Chia Seeds 101

Tiny but mighty

January 19, 2024  |   by Daniel Osser

Introducing chia seeds, a nutritional powerhouse! This ancient Mayan superfood has gained widespread popularity in recent years, but where did they come from? From origin and perceived health benefits to preparation and recipes, let us guide you through some of the basics when it comes to chia seeds. Known to be packed with omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, and fibers, these seeds may contribute to heart and brain health, aid digestion, and offer a feeling of fullness. Discover the simplicity of incorporating chia seeds into your routine with easy and delicious recipes.

chia seeds plant


Chia seeds come from the plant Salvia hispanica, which is a member of the mint family. This plant is native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala. Chia seeds have been an important part of the diet in this region for thousands of years, dating back to the time of the Aztecs and Mayans. In fact, the word “chia” is believed to have Mayan origins, meaning “strength.” These seeds were highly valued for their nutritional properties and were considered a staple food. Chia seeds were believed to provide sustained energy and said to be used by warriors and messengers for endurance.


These tiny seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and contain all 9 essential amino acids needed to create a complete protein. A 3-tablespoon serving can supply over 1/3 of the daily value for fiber and are rich in minerals like calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron as well as B vitamins. Consuming pre-soaked chia seeds is thought to promote lasting hydration since they can absorb up to 12 times their weight in water. It’s important to note that consuming large amounts of unsoaked chia seeds may have a dehydrating effect due to their efficiency in absorbing water. So, make sure the seeds have been thoroughly soaked before using, and as with any high-fiber food, start slow! (1, 2, 3, 4)

pile of chia seeds
chia seeds soaking

How to Use

With their versatility, chia seeds are easily incorporated into various dishes, making them a convenient, plant-based, nutrient-rich addition to a healthy diet. They can be eaten raw in salads or blended into smoothies, puddings, and baked goods. Ground chia seeds can even be used as a plant-based egg replacer. Simply stir 1 tablespoon of ground chia seeds into 3 tablespoons of cold water and let sit for 15 minutes. The mixture will form a thick gel, which acts as a binder for vegan baking. They can also replace up to 25% of oil in baking. (5)

Strawberry Chia Pudding Recipe

Simple to assemble and no cooking required! This high-protein, high-fiber pudding requires only an overnight soak to thicken into pudding perfection. This lightly sweet treat will be your new breakfast favorite.

strawberry chia pudding
chia matcha pudding

Matcha Chia Pudding Recipe

Energize your morning with your own, homemade matcha chia pudding. This healthy breakfast treat offers 6 grams of plant-powdered protein per serving and a subtle caffeine kick. It’s easy-to-make and requires no cooking!

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