Chia seeds are seeds from the Salvia hispanica plant. They are small, black-and-white seeds that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants and calcium. The seeds, which are often sold as a weight-loss aid, have a nutty flavor.
Salvia hispanica is a member of the mint family and is native to the deserts of Mexico. Ancient Mayans and Aztecs used the seeds as a food staple. The seeds can be consumed alone or can be sprinkled on top of other foods. Soaking the seeds gives them a gelatinous texture, allowing them to be mixed with cereal or baked dishes.