Compare chia, quinoa, amaranth and millet

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt # Chia chia_catgs = ['Water', 'Energy', 'Protein', 'Total lipid (fat)', 'Carbohydrate, by difference', 'Fiber, total dietary', 'Calcium, Ca', 'Iron, Fe', 'Magnesium, Mg', 'Phosphorus, P', 'Potassium, K', 'Sodium, Na', 'Zinc, Zn', 'Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid', 'Thiamin', 'Riboflavin', 'Niacin', 'Vitamin B-12', 'Vitamin A, IU', 'Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)', 'Fatty acids, total saturated', 'Fatty acids, total monounsaturated', 'Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated', 'Fatty acids, total trans', 'Cholesterol'] chia = [5.8, 486, 16.54, 30.74, 42.12, 34.4, 631, 7.72, 335, 860, 407, 16, 4.58, 1.6, 0.62, 0.17, 8.83, 0, 54, 0.5, 3.33, 2.309, 23.665, 0.14, 0] # Quinoa quinoa_catgs = ['Water', 'Energy', 'Protein', 'Total lipid (fat)', 'Carbohydrate, by difference', 'Fiber, total dietary', 'Calcium, Ca', 'Iron, Fe', 'Magnesium, Mg', 'Phosphorus, P', 'Potassium, K', 'Sodium, Na', 'Zinc, Zn', 'Thiamin', 'Riboflavin', 'Niacin', 'Vitamin B-6', 'Folate, DFE', 'Vitamin B-12', 'Vitamin A, RAE', 'Vitamin A, IU', 'Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)', 'Vitamin D (D2 + D3)', 'Vitamin D', 'Vitamin K (phylloquinone)', 'Fatty acids, total saturated', 'Fatty acids, total monounsaturated', 'Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated', 'Cholesterol'] quinoa = [13.28, 368, 14.12, 6.07, 64.16, 7, 47, 4.57, 197, 457, 563, 5, 3.1, 0.36, 0.318, 1.52, 0.487, 184, 0, 1, 14, 2.44, 0, 0, 0, 0.706, 1.613, 3.292, 0] # Amaranth amaranth_catgs = ['Water', 'Energy', 'Protein', 'Total lipid (fat)', 'Ash', 'Carbohydrate, by difference', 'Fiber, total dietary', 'Sugars, total', 'Sucrose', 'Glucose (dextrose)', 'Fructose', 'Lactose', 'Maltose', 'Galactose', 'Starch', 'Calcium, Ca', 'Iron, Fe', 'Magnesium, Mg', 'Phosphorus, P', 'Potassium, K', 'Sodium, Na', 'Zinc, Zn', 'Copper, Cu', 'Manganese, Mn', 'Selenium, Se', 'Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid', 'Thiamin', 'Riboflavin', 'Niacin', 'Pantothenic acid', 'Vitamin B-6', 'Folate, total', 'Folic acid', 'Folate, food', 'Folate, DFE', 'Choline, total', 'Betaine', 'Vitamin B-12', 'Vitamin B-12, added', 'Vitamin A, RAE', 'Retinol', 'Carotene, beta', 'Carotene, alpha', 'Cryptoxanthin, beta', 'Vitamin A, IU', 'Lycopene', 'Lutein + zeaxanthin', 'Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)', 'Tocopherol, beta', 'Tocopherol, gamma', 'Tocopherol, delta', 'Vitamin D (D2 + D3)', 'Vitamin D', 'Vitamin K (phylloquinone)', 'Fatty acids, total saturated', '8:0', '10:0', '12:0', '14:0', '15:0', '16:0', '17:0', '18:0', '20:0', '22:0', 'Fatty acids, total monounsaturated', '14:1', '15:1', '16:1 undifferentiated', '17:1', '18:1 undifferentiated', '20:1', 'Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated', '18:2 undifferentiated', '18:3 undifferentiated', '18:3 n-3 c,c,c (ALA)', '18:3 n-6 c,c,c', '20:2 n-6 c,c', '20:3 undifferentiated', '20:4 undifferentiated', 'Cholesterol', 'Phytosterols', 'Tryptophan', 'Threonine', 'Isoleucine', 'Leucine', 'Lysine', 'Methionine', 'Cystine', 'Phenylalanine', 'Tyrosine', 'Valine', 'Arginine', 'Histidine', 'Alanine', 'Aspartic acid', 'Glutamic acid', 'Glycine', 'Proline', 'Serine', 'Alcohol, ethyl'] amaranth = [11.29, 371.0, 13.56, 7.02, 2.88, 65.25, 6.7, 1.69, 1.4, 0.27, 0.01, 0.0, 0.01, 0.0, 57.27, 159.0, 7.61, 248.0, 557.0, 508.0, 4.0, 2.87, 0.525, 3.333, 18.7, 4.2, 0.116, 0.2, 0.923, 1.457, 0.591, 82.0, 0.0, 82.0, 82.0, 69.8, 67.6, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 1.0, 0.0, 0.0, 2.0, 0.0, 28.0, 1.19, 0.96, 0.19, 0.69, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 1.459, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.011, 0.0, 1.154, 0.0, 0.223, 0.052, 0.018, 1.685, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 1.671, 0.014, 2.778, 2.736, 0.042, 0.042, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 24.0, 0.181, 0.558, 0.582, 0.879, 0.747, 0.226, 0.191, 0.542, 0.329, 0.679, 1.06, 0.389, 0.799, 1.261, 2.259, 1.636, 0.698, 1.148, 0.0] # Millet millet_catgs = ['Water', 'Energy', 'Protein', 'Total lipid (fat)', 'Carbohydrate, by difference', 'Fiber, total dietary', 'Calcium, Ca', 'Iron, Fe', 'Magnesium, Mg', 'Phosphorus, P', 'Potassium, K', 'Sodium, Na', 'Zinc, Zn', 'Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid', 'Thiamin', 'Riboflavin', 'Niacin', 'Vitamin B-6', 'Folate, DFE', 'Vitamin B-12', 'Vitamin A, RAE', 'Vitamin A, IU', 'Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)', 'Vitamin D (D2 + D3)', 'Vitamin D', 'Vitamin K (phylloquinone)', 'Fatty acids, total saturated', 'Fatty acids, total monounsaturated', 'Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated', 'Cholesterol'] millet = [8.67, 378, 11.02, 4.22, 72.85, 8.5, 8, 3.01, 114, 285, 195, 5, 1.68, 0, 0.421, 0.29, 4.72, 0.384, 85, 0, 0, 0, 0.05, 0, 0, 0.9, 0.723, 0.773, 2.134, 0] grain_labels = ['Chia', 'Quinoa', 'Amaranth', 'Millet'] all_grains = [(chia_catgs, chia), (quinoa_catgs, quinoa), (amaranth_catgs, amaranth), (millet_catgs, millet)] comparison_catgs_of_interest = ['Water', 'Energy', 'Protein', 'Total lipid (fat)', 'Fiber, total dietary', 'Calcium, Ca', 'Iron, Fe', 'Magnesium, Mg', 'Phosphorus, P', 'Potassium, K', 'Sodium, Na', 'Zinc, Zn', 'Thiamin', 'Riboflavin', 'Niacin', 'Vitamin A, IU', 'Vitamin B-12', 'Vitamin D', 'Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)', 'Vitamin K (phylloquinone)', 'Cholesterol'] fig, ax = plt.subplots(7, 3, figsize=(8, 7), sharex=True) color_step = int(200/4) summer = plt.cm.summer titles_set = [False for i in range(len(comparison_catgs_of_interest))] for i, (grain_ctgs, grain_values) in enumerate(all_grains): for grain_ctg, grain_value in zip(grain_ctgs, grain_values): if grain_ctg in comparison_catgs_of_interest: ax_idx = comparison_catgs_of_interest.index(grain_ctg) x, y = divmod(ax_idx, 3) if not titles_set[ax_idx]: ax[x, y].set_title(grain_ctg) titles_set[ax_idx] = True ax[x, y].bar(i, grain_value, width=0.9, color=summer(i*color_step)) for k in range(3): ax[6,k].set_xticks(range(len(grain_labels))) ax[6,k].set_xticklabels(grain_labels, rotation=90) plt.tight_layout() plt.show()

Comparison of the nutrients in chia, quinoa, amaranth and millet

Comparison of the nutrients found in the grains chia, quinoa, amaranth and millet among the categories "water", "energy", "protein", "total lipid (fat)", "fiber, total dietary", "calcium, Ca", "iron, Fe", "magnesium, Mg", "phosphorus, P", "potassium, K", "sodium, Na", "zinc, Zn", "thiamin", "riboflavin", "niacin", "vitamin A, IU", "vitamin B-12", "vitamin D", "vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)", "vitamin K (phylloquinone)" and "cholesterol".

Please, note that the chia seeds have been dried here. We notice that none of the four seeds have cholesterol, which is great (unlike the burger with cheese we saw yesterday). But they also don't seem to have vitamins B-12 and D as well. Only millet shows signs of vitamin K here. This hints that these foods have to be combined with others for maximum effect.

The chia seed is interesting, because it packs a good amount of protein, fat and fiber at the same time—a rare combination. It also seems richer in minerals that the other grains and has some vitamins as well.

Notice that the USDA food search is only a single source of information and you may wish to expand your research to validate the results with other sources.

All these grains always appeared very similar to me and I often wondered which one to prefer once entering a store. This is why I decided to take a quick look in how they might differ.