Boron, calcium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorous, potassium, silicon, sodium, strontium, sulphur, zinc, amylose (a slow-burning starch helpful in treating hypoglycemia), and electrolytes
linolenic acid, linoleic acid; antioxidants: chlorogenic and caffeic acids, myricetin, quercitin, and kaempferol flavonol. chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid and flavonol glycosides; mucin, fibre; 8 essential amino acids (score 115.)
A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B15, B17, C, D, E, K, choline, folic acid, inositol, PABA
Use to thicken foods, to make puddings, add directly to salads, soups and baked goods. The seeds can also be sprouted to produce microgreens for salads, sandwiches and wraps.
Chia has a very good ratio of omega-3 oil to omega-6 oil; with 20-30% protein, 35% oil, 25% fiber. Gluten-free and very low-sodium. Contains the important mineral boron, a catalyst for the absorption of calcium.
Chia seed is obtained from the dried flowers of a plant in the mint family that thrives in the warm climates of Mexico and western North America.
Aside from notoriety for generating the "hair" in Chia Pets, the seed is fiber dense, packed with nutrients and has endless culinary uses.
Raw chia seeds taste a little like poppy seeds.
Combines well with many fruits, yogurt, coconut milk and almond milk, cinnamon,
vanilla and cardamom.
The seeds have a mild, nutty flavor and can be enjoyed on salads, cereal, yogurt or
ground up and baked into wholesome breads and muffins. A popular drink in Mexico is
the chia fresca—made with 2 teaspoons of seeds stirred into a glass of water with lime
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. 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. It is still used in Paraguay, Bolivia, Argentina, Mexico and Guatemala, sometimes with the seeds ground or with whole seeds used for nutritious drinks and
as a food source.
Nutrient content and food uses
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. These nutrient values are similar to other edible seeds, such as flax or sesame.
In 2009, the European Union approved chia seeds as a novel food, allowing up to 5% of a bread product's total matter.
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.
Preliminary health research
Although preliminary research indicates potential for health benefits from consuming chia seeds, this work remains sparse and inconclusive.
One pilot study 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 andeicosapentaenoic acid, an omega-3 long-chain fatty acid considered good for the heart, while having no effect on inflammation or disease risk factors.
S. hispanica is described and pictured in the Mendoza Codex and the Florentine Codex, sixteenth century Aztec codices created between 1540 and 1585. Both describe and picture Salvia hispanica and its usage by the Aztec. The Mendoza Codex indicates that the plant was widely cultivated and given as tribute in 21 of the 38 Aztec provincial states. Economic historians suggest that it was a staple food that was as widely used as maize.
Aztec tribute records from the Mendoza Codex, Matrícula de Tributos, and the Matricula de Huexotzinco (1560)—along with colonial cultivation reports and linguistic studies—give detail to the geographic location of the tributes, and provide some geographic specificity to the main S. hispanica growing regions. Most of the provinces grew the plant, except for areas of lowland coastal tropics and desert. The traditional area of cultivation was in a distinct area that covered parts of north-central Mexico south to Nicaragua. A second and separate area of cultivation, apparently pre-Columbian, was in southern Honduras and Nicaragua.