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Flax Seeds vs Tempeh: Difference & Similarities

This article explains the key similarities and differences between flax seeds and tempeh, foods from the grains and legumes food groups. Read on to learn more about the flax seeds vs tempeh comparison.
Catherine Toledo, Journalist

Written by Catherine Toledo, Journalist. Updated on March 5, 2023.

Although flax seeds and tempeh 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, tempeh belong to legumes food group.

That’s why we decided to create an in-depth article that compares flax seeds and tempeh, 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 tempeh 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.


Tempeh is a traditional Indonesian food made from fermented soybeans.

It is a popular ingredient in many vegan and vegetarian dishes due to its high protein and fiber content, as well as its distinctive, nutty flavor.

Tempeh is made by fermenting cooked soybeans with a starter culture, which gives it a firm, cake-like texture, and a unique flavor.

It can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes, including tempeh stir-fries, tempeh sandwiches, and tempeh bacon.

In addition to being a tasty and nutritious food, tempeh has been shown to have a number of potential health benefits.

It is a good source of antioxidants and has been linked to lower levels of cholesterol and improved blood sugar control.

Tempeh is also a good source of several important minerals, including calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium.

Tempeh is an excellent source of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin K.

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B3 (Niacin), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine) and some Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), Vitamin B9 (Folate), and Vitamin E.

Flax Seeds vs Tempeh 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 tempeh.

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

Flax SeedsTempeh
Energy534 kcal192 kcal
Carbs28.9 g7.64 g
Sugar1.55 g7.33 g
Fiber27.3 g9.3 g
Protein18.3 g20.3 g
Fat42.2 g10.8 g
Saturated Fat3.66 g2.54 g

Flax Seeds vs Tempeh Calories

Comparing tempeh vs flax seeds for weight loss, tempeh is slightly lower in calories, with 192 calories per 100 grams, compared to 534 calories per 100 grams of flax seeds.

However, both flax seeds and tempeh 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 Tempeh Protein

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

Tempeh offers around 10% more protein than flax seeds.

Tempeh has 20.3 grams of protein per 100 grams, while flax seeds has 18.3 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Flax Seeds vs Tempeh 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 tempeh.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 74% higher in flax seeds than in tempeh. It have 28.9 grams per 100 grams, compared to 7.6 grams in tempeh.

There’s less sugar in flax seeds than in tempeh, 81% precisely.

One handful of flax seeds (28 grams) contains 0.4 grams of sugar, while the same amount of tempeh contains 2.1 grams.

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

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 tempeh which flax seeds offers 2.6 grams per portion.

Flax Seeds vs Tempeh Fats

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

Total fat in flax seeds and tempeh:

  • Flax Seeds: 42.2 grams per 100 grams
  • Tempeh: 10.8 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, tempeh is 32% lower in saturated fats.

Tempeh and flax seeds contain 2.5 grams and 3.7 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Flax Seeds vs Tempeh Vitamins Content

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

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 B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B12 (Cobalamin), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

However, tempeh has a higher amount of vitamin C, vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and vitamin B9 (Folate).

Flax Seeds and tempeh contain the same amount of vitamin A, and vitamin D.

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

Flax SeedsTempeh
Vitamin A00
Vitamin C0.6 mg0
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)1.64 mg0.078 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.161 mg0.358 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)3.08 mg2.64 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.985 mg0.278 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.473 mg0.215 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)87 µg24 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00.08 µg
Vitamin E0.31 mg0.85 mg
Vitamin K4.3 µg47 µg

Flax Seeds vs Tempeh 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 tempeh comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Flax Seeds is a better source of fluoride than tempeh.

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

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

Flax SeedsTempeh
Calcium255 mg111 mg
Copper1.22 mg0.56 mg
Fluoride02.2 µg
Iron5.73 mg2.7 mg
Magnesium392 mg81 mg
Manganese2.48 mg1.3 mg
Phosphorus642 mg266 mg
Potassium813 mg412 mg
Selenium25.4 µg0
Sodium30 mg9 mg
Zinc4.34 mg1.14 mg

The Final Word

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

Both flax seeds and tempeh 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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