Kidney Diet Tips

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Potential Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are tiny black or white seeds which are believed to be from Central America. The seeds have been a part of people’s diets for centuries. Aztec and Mayan people used the seeds in their diets, and for medicinal purposes, religious rituals and cosmetics. Today, people all over the world enjoy chia seeds.

They’re Full of Nutrients

Chia seeds have long been recognized as a nutritional powerhouse and contain many nutrients, including antioxidants, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. They may also help with heart health, decrease blood pressure and inflammation, and can be used in many recipes.

A serving of chia seeds packs a punch of nutrition. Two tablespoons’ worth contains:

  • 138 calories
  • 4.7 grams of protein
  • 9.8 grams of fiber
  • 5 grams of Alpha-linolenic acid (an essential fatty acid)[1]

Chia seeds are high in antioxidants, including chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid and quercetin.  These antioxidants can improve your overall health. For example, chlorogenic acid may help lower blood pressure, while caffeic acid has anti-inflammatory effects.

They’re Heart-Healthy

As chia seeds are high in both fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, eating them may lower your risk of heart disease. 

Soluble fiber, the kind primarily found in chia seeds, can lower total cholesterol and LDL (the bad cholesterol) in your blood. Consuming the omega-3 fatty acid (alpha-linolenic acid) has been linked to lowered heart disease risk2

Also, several studies have found that chia seeds reduced blood pressure in people with hypertension, which helps lower the risk of heart disease. 

There are many ways to incorporate chia seeds into your kidney diet. They’re easy to prepare and can be used in smoothies or made into chia pudding. DaVita.com has many kidney-friendly recipes that include chia seeds. Try a few of them here: 

Chia Pudding with Berries

Acai Berry Smoothie Bowl

Strawberry Chia Overnight Oats

References:

[1] Source: USDA date base

Kulczynski B, Kobus-Cisowska J, Taczanowski M, Kmiecik D, Gramza-Michalowska A. The Chemical Composition value of Chia Seeds-Current State of Knowledge. Nutrients. 2019 Jun; 11(6): 1242.

Additional Kidney Diet Resources

Visit DaVita.com and explore these diet and nutrition resources:

DaVita Food Analyzer

DaVita Dining Out Guides

Today’s Kidney Diet Cookbooks

DaVita Kidney-Friendly Recipes

Diet and Nutrition Articles                                                      

Diet and Nutrition Videos

Kidney Smart® Virtual Classes

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Consult your physician and dietitian regarding your specific diagnosis, treatment, diet and health questions.


Sue Yager, MS, RDN, LDN

Sue Yager, MS, RDN, LDN

Sue works as a dietitian in Carpentersville and Marengo in Illinois She has been a dietitian for the past 15 years. The last eight have been in kidney care. In her spare time, Sue enjoys reading and riding her bike.