Chia Seeds and other Seeds - Main Omega 3 Sources for Vegetarians


Visit the Chia Seeds and other Seeds Project

Chia - an exceptionally well-balanced food: The seeds of the chia plant are one of the richest sources of the n-3 PUFA alpha linolenic acid (ALA). They are high in fiber, complete protein, antioxidants and minerals. They are gluten-free and have a low glycemic index. They have an uncommonly long shelf life.


What history does chia have as a food?

Chia (Salvia hispanica) seeds were an important food of the Aztecs for several centuries, declining in importance during the Spanish conquest. Chia has been revived as a food crop in Mexico, and elsewhere in South America, during the twentieth century and is now grown extensively in other parts of the globe such as Australia.

What advantages does chia have as a food?

The seeds are versatile due to their relatively soft casing and have a very long shelf-life, lasting for more that a year. They provide an array of nutritional benefits with no apparent shortcomings. Being high in dietary fiber, they are also an excellent regulator of the alimentary system.

How does chia compare with flax?

Flax has great potential as an n-3 food source. Although critics of flax seeds cite the toxins they contain, these may well be present in small enough quantities to allay any fears. The hard seed coatings are a more tangible disadvantage when compared with chia and the ready-made flax oil has a very short shelf-life due to its oxidative potential.

Visit the Chia Seeds and other Seeds Project