Chia Seeds

Salvia hispanica, commonly known as chia, is a species of flowering plant in the mint family, Lamiaceae, native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala.[1] The 16th-century Codex Mendoza provides evidence that it was cultivated by the Aztec in pre-Columbian times; economic historians have suggested it was as important as maize as a food crop.[2] It is still used today with the seeds ground or whole seeds for highly nutritious drinks and food source.[3][4]

According to the USDA, a one ounce (28 gram) serving of chia seeds contains 9 grams of fat, 5 milligrams of sodium, 11 grams of dietary fiber, 4 grams of protein, 18% of the recommended daily intake of calcium, 27% phosphorus and 30% manganese.[7] These nutrient values are similar to other edible seeds, such as flax or sesame.[9][10]

In 2009, the European Union approved chia seeds as food.

Chia seeds may be added to other foods as a topping or put into smoothies, breakfast cereals, energy bars, yogurt, made into a gelatin-like substance, or consumed raw.[12][13]

Studies have found that 10 weeks ingestion of 25 grams per day of milled chia seeds, compared to intact seeds, produced higher blood levels of alpha-linolenic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid, an omega-3 long-chain fatty acid considered good for the heart, while decreasing inflammation and disease risk factors.[15][16]