Chia is an edible seed that comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family that grows abundantly in southern Mexico. Chia, is familiar to most of us as a seed used for the novelty of the Chia Pet, clay animals with sprouted Chia seeds covering their bodies. Little is known, however, of the seeds tremendous nutritional value and medicinal properties. For centuries this tiny little seed was used as a staple food by the Indians of the south west and Mexico. Known as the running food, its use as a high energy endurance food has been recorded as far back as the ancient Aztecs. It was said the Aztec warriors subsisted on the Chia seed during the conquests. The Indians of the south west would eat as little as a teaspoon full when going on a 24hr. forced march. Indians running form the Colorado River to the California coast to trade turquoise for seashells would only bring the Chia seed for their nourishment.
Chia seeds (Salvia hispanica) are extremely high in Omega 3 fatty acids and are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and soluble fiber. One ounce of chia seeds provides eleven grams of fiber. This amount also includes calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, manganese, copper, niacin, zinc and the proper ratio of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. Chia seeds are rich source of antioxidants containing chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, myricetin, quercetin and kaempferol flavonols. These compounds are both primary and synergistic antioxidants that contribute to the strong antioxidant activity of chia.
Studies show that eating chia seed may slow down how fast our bodies convert carbohydrate calories into simple sugars. This leads scientists to believe that the chia seed may have great benefits for diabetics. Viscous fiber (that which appears like a gelatin) slows down the conversion of carbohydrates into sugars and helps normalize blood glucose levels. That means it’s beneficial to mix Chia Seed in with food you already like to eat.
Blood sugar naturally rises and falls through out the day. It can also be what makes you drowsy in the afternoon. Dips and spikes aren’t good for consistent, healthy energy. The slowing of conversion of carbohydrates into sugar has the ability to create endurance. Carbohydrates are the fuel for energy in the body. Prolonging their conversion into sugar stabilizes metabolic changes, diminishing the surges of highs and lows creating a longer duration in their fueling effects. Protein fuels energy as well, and the protein in chia is complete.
If you try putting a spoonful of Chia seeds in a glass of water and leaving it for approximately 30 minutes or so, when you return the glass will appear to contain not seeds or water, but an almost solid gelatin. This gel-forming reaction is due to the soluble fiber in the Chia. Research believe this same gel-forming phenomenon takes place in the stomach when food containing these gummy fibers, known as mucilages, are eaten. The gel that is formed in the stomach creates a physical barrier between carbohydrates and the digestive enzymes that break them down, thus slowing the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar. This blockage of calorie absorption makes the chia seed a great diet helper.
In addition to the obvious benefits for diabetics, this slowing in the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar offers the ability for creating endurance. Carbohydrates are the fuel for energy in our bodies. Prolonging their conversion into sugar stabilizes metabolic changes, diminishing the surges of highs and lows creating a longer duration in their fueling effects.
One of the exceptional qualities of the Chia seed is its hydrophilic properties, having the ability to absorb more than 12 times its weigh in water. Its ability to hold on to water offers the ability to prolong hydration. Fluids and electrolytes provide the environment that supports the life of all the body's cells. Their concentration and composition are regulated to remain as constant as possible. With Chia seeds, you retain moisture, regulate, more efficiently, the bodies absorption of nutrients and body fluids. Because there is a greater efficiency in the utilization of body fluids, the electrolyte balance is maintained.
You do not need to grind chia seeds in order to digest them. It is a relatively easy to digest seed, whereas flax seeds are not. Flax seeds need to be ground for the nutrients to be absorbed by our digestive systems. That is not the case with chia seeds. Unlike flax-seeds, chia seeds can be stored for long periods without becoming rancid.
Chia seeds can be eaten raw as a dietary fiber, omega 3 and antioxidant supplement. Chia seeds soaked in fruit juice are commonly consumed in Mexico and known as chia fresca. The soaked seeds are gelatinous in texture and are used in porridge and puddings. Taste-wise, chia seeds have a slight nutty flavor and are a healthful addition to the diet.
Some possible benefits of our Raw Organic Black Chia Seeds may include:
● Supporting cardiovascular health
● Being very high in soluble fiber
● Improving digestion & natural detoxification
● Strong antioxidant benefits
● Assisting joint function & mobility
● Being great for prolonged energy & endurance
● Supporting a healthy heart
● Supporting healthy weight loss - dieters trying to reduce calorie consumption
● Supporting healthy blood pressure levels
● Higher antioxidant than blueberries
Our Chia seeds are raw, Non-GMO, non-irradiated, and cultivated without pesticides. Try them and we know you'll enjoy them.
Suggested Uses: Add to cereal, yogurt or salads or soak in chilled fruit juice to make delicious chia fresca. Can also be mixed into flour when making breads, muffins and other baked goods.
Botanical Name: Salvia hispanica
Other Names: Chia Herb, Chia Sage, Indian Running Food
Ingredients: Organic Black Chia Seeds.
Origin: Paraguay - Certified Organic
Z Natural Foods strives to offer the highest quality organically grown, raw, vegan, gluten free, non-GMO products available and exclusively uses low temperature drying techniques to preserve all the vital enzymes and nutrients. Our Raw Black Chia Seeds are certified organic and pass our strict quality assurance which includes testing for botanical identity, heavy metals, chemicals and microbiological contaminants. ZNaturalFoods.com offers Raw Organic Black Chia Seeds packaged in airtight stand-up, resealable foil pouches for optimum freshness. Once opened, just push the air out of the pouch before resealing it in order to preserve maximum potency. Keep your Organic Raw Black Chia Seeds in a cool, dark, dry place.
1. "Salvia hispanica L.". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2000-04-19. Retrieved 2012-03-21.
2. Cahill, Joseph P. (2003). "Ethnobotany of Chia, Salvia hispanica L. (Lamiaceae)". Economic Botany 57 (4): 604–618. doi:10.1663/0013-0001(2003)057[0604:EOCSHL]2.0.CO;2.
3. Kintzios, Spiridon E. (2000). Sage: The Genus Salvia. CRC Press. p. 17. ISBN 978-90-5823-005-8.
4. Stephanie Strom (November 23, 2012). "30 Years After Chia Pets, Seeds Hit Food Aisles". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-11-26. "Whole and ground chia seeds are being added to fruit drinks, snack foods and cereals and sold on their own to be baked into cookies and sprinkled on yogurt"
5. Anderson, A.J.O. and Dibble, C.E. "An Ethnobiography of the Nahuatl", The Florentine Codex, (translation of the work by Fr. Bernardino de Sahagún), Books 10-11, from the Period 1558-1569.
6. Mark Griffiths, Editor. Index of Garden Plants. (Portland, Oregon: Timber Press, 2nd American Edition, 1995.) ISBN 0-88192-246-3.
7. USDA SR-21 Nutrient Data (2010). "Nutrition facts for dried chia seeds, one ounce". Conde Nast, Nutrition Data.
8. Chia: The Ord Valley's new super crop
9. USDA SR-21 Nutrient Data (2010). "Nutrition Facts and Analysis for Seeds, flaxseed". Conde Nast, Nutrition Data. Retrieved 2010-11-29.
10. USDA SR-21 Nutrient Data (2010). "Nutrition Facts and Analysis for Seeds, sesame seed kernels, dried (decorticated)". Conde Nast, Nutrition Data. Retrieved 2010-11-29.
11. Ulbricht C et al (2009). "Chia (Salvia hispanica): a systematic review by the natural standard research collaboration". Rev Recent Clin Trials 4 (3): 168–74. doi:10.2174/157488709789957709. PMID 20028328.
12. The European Union, "Commission Decision of 13 October 2009 authorising the placing on the market of Chia seed(Salvia hispanica) as a novel food ingredient under Regulation (EC) No 268/97 of the European Parliament and of the Council" (L294/14) 2009/827/EC pp. 14-15 (November 11, 2009)
13. "Chewing Chia Packs A Super Punch". NPR. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
14. Albergotti, Reed. "The NFL's Top Secret Seed". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
15. Stephanie Strom (November 23, 2012). "30 Years After Chia Pets, Seeds Hit Food Aisles". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-11-26. "significantly more alpha-linolenic acid in omega-3 reached the bloodstream and was converted into eicosapentaenoic acid, a long-chain fatty acid considered good for the heart"
16. Nieman DC, Gillitt N, Jin F, Henson DA, Kennerly K, Shanely RA, Ore B, Su M, Schwartz S (2012). "Chia seed supplementation and disease risk factors in overweight women: a metabolomics investigation". J Altern Complement Med 18 (7): 700–8. doi:10.1089/acm.2011.0443. PMID 22830971.
17. Cahill 2003, p. 605
18. "A second apparently pre-Columbian cultivation area is known in southern Honduras and Nicaragua."Jamboonsri, Watchareewan; Phillips, Timothy D.; Geneve, Robert L.; Cahill, Joseph P.; Hildebrand, David F. (2011). "Extending the range of an ancient crop, Salvia hispanica L.—a new ω3 source". Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution (Springer). Online First. doi:10.1007/s10722-011-9673-x.
19. J. L. Bresson, A. Flynn, M. Heinonen, et al., “Opinion on the safety of “Chia seeds (Salvia hispanica L.) and ground whole Chia seeds” as a food ingredient,” The European Food Safety Authority Journal, vol. 996, pp. 1–26, 2009.
20. P. G. Peiretti and G. Meineri, “Effects on growth performance, carcass characteristics, and the fat and meat fatty acid profile of rabbits fed diets with chia (Salvia hispanica L.) seed supplements,” Meat Science, vol. 80, no. 4, pp. 1116–1121, 2008.
21. E. Reyes-Caudillo, A. Tecante, and M. A. Valdivia-López, “Dietary fibre content and antioxidant activity of phenolic compounds present in Mexican chia (Salvia hispanica L.) seeds,” Food Chemistry, vol. 107, no. 2, pp. 656–663, 2008.
22. J. P. Cahill and M. C. Provance, “Genetics of qualitative traits in domesticated chia (Salvia hispanica L.),” Journal of Heredity, vol. 93, no. 1, pp. 52–55, 2002.
23. Reales, D. Rivera, J. A. Palazón, and C. Obón, “Numerical taxonomy study of Salvia sect. Salvia (Labiatae),” Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, vol. 145, no. 3, pp. 353–371, 2004.
24. W. Jamboonsri, T. D. Phillips, R. L. Geneve, J. P. Cahill, and D. F. Hildebrand, “Extending the range of an ancient crop, Salvia hispanica L.—a new ω3 source,” Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution, vol. 59, no. 2, pp. 171–178, 2012.
25. P. G. Peiretti and F. Gai, “Fatty acid and nutritive quality of chia (Salvia hispanica L.) seeds and plant during growth,” Animal Feed Science and Technology, vol. 148, no. 2–4, pp. 267–275, 2009.
26. V. Y. Ixtaina, S. M. Nolasco, and M. C. Tomás, “Physical properties of chia (Salvia hispanica L.) seeds,” Industrial Crops and Products, vol. 28, no. 3, pp. 286–293, 2008.
27. M. Bueno, O. di Sapio, M. Barolo, H. Busilacchi, M. Quiroga, and C. Severin, “Quality tests of Salvia hispanica L. (Lamiaceae) fruits marketed in the city of Rosario (Santa Fe province, Argentina),” Boletin Latinoamericano y del Caribe de Plantas Medicinales y Aromáticas, vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 221–227, 2010.
28. O. di Sapio, M. Bueno, H. Busilacchi, M. Quiroga, and C. Severin, “Morphoanatomical characterization of Salvia hispanica L. (LAMIACEAE) leaf, stem, fruit and seed,” Boletín Latinoamericano Y Del Caribe De Plantas Medicinales Y Aromáticas, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 249–2268, 2012.
29. B. Heuer, Z. Yaniv, and I. Ravina, “Effect of late salinization of chia (Salvia hispanica), stock (Matthiola tricuspidata) and evening primrose (Oenothera biennis) on their oil content and quality,” Industrial Crops and Products, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 163–167, 2002.
30. S. K. Jeong, H. J. Park, B. D. Park, and I. H. Kim, “Effectiveness of topical chia seed oil on pruritus of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients and healthy volunteers,” Annals of Dermatology, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 143–148, 2010.
31. P. Simopoulos, “Omega-3 fatty acids in inflammation and autoimmune diseases,” Journal of the American College of Nutrition, vol. 21, no. 6, pp. 495–505, 2002.
32. H. Poudyal, S. K. Panchal, J. Waanders, L. Ward, and L. Brown, “Lipid redistribution by α-linolenic acid-rich chia seed inhibits stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 and induces cardiac and hepatic protection in diet-induced obese rats,” Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 153–162, 2012.
33. P. Simopoulos, “The omega-6/omega-3 fatty acid ratio, genetic variation, and cardiovascular disease,” Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 131–134, 2008.
34. M. Betti, T. I. Perez, M. J. Zuidhof, and R. A. Renema, “Omega-3-enriched broiler meat: 3. Fatty acid distribution between triacylglycerol and phospholipid classes,” Poultry Science, vol. 88, no. 8, pp. 1740–1754, 2009.
35. V. Dubois, S. Breton, M. Linder, J. Fanni, and M. Parmentier, “Fatty acid profiles of 80 vegetable oils with regard to their nutritional potential,” European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology, vol. 109, no. 7, pp. 710–732, 2007.
36. F. Jin, D. C. Nieman, W. Sha, et al., “Supplementation of milled chia seeds increases plasma ALA and EPA in postmenopausal women,” Plant Foods For Human Nutrition, vol. 67, pp. 105–110, 2010.
37. D. C. Nieman, E. J. Cayea, M. D. Austin, D. A. Henson, S. R. McAnulty, and F. Jin, “Chia seed does not promote weight loss or alter disease risk factors in overweight adults,” Nutrition Research, vol. 29, no. 6, pp. 414–418, 2009.
38. G. C. Martha, R. T. Armando, A. A. Carlos, et al., “A dietary pattern including Nopal, Chia seed, soy protein, and oat reduces serum triglycerides and glucose intolerance in patients with metabolic syndrome,” Journal of Nutrition, vol. 142, no. 1, pp. 64–69, 2012.
39. V. Vuksan, A. L. Jenkins, A. G. Dias et al., “Reduction in postprandial glucose excursion and prolongation of satiety: possible explanation of the long-term effects of whole grain Salba (Salvia hispanica L.),” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 64, no. 4, pp. 436–438, 2010.
40. R. Ayerza and W. Coates, “Influence of environment on growing period and yield, protein, oil and α-linolenic content of three chia (Salvia hispanica L.) selections,” Industrial Crops and Products, vol. 30, no. 2, pp. 321–324, 2009.
41. R. Ayerza h and W. Coates, “Protein content, oil content and fatty acid profiles as potential criteria to determine the origin of commercially grown chia (Salvia hispanica L.),” Industrial Crops and Products, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 1366–1371, 2011.
42. R. Ayerza, “Effects of seed color and growing locations on fatty acid content and composition of two chia (Salvia hispanica L.) genotypes,” Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society, vol. 87, no. 10, pp. 1161–1165, 2010.
43. R. Ayerza (h) R., “Oil content and fatty acid composition of chia (Salvia hispanica L.) from five northwestern locations in Argentina,” Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society, vol. 72, no. 9, pp. 1079–1081, 1995.
44. Antruejo, J. O. Azcona, P. T. Garcia, et al., “Omega-3 enriched egg production: the effect of a-linolenic x-3 fatty acid sources on laying hen performance and yolk lipid content and fatty acid composition,” British Poultry Science, vol. 52, no. 6, pp. 750–760, 2011.
45. R. Ayerza and W. Coates, “Omega-3 enriched eggs: the influence of dietary α-linolenic fatty acid source on egg production and composition,” Canadian Journal of Animal Science, vol. 81, no. 3, pp. 355–362, 2000.
46. R. Ayerza and W. Coates, “Effect of dietary α-linolenic fatty acid derived from chia when fed as ground seed, whole seed and oil on lipid content and fatty acid composition of rat plasma,” Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, vol. 51, no. 1, pp. 27–34, 2007.
47. Fernandez, S. M. Vidueiros, R. Ayerza, W. Coates, and A. Pallaro, “Impact of chia (Salvia hispanica L.) on the immune system: preliminary study,” Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, vol. 67, article E12, 2008.
48. W. Coates and R. Ayerza, “Chia (Salvia hispanica L.) seed as an n-3 fatty acid source for finishing pigs: effects on fatty acid composition and fat stability of the meat and internal fat, growth performance, and meat sensory characteristics,” Journal of Animal Science, vol. 87, no. 11, pp. 3798–3804, 2009.
49. G. Masoero, G. Sala, G. Meineri, P. Cornale, S. Tassone, and P. G. Peiretti, “Nir spectroscopy and electronic nose evaluation on live rabbits and on the meat of rabbits fed increasing levels of Chia (Salvia hispanica L.) seeds,” Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, vol. 7, no. 11, pp. 1394–1399, 2008.
50. Dalle Zotte and Z. Szendro, “The role of rabbit meat as functional food,” Meat Science, vol. 88, no. 3, pp. 319–331, 2011.
51. R. Ayerza, “Chia as a new source of ω-3 fatty acids: advantage over other raw materials to produce ω-3 enriched eggs,” in Proceedings of the Symposium on Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Evolution and Human Health, Washington, DC, USA, September 2002.
52. R. Ayerza, W. Coates, and M. Lauria, “Chia seed (Salvia hispanica L.) as an ω-3 fatty acid source for broilers: influence on fatty acid composition, cholesterol and fat content of white and dark meats, growth performance, and sensory characteristics,” Poultry Science, vol. 81, no. 6, pp. 826–837, 2002.
53. M. S. Vedtofte, M. U. Jakobsen, L. Lauritzen, et al., “Dietary alpha linoleic acid, linoleic acid and n-3 long-chain PUFA and risk of ischemic heart disease,” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition., vol. 94, pp. 1097–1103, 2011.
54. V. Y. Ixtaina, S. M. Nolasco, and M. C. Tomàs, “Oxidative Stability of Chia (Salvia hispanica L.) Seed Oil: effect of Antioxidants and Storage Conditions,” Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society, vol. 89, pp. 1077–1090, 2012.
55. M. I. Capitani, V. Spotorno, S. M. Nolasco, and M. C. Tomás, “Physicochemical and functional characterization of by-products from chia (Salvia hispanica L.) seeds of Argentina,” LWT—Food Science and Technology, vol. 45, no. 1, pp. 94–102, 2012.
56. V. Y. Ixtaina, F. Mattea, D. A. Cardarelli, M. A. Mattea, S. M. Nolasco, and M. C. Tomás, “Supercritical carbon dioxide extraction and characterization of Argentinean chia seed oil,” Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society, vol. 88, no. 2, pp. 289–298, 2011. View at Publisher • View at Google Scholar • View at ScopusI.A. R. Uribe, J. I. N. Perez, H. C. Kauil, G. R. Rubio, and C. G. Alcocer, “Extraction of oil from chia seeds with supercritical CO2,” Journal of Supercritical Fluids, vol. 56, no. 2, pp. 174–178, 2011.
57. V. Y. Ixtaina, A. Vega, S. M. Nolasco et al., “Supercritical carbon dioxide extraction of oil from Mexican chia seed (Salvia hispanica L.): characterization and process optimization,” Journal of Supercritical Fluids, vol. 55, no. 1, pp. 192–199, 2010.
58. R. Rendón-Villalobos, A. Ortiz-Sanchez, J. Solorza-Feria, and C. A. Trujillo-Hernandez, “Formulation, physicochemical, nutritional and sensorial evaluation of corn tortillas supplemented with chia seed (Salvia hispanica L.),” Czech Journal of Food Sciences, vol. 30, no. 2, pp. 118–125, 2012.
59. W. F. Baughman and G. S. Jamieson, “Chia seed oil,” Oil & Fat Industries, vol. 6, no. 9, pp. 15–17, 1929.
60. The Chia Company, “Request for scientific evaluation of substantial equivalence application for the approval of Chia seeds (Salvia hispanicaL.) from the Chia Company for use in bread,” Food Law Consultants, 2010, http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/thechiacompany.pdf.
61. R. Borneo, A. Aguirre, and A. E. León, “Chia (Salvia hispanica L) gel can be used as egg or oil replacer in cake formulations,” Journal of the American Dietetic Association, vol. 110, no. 6, pp. 946–949, 2010.
62. R. Ayerza and W. Coates, “An ω-3 fatty acid enriched chia diet: influence on egg fatty acid composition, cholesterol and oil content,” Canadian Journal of Animal Science, vol. 79, no. 1, pp. 53–58, 1999.
63. R. Ayerza and W. Coates, “Dietary levels of chia: influence on yolk cholesterol, lipid content and fatty acid composition for two strains of hens,” Poultry Science, vol. 79, no. 5, pp. 724–739, 2000.
64. R. Ayerza and W. Coates, “Dietary levels of chia: influence on hen weight, egg production and sensory quality, for two strains of hens,” British Poultry Science, vol. 43, no. 2, pp. 283–290, 2002.
65. G. Meineri and P. G. Peiretti, “Apparent digestibility of mixed feed with increasing levels of chia (Salvia hispanica L.) seeds in rabbit diets,” Italian Journal of Animal Science, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 778–780, 2007.
66. G. Meineri, P. Cornale, S. Tassone, and P. G. Peiretti, “Effects of chia (Salvia hispanica L.) seed supplementation on rabbit meat quality, oxidative stability and sensory traits,” Italian Journal of Animal Science, vol. 9, no. 10, pp. 45–49, 2009.
67. B. L. Olivos-Lugo, M. Á. Valdivia-López, and A. Tecante, “Thermal and physicochemical properties and nutritional value of the protein fraction of mexican chia seed (Salvia hispanica L.),” Food Science and Technology International, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 89–96, 2010.
68. T. G. Illian, J. C. Casey, and P. A. Bishop, “Omega 3 chia seed loading as a means of carbohydrate loading,” Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 61–65, 2011.
69. D. Lema, “Growth and productivity in Argentine agriculture,” in Conference on Causes and Consequences of Global Agricultural Productivity Growth, Washington, DC, USA, May 2010, http://www.farmfoundation.org/news/articlefiles/1725-Lema.pdf.
70. R. Ayerza and W. Coates, “Seed yield, oil content and fatty acid composition of three botanical sources of ω-3 fatty acid planted in the Yungas ecosystem of tropical Argentina,” Tropical Science, vol. 47, no. 4, pp. 183–187, 2007.
71. W. Coates and R. Ayerza, “Production potential of chia in northwestern Argentina,” Industrial Crops and Products, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 229–233, 1996.