Herb Reference Guide

Chia

History

Chia is an edible seed from a plant in the mint family native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala that served as a primary crop of the Mayans and Aztecs. Because of its exceptional nutritional content, it was used by Aztec warriors as a source of concentrated fuel to sustain their energy needs. Endowed with a pleasant nutty flavor, Chia can be added to yogurt or smoothies, or even incorporated into baked goods.

Function

Chia seeds are a nutritional treasure chest, providing naturally occurring protein, dietary fiber (both soluble and insoluble), key minerals (including calcium, potassium and magnesium) and omega-3 fatty acids (as alpha linolenic acid or ALA). As a result, Chia seed promotes daily regularity, encourages a healthy weight, and supports cardiovascular health.* Chia seed's positive health benefits are directly related to its nutritional content. Fiber absorbs water, helping create the necessary bulk for moving waste through the GI tract.* Fiber is also filling, so it increases satiety and reduces caloric intake.* And ALA supports healthy levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation that is directly related to cardiovascular well-being.*

Uses of Chia

Disclaimer

This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.

Active Constituents

Chia seed is a natural source of protein, dietary fiber (both soluble and insoluble), key minerals (including calcium, potassium and magnesium) and omega-3 fatty acids (as alpha linolenic acid or ALA).

Parts Used

  • seed

Important precautions

Always take fiber supplements with a full (8 oz.) glass of water or juice.

Additional Resources

Anderson J, et al. Colorado State University. Dec 2010. http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foodnut/09333.html

Higdon J. Linus Pauling Institute. 2005. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/othernuts/omega3fa/