What Are Chia Seeds

What are Chia Seeds

What are chia seeds? The seeds produced by the chia (Salvia Hispanica) plant are the same seeds used for the Chia Pet products. Chia is native to Mexico and Guatemala. It is an annual herb, and it grows up to 1 meter tall. Chia is a flowering plant that belongs to the mint family. It produces a spiky cluster of flowers that can be either purple or white. In pre-Columbian times it was grown by the ancient Aztecs. Today, chia is grown commercially for its seed.

How to Eat Chia Seeds

Chia seeds can be eaten in many ways, and the seeds are easy to digest. Although the taste is bland, it readily absorbs other flavours, and as with anything with the proper seasoning, it tastes great! The seeds can also be sprouted, which greatly improves the nutritional value. Some other ways it is commonly used is in bread, cakes, biscuits, porridge, puddings, beverages, salads, and much more.

What are Chia Seeds Used for?

As mentioned above, chia seeds are famously used for the Chia Pet products. The reason why the seeds stick to the Chia Pets is that they naturally become mucilaginous (sticky) when wet. More importantly, though, chia is an amazing superfood! It is one of the most nutritious seeds or food you can eat.  The seed is very rich in Omega-3 essentials oils and protein. It is also very high in fibre and minerals. Around 20% of the seed is a complete form of protein.

Where to Buy Chia Seeds

Chia seeds can be found at most whole food or grocery stores. If you are located in Canada, you can purchase chia seeds at Natural Seed Bank.

Sprouting Chia Seeds

Growing chia from seed is very easy! Under the right conditions, the seed will sprout in 3 to 5 days. It’s important to use sterilized soil because there are many fungi or diseases that can kill the sprouts or even stop the seed from germinating. Whether growing indoors or outdoors, make sure not to let the soil dry out. Keep the soil moist but avoid soggy conditions. It only takes a few days to germinate chia seeds, so it’s okay if you have to start over again. The ease and quick germination of the seeds makes it a fun project for kids to enjoy.

To start, place some sterilized black earth into pots, water the soil until it is moist but not soggy. Surface sow the seeds – as they need light to germinate. Press the seeds gently into the soil as the chia seed sprout and get large enough to handle you can divide the plants. Don’t sow the seeds too close together, or it will be harder to separate them. Some people cover the pots with plastic to keep the seeds moist and humid, and when the seeds sprout, they remove the plastic. This is not necessary, but it may work better if sprouting the chia seed in the cold winter months.

Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

Chia seeds have been found to be very useful in treating diabetes. This also makes it a good food choice for people trying to lose weight. Really, everyone can benefit from this food, so it’s worth giving it a try. There are many, many, more health benefits from eating chia seeds, and research will have to keep up with that, as with anything chia seeds should only be considered as part of an overall healthy diet and lifestyle.

Rich in Fiber

The gelatinous nature of chia seeds is because they are so rich in soluble fibre.  It is believed that the gel produced by the chia seeds coats the stomach, and this slows the digestive process down even more so that energy is released slowly over time in our bodies.

 

3 thoughts on “What Are Chia Seeds”

  1. Hi,

    I am interested in growing 1/8 acre of chia in Hawaii but cannot find any information on doing so. Thanks!

  2. Muhammad Iftikhar

    I am agricultural farmer from pakistan, my agriculture is spread on 130 hacters, i am growing oil seed crops, wheat, rice, cotton and vegitables in gree houses. now i am interested in growing chia seed but unfortunately i have not any information about its grwoing. i needed seed and production technology for grwo chie seeds.

  3. I think I understand most of the planting and growing, but I have no ideas as to how much time it take for the plant to go from seed to harvest? I realize that the weather and rain makes a difference.

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