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Chia Seeds vs Tofu: What’s The Difference?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between chia seeds and tofu, foods from the grains and legumes food groups. Read on to learn more about the chia seeds vs tofu comparison.
Esther Bumpus, Health Writer

Written by Esther Bumpus, Health Writer. Updated on March 13, 2023.

Although chia seeds and tofu 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 chia seeds belong to the nuts and seeds group, tofu belong to legumes food group.

That’s why we decided to create an in-depth article that compares chia seeds and tofu, 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 chia seeds and tofu compare specifically.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds (Salvia hispanica) are small, black seeds that come from the chia plant, which is native to Central and South America.

These seeds have gained popularity recently as a health food due to their high fiber and nutrient content.

Chia seeds have a slightly nutty and slightly earthy flavor and can be eaten raw or cooked.

They can be added to a variety of dishes, including smoothies, cereals, and baked goods, or used as a topping for salads and other dishes.

Chia seeds are also available in oil form, which can be used in cooking or as a salad dressing.

Chia seeds are a good source of fiber, protein, and healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids.

They are also a good source of various vitamins and minerals, including calcium, magnesium, and iron.

Overall, chia seeds are a nutritious and versatile food that can be a valuable addition to a plant-based diet.

If you’re looking to add more fiber, protein, and healthy fats to your diet, consider giving chia seeds a try. They are versatile, nutritious, and may have a variety of health benefits.

Chia Seeds is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and Vitamin B3 (Niacin).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).


Tofu, also known as bean curd, is a popular plant-based alternative to dairy products that is made from soybeans.

Tofu is native to China and has been used as a dietary staple for thousands of years. It is a versatile ingredient that can be used in various dishes, such as soups, stews, and stir-fries.

One of the main health benefits of tofu is its high protein content. Tofu is made from soybeans, which are a good source of plant-based protein, making it a popular choice for vegetarians and vegans.

Tofu is also low in calories and fat, making it a good choice for those looking to manage their weight.

It is also rich in nutrients important for vegans such as iron, calcium, and manganese, and it contains many plant compounds that have been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

In terms of health benefits, tofu has been shown to have a number of positive effects on the body.

It is a good source of probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that help balance the gut microbiome.

Tofu may also help to reduce the risk of certain health conditions, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, due to its high content of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds.

Tofu is not an excellent source of any particular vitamin.

However, it also contains Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin B9 (Folate) in a small amount.

Chia Seeds vs Tofu Nutrition

Now that we’ve described the origin, taste, and usage of these foods, we can move to the most interesting part – comparing chia seeds vs tofu.

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

Chia SeedsTofu
Energy486 kcal76 kcal
Carbs42.1 g1.87 g
Sugar0.62 g
Fiber34.4 g0.3 g
Protein16.5 g8.08 g
Fat30.7 g4.78 g
Saturated Fat3.33 g0.691 g

Chia Seeds vs Tofu Calories

Comparing tofu vs chia seeds for weight loss, tofu is slightly lower in calories, with 76 calories per 100 grams, compared to 486 calories per 100 grams of chia seeds.

However, both chia seeds and tofu can and should be a part of a healthy diet, and neither one shouldn’t be avoided if you’re looking to lose weight.

Chia Seeds vs Tofu Protein

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

Chia Seeds offers around 51% more protein than tofu.

Chia Seeds has 16.5 grams of protein per 100 grams, while tofu has 8.1 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Chia Seeds vs Tofu 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 chia seeds and tofu.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 95% higher in chia seeds than in tofu. It have 42.1 grams per 100 grams, compared to 1.9 grams in tofu.

There’s less sugar in chia seeds than in tofu, 100% precisely.

One handful of chia seeds (28 grams) contains 0 grams of sugar, while the same amount of tofu contains 0.2 grams.

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

Dietary fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and helps with weight management by promoting a sense of fullness.

With 9.6 grams of fiber per portion, chia seeds is a better source of fiber than tofu which chia seeds offers 0.1 grams per portion.

Chia Seeds vs Tofu Fats

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

Total fat in chia seeds and tofu:

  • Chia Seeds: 30.7 grams per 100 grams
  • Tofu: 4.8 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, tofu is 79% lower in saturated fats.

Tofu and chia seeds contain 0.7 grams and 3.3 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Chia Seeds vs Tofu Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of chia seeds and tofu.

Vitamins are micronutrients, meaning we need only a small amount. However, they are very important for many processes in our bodies.

Chia Seeds has a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and vitamin K.

However, tofu has a higher amount of vitamin C, vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B9 (Folate), and vitamin E.

Chia Seeds and tofu contain the same amount of vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

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

Chia SeedsTofu
Vitamin A54 IU85 IU
Vitamin C1.6 mg0.1 mg
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.62 mg0.081 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.17 mg0.052 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)8.83 mg0.195 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)00.068 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)00.047 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)49 µg15 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.5 mg0.01 mg
Vitamin K02.4 µg

Chia Seeds vs Tofu 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 chia seeds and tofu comparison focuses on their mineral content.

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

Chia Seeds and tofu contain the same amount of fluoride.

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

Chia SeedsTofu
Calcium631 mg350 mg
Copper0.924 mg0.193 mg
Iron7.72 mg5.36 mg
Magnesium335 mg30 mg
Manganese2.72 mg0.605 mg
Phosphorus860 mg97 mg
Potassium407 mg121 mg
Selenium55.2 µg8.9 µg
Sodium16 mg7 mg
Zinc4.58 mg0.8 mg

The Final Word

Chia Seeds and tofu are highly nutritious and a great addition to a plant-based diet.

Both chia seeds and tofu 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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