How Chia Plays Nice with All Kinds of Dietary Restrictions

By Barrie Rogers, Debbie Dooly

Today, many people are on specialized diets. Maybe they’ve gone gluten-free, or they’re vegan, or they avoid certain foods because of allergies. Whatever foods you like, don’t like, have to avoid, or want to avoid, chia has you covered. Its versatility means that it can be used by almost everybody as a way to boost nutrition and improve health!

Eliminating or cutting back on animal products

Many people want to avoid all animal products for ethical and/or health reasons, but they may find it hard to do because so many of the foods we eat come from animals. Even if you avoid meat, many other foods are made with animal products.

Chia is grown and harvested without the use of any animals or animal byproducts, so it can help provide some of the nutrients that traditionally come from animals in the diet. It’s high in omega-3 fatty acids, so if you’re avoiding fish, you can use chia as your source of omega-3s. It’s also a complete protein, so nutritionally, it’s great for people who don’t eat meat.

If you’re trying to reduce or eliminate animal products from your diet, using chia can give you some of the nutrients you need.

Gluten, gluten, gone!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware of the gluten-free foods sweeping the nation. Every time you turn around, somebody’s talking about eliminating gluten from her diet. Gluten is a protein found in wheat.

People who suffer from celiac disease have no tolerance for gluten and have to follow a very strict gluten-free diet. The disease affects the digestive system, and sufferers can get chronic diarrhea, bloating, excess gas, and upset stomachs if they ingest even the tiniest amount of gluten. Plenty of people who don’t suffer from celiac disease are also going gluten-free because they believe it’s healthier.

Whether you choose not to include gluten in your diet by choice or because you need to avoid gluten at all costs, chia can be a valued addition to your diet. Chia is naturally gluten-free and is highly nutritious, so when you’re trying to figure out how to alter your diet to support going gluten-free, chia can serve as a foundation for many recipes.

Combating allergies

There are so many foods that people are allergic to today, and the list seems to be getting longer and longer. Maybe it’s the increased use of genetically modified foods throughout the world, or maybe people are being so cautious about everything these days that they are developing more allergic reactions, but whatever the reason, people need to avoid more and more foods all the time.

Nuts are common foods that people are allergic to, as is gluten, and, of course, many people need to avoid dairy. The list goes on . . . .

Thankfully, chia seeds are nowhere near that list because it has no known allergens. Many humans have never shown an allergic reaction to chia because people have been eating chia since ancient times. In any case, nearly everyone can benefit from the goodness of chia and all the nutrients and health benefits that the tiny seeds provide.