds (Linum usitatissimum) are small, golden, or brown seeds that have a nutty and slightly earthy flavor.

These seeds have been used for centuries as food and for their medicinal properties and are now gaining popularity as a health food.

Flax seeds are a good source of fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, making them a valuable addition to a plant-based diet.

They are also high in lignans, which are plant compounds that have been shown to have antioxidant and estrogen-like effects.

There are many ways to incorporate flax seeds into your diet. They can be eaten raw or ground into a meal and can be added to various dishes, including smoothies, baked goods, and even savory dishes.

Flax seeds are also available in oil form, which can be used as a healthy alternative to vegetable oil in cooking.

It is important to note that flax seeds should be ground before consumption, as the whole seeds may pass through the digestive system undigested.

They should also be stored in the refrigerator or freezer to keep them fresh and prevent them from going rancid.

If you want to add more fiber, protein, and healthy fats to your diet, consider giving flax seeds a try. They are versatile, nutritious, and may have various health benefits.

Flax Seeds are an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).

They also contain a good amount of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin B9 (Folate) and some Vitamin K.

Cashews vs Flax Seeds Nutrition

Now that we’ve described the origin, taste, and usage of these foods, we can move to the most interesting part – comparing cashews vs flax seeds.

This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of cashews and flax seeds and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral contents.

CashewsFlax Seeds
Energy553 kcal534 kcal
Carbs30.2 g28.9 g
Sugar5.91 g1.55 g
Fiber3.3 g27.3 g
Protein18.2 g18.3 g
Fat43.8 g42.2 g
Saturated Fat7.78 g3.66 g

Cashews vs Flax Seeds Calories

Nuts and seeds are generally high in calories; the same goes for cashews and flax seeds, so you should consume them in moderation.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a proper serving is one ounce, which is roughly equal to 1/4 cup or 28 grams.

To keep the portions under control, the amounts correspond to one serving size: 14 walnut halves, 16 cashews, 24 almonds, 28 peanuts, or 45 pistachios.

Comparing flax seeds vs cashews for weight loss, flax seeds are slightly lower in calories, with 150 calories per serving, compared to 155 calories per serving of cashews.

However, both cashews and flax seeds can and should be a part of a healthy diet, and neither one shouldn’t be avoided if you’re looking to lose weight. It’s just important to eat them in moderation.

Cashews vs Flax Seeds Protein

Nuts and seeds, including cashews and flax seeds, are an important source of plant-based protein.

Flax Seeds and cashews offer the same amount of protein, 18.2 grams per 100 grams (or 5.1g per serving).

Cashews vs Flax Seeds Carbs

Counting carbs can be important for some people for different reasons, including blood sugar control, weight management, or athletic performance.

It’s also important for people on a keto diet, so let’s compare the carbs content in cashews and flax seeds.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 4% higher in cashews than in flax seeds. They have 30.2 grams per 100 grams, compared to 28.9 grams in flax seeds.

There’s less sugar in flax seeds than in cashews, 76% precisely.

One handful of flax seeds (28 grams) contains 0.4 grams of sugar, while the same amount of cashews contains 1.7 grams.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in cashews and flax seeds.

Dietary fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and helps with weight management by promoting a sense of fullness.

With 7.6 grams of fiber per portion, flax seeds are a better source of fiber than cashews which offer 0.9 grams per portion.

Cashews vs Flax Seeds Fats

Like the other nuts and seeds, fats in cashews and flax seeds are a great source of healthy unsaturated fats, naturally cholesterol free, and free of trans fats.

Total fat in cashews and flax seeds:

  • Cashews: 43.8 grams per 100 grams
  • Flax Seeds: 42.2 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, flax seeds are 53% lower in saturated fats.

Flax Seeds and cashews contain 3.7 grams and 7.8 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Cashews vs Flax Seeds Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of cashews and flax seeds.

Vitamins are micronutrients, meaning we need only a small amount. However, they are very important for many processes in our bodies.

Cashews have a higher amount of vitamin C, vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and vitamin B9 (Folate).

However, flax seeds have a higher amount of vitamin E, and vitamin K.

Cashews and flax seeds contain the same amount of vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins cashews and flax seeds contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.

CashewsFlax Seeds
Vitamin A00
Vitamin C0.5 mg0.6 mg
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.423 mg1.64 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.058 mg0.161 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)1.06 mg3.08 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.864 mg0.985 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.417 mg0.473 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)25 µg87 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.9 mg0.31 mg
Vitamin K34.1 µg4.3 µg

Cashews vs Flax Seeds Minerals Content

Minerals are important for our body to function properly. We need only a small amount of minerals, so they are called micronutrients.

Some minerals, like iron, calcium, zinc or, iodine, are relatively hard to get on a plant-based diet, so it’s important to choose your foods thoughtfully. This part of the cashews and flax seeds comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Cashews are a better source of calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and sodium than flax seeds.

On the other hand, flax seeds have a higher amount of copper, iron, and zinc.

Cashews and flax seeds contain the same amount of fluoride.

Check out the table below to learn how cashews and flax seeds compare when it comes to mineral contents.

CashewsFlax Seeds
Calcium37 mg255 mg
Copper2.2 mg1.22 mg
Iron6.68 mg5.73 mg
Magnesium292 mg392 mg
Manganese1.66 mg2.48 mg
Phosphorus593 mg642 mg
Potassium660 mg813 mg
Selenium19.9 µg25.4 µg
Sodium12 mg30 mg
Zinc5.78 mg4.34 mg

The Final Word

Cashews and flax seeds are highly nutritious and excellent sources of plant-based protein and healthy fats.

Although they are relatively high in calories, they are essential to a healthy, plant-based diet and are linked to many health benefits.

Both cashews and flax seeds are high in specific vitamins and minerals, and including them in your diet will give you the most benefits they offer.

Nuts and seeds are versatile foods, and can be part of any meal or salad, just be sure to eat them moderately, as they are loaded with calories.

Nuts and seeds are versatile foods and can be part of any meal or salad, just be sure to eat them moderately, as they are loaded with calories.


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