Flax Seeds vs Lentils: Which Is Better?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between flax seeds and lentils, foods from the grains and legumes food groups. Read on to learn more about the flax seeds vs lentils comparison.
Esther Bumpus, Health Writer

Written by Esther Bumpus, Health Writer. Updated on March 4, 2023.

Although flax seeds and lentils belong to different food groups, and it’s not that common to compare foods from different groups, people are often interested in these comparisons as well.

While flax seeds belong to the nuts and seeds group, lentils belong to legumes food group.

That’s why we decided to create an in-depth article that compares flax seeds and lentils, their nutritional values, similarities, differences, macronutrients, and micronutrients – vitamins and minerals.

Generally speaking, foods from nuts and seeds group are usually higher in healthy fats and lower in carbs than legumes, but both are valuable addition to a plant-based diet.

Now, let’s see how flax seeds and lentils compare specifically.

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 is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).

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


Lentils (Lens culinaris) are a type of legume that are native to the Middle East and have been consumed for thousands of years.

They are small, round, and come in various colors, including green, brown, red, and yellow. Lentils are a popular ingredient in many cuisines worldwide and are highly valued for their nutritional content.

One of the main health benefits of lentils is their high protein content. In fact, lentils are one of the highest plant-based protein sources, making them a popular choice for vegetarians and vegans.

Lentils are also high in fiber, which can help to improve digestion and lower cholesterol levels.

They are rich in nutrients such as iron, potassium, and B vitamins. They also contain many plant compounds that have been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Regarding versatility, lentils can be easily incorporated into various dishes, such as soups, stews, and salads.

They are also budget-friendly ingredients that can be used in place of meat to add protein and nutrients to meals.

Lentils are an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).

They also contain a good amount of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin B3 (Niacin) and some Vitamin C, and Vitamin K.

Flax Seeds vs Lentils Nutrition

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

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

Flax SeedsLentils
Energy534 kcal352 kcal
Carbs28.9 g63.4 g
Sugar1.55 g2.03 g
Fiber27.3 g10.7 g
Protein18.3 g24.6 g
Fat42.2 g1.06 g
Saturated Fat3.66 g0.154 g

Flax Seeds vs Lentils Calories

Comparing lentils vs flax seeds for weight loss, lentils are slightly lower in calories, with 352 calories per 100 grams, compared to 534 calories per 100 grams of flax seeds.

However, both flax seeds and lentils can and should be a part of a healthy diet, and neither one shouldn’t be avoided if you’re looking to lose weight.

Flax Seeds vs Lentils Protein

Legumes and most legume products, including flax seeds and lentils, are important sources of plant-based protein.

Lentils offer around 26% more protein than flax seeds.

Lentils have 24.6 grams of protein per 100 grams, while flax seeds has 18.3 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Flax Seeds vs Lentils 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 flax seeds and lentils.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 54% higher in lentils than in flax seeds. They have 63.4 grams per 100 grams, compared to 28.9 grams in flax seeds.


There’s less sugar in flax seeds than in lentils, 33% precisely.

One handful of flax seeds (28 grams) contains 0.4 grams of sugar, while the same amount of lentils contains 0.6 grams.

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

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 is a better source of fiber than lentils which flax seeds offers 3 grams per portion.

Flax Seeds vs Lentils Fats

Fats in flax seeds and lentils are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.

Total fat in flax seeds and lentils:

  • Flax Seeds: 42.2 grams per 100 grams
  • Lentils: 1.1 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, lentils are 95% lower in saturated fats.

Lentils and flax seeds contain 0.2 grams and 3.7 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Flax Seeds vs Lentils Vitamins Content

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

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

Flax Seeds has a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin B9 (Folate), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

However, lentils have a higher amount of vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and vitamin B3 (Niacin).

Flax Seeds and lentils contain the same amount of vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

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

Flax SeedsLentils
Vitamin A039 IU
Vitamin C0.6 mg4.5 mg
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)1.64 mg0.873 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.161 mg0.211 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)3.08 mg2.6 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.985 mg2.14 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.473 mg0.54 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)87 µg479 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.31 mg0.49 mg
Vitamin K4.3 µg5 µg

Flax Seeds vs Lentils 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 flax seeds and lentils comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Flax Seeds is a better source of iron than lentils.

On the other hand, lentils are a higher amount of calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, and zinc.

Flax Seeds and lentils contain the same amount of fluoride.

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

Flax SeedsLentils
Calcium255 mg35 mg
Copper1.22 mg0.754 mg
Iron5.73 mg6.51 mg
Magnesium392 mg47 mg
Manganese2.48 mg1.39 mg
Phosphorus642 mg281 mg
Potassium813 mg677 mg
Selenium25.4 µg0.1 µg
Sodium30 mg6 mg
Zinc4.34 mg3.27 mg

The Final Word

Flax Seeds and lentils are highly nutritious and a great addition to a plant-based diet.

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

Antioxidants found in nuts, seeds and legumes can help to protect cells from damage and may reduce the risk of certain diseases and the effects of aging.

Additionally, the fiber and other nutrients in these foods can support the health of the digestive system and may even help to prevent certain digestive cancers.

Legumes, nuts and seeds are a versatile food that can be incorporated into any meal of the day, including breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They can be served hot or cold, making them a convenient and tasty addition to a variety of dishes.


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