Chia Facts

Recipes sometimes call for ingredients that you may not have heard of, like nutritional yeast or agar-agar. Some familiar ingredients like cauliflower, black beans, and lentils may be used in unfamiliar ways to make good-tasting plant-based dishes. You may not be aware of nutritional and medicinal properties of familiar foods like sweet potato or avocado. You can find links to this information on the Glossary page. If you have a question or want to see a particular ingredient featured, send an email to fruitandstuff@wfpbvida.com.


Salvia hispanica, commonly known as chia, is a species of flowering plant in the mint family, native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala. It is considered a pseudocereal, cultivated for its edible, seed. The word “chia” is derived from the Nahuatl word chian, meaning oily.

A one-ounce (28 grams) serving of chia seeds contains

  • Fiber: 11 grams
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Fat: 9 grams (5 of which are omega-3s)
  • Calcium: 18% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 30% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 30% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: 27% of the RDI
  • They also contain zinc, vitamin B3 (niacin), potassium, vitamin B1 (thiamine) and vitamin B2

Chia seeds may be added to other foods as a topping or put into smoothies, breakfast cereals, tortillas, and bread. They also may be made into a gelatin-like substance or consumed raw. The gel from ground seeds may be used to replace the egg content in cakes and is a common substitute in vegan baking.

Sources: Wikipedia / healthline