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How to Grow Chia Seeds

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

Story at-a-glance -

  • Long prized as a food and medicine by the indigenous peoples of Mexico and Central America, chia has more recently been hailed as a superfood due to its high levels of omega-3 fats, dietary fiber and protein
  • Chia seeds, which can be eaten whole, contain high amounts of calcium and are a good source of B vitamins, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc
  • Chia is easy to grow, hardy in USDA zones 8 to 11 and thrives in well-drained sandy loam soils
  • Chia seeds are great sprinkled on salads or added to smoothies and you might want to try my Guilt-Free Chia Pudding recipe

If you were alive in the 1970s and 80s, you undoubtedly remember the "chia pet" craze. Cultivating one of these characters was easily accomplished by applying moistened chia seeds to a grooved terra cotta figurine and watering them daily until they sprouted. Because chia seeds become gel-like when wet, they adhered to the pottery in such a way as to create tuffs of green sprouts that mimicked fur, hair and beards.

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