Chia seeds are a Gluten Free grain derived from an Aztec desert plant Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family. Chia seeds can be eaten raw or added to dishes and have a sound nutritional quality.
Chia has a very high content of omega-3 fatty acids which are essential fats that are important for heart health and brain functions. Of the total fat found in chia seeds, more than half is alpha linolenic acid (ALA), which is the plant form of omega-3.
Chia also has high fibre content which is higher than that of flaxseeds (linseed) or sesame seeds, for example and is roughly equal to 10g in two table-spoons.
Chia seeds are an important source of protein and very high in calcium (around five times the level in milk. It additionally provides important minerals including iron, magnesium and zinc.
Chia seeds are a great replacement for commercial breakfast cereals and excellent to add to a smoothie or to sprinkle on other meals such as a salad to add a variety of nutrients. Also since Chia seeds become nicely gelatinous in liquid, you can use them to substitute for eggs in most recipes when you are baking.