What Is Chia?


Quick Answer

Chia is an edible seed that is extracted from the desert plant Salvia hispanica. The seeds are highly concentrated in healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants and calcium.

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Full Answer

Chia seeds are an unprocessed, whole-grain food that is absorbed by the body as seeds. Up to 2 tablespoons is equal to 1 ounce, which contains 139 calories, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams fat, 12 grams of carbohydrates and 11 grams of fiber. These seeds also contain vitamins and minerals. They have a nutty and mild flavor, and they are easy to add to beverages and food. They can be sprinkled on vegetables, rice dishes, cereal, yogurt or sauces, or mixed into baked goods and drinks. They turn into a gel when mixed with water.

A 1 ounce serving of chia seeds contain 9 percent of the recommended daily value for protein and 42 percent of the recommended daily intake of dietary fiber. Chia is a rich source of essential minerals such as manganese and phosphorous, as well as calcium. Chia seeds also contain a trace of potassium and sodium, and both are needed to keep vital organs properly functioning and healthy. Chia seeds also contain healthy antioxidants that may prevent damage to the cellular system.

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