How can I include chia in my diet?

Ms. Ashley Koff, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics
Chia is from a plant (salvia hispanica) in the mint family. The seed contains a good source of fiber and vegetarian omega 3 fatty acids. Because it's so easy to add it into the diet we don't need to take it in a pill supplement form that only provides the oil (not the fiber) but rather add it to the diet by eating or drinking it in foods -- so think of it as a dietary "booster". That said, for those downing fiber supplements daily, I enjoy adding chia to water and have this instead of a synthetic fiber supplement. Also, there's great opportunity to add chia to quality convenience foods like pretzels and bars to increase fiber and essential fatty acid content from a whole food source. Especially for those following a gluten-free diet, chia can help them meet the daily need for fiber that they share with all but often struggle to get from grains and grain products.

Whether added to already nutritious foods like a spinach egg white scramble, an antioxidant rich berry and Greek yogurt parfait, or notably more nutrient poor -- white bread -- chia is providing a nutritional upgrade.
Vandana  R. Sheth
Nutrition & Dietetics

Simple tips on adding chia into your diet:

  • Sprinkle in salads, soups, yogurt, cereal
  • Add to smoothies
  • Enjoy as a pudding
  • Add to foods when baking
  • Add 1-2 oz. to a bottle of water/juice and enjoy later. Chia seeds absorb ~10times their weight in water and so swell up and add a "tapioca" like feel to the water/juice. 

Continue Learning about Dietary Supplements

Take This Supplement to Boost Your Brain Health
Take This Supplement to Boost Your Brain Health
“To catch a fish, think like a fish.” That’s an aphorism repeated over and over in NY Times opinion pieces, YouTube videos and online seminars for ent...
Read More
What is bee pollen?
Michael T. Murray, NDMichael T. Murray, ND
Bee pollen comes from the male germ cell of flowering plants. As the honeybee travels from flower to...
More Answers
What are smart drug brain supplements?
Carolyn D. Brockington, MDCarolyn D. Brockington, MD
"Smart drug" brain supplements contain collections of compounds that are supposed to improve the hea...
More Answers
How Do I Know If I Need a Supplement?
How Do I Know If I Need a Supplement?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.