Coming from the plant Salvia Hispanica L., Chia seeds were cultivated as a food source as early as 3500BC and were once a major food crop in Mexico and Guatemala (1). They are often known as a superfood due to their high content of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Although 46% of calories of Chia Seeds come from carbohydrates, 83% of those are fiber (2). A high fiber content promotes gut health, lowers cholesterol levels, and control blood sugar levels. Moreover, around 75% of the fats in Chia seeds consist of omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid, while 20% consist of omega-6 fatty acids. This low omega-6 to omega-3 ratio reduces the risk of chronic diseases like heart diseases, inflammatory diseases, and cancer. Chia seeds also offer a high-quality plant-based protein that offers all nine essential amino acids, while increasing satiety and promoting lean muscle growth.
Some of the most abundant minerals found in Chia seeds include manganese, copper, selenium, iron, magnesium, and calcium. These minerals help improve many bodily functions such as metabolism and heart functions. Chia seed's high antioxidant levels also help improve the body's immune system.
Chia seeds are typically prepared with liquid foods (as they digest and absorb better in that way). Many choose to incorporate Chia seeds in their diet by sprinkling a few teaspoons into breakfast cereal, salads, and soups, or stirring them into salad dressings, sauces, or cake batter (1).