Salvia hispanica , commonly known as chia , is a species of flowering plant in the mint family, Lamiaceae, native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala. The 16th-century Codex Mendoza provides evidence that it was cultivated by the Aztec in pre-Columbian times; economic historians have suggested it was as important as maize as a food crop.  Ground or whole chia seeds are still used in Paraguay , Bolivia, Argentina , Mexico and Guatemala for nutritious drinks and as a food source
Chia is grown commercially for its seed , a food that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids , since the seeds yield 25–30% extractable oil , including α-linolenic acid (ALA). Of total fat, the composition of the oil can be 55% ω-3 , 18% ω-6 , 6% ω-9 , and 10% saturated fat. 
Chia seeds are typically small ovals with a diameter of about 1 mm (0.039 in). They are mottle-colored with brown, gray, black and white. The seeds are hydrophilic, absorbing up to 12 times their weight in liquid when soaked. While soaking, the seeds develop a mucilaginous gel-like coating that gives chia- based beverages a distinctive texture.
Chia seed is traditionally consumed in Mexico , and the southwestern United States , but is not widely known in Europe . Chia (or chian or chien) has mostly been identified as Salvia hispanica L. Today, chia is grown commercially in its native Mexico , and in Bolivia, Argentina , Ecuador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Australia . In 2008, Australia was the world's largest producer of chia.  A similar species, Salvia columbariae or golden chia, is used in the same way but is not grown commercially for food. Salvia hispanica seed is marketed most often under its common name "chia",but also under several trademarks.
According to the USDA , a one ounce (28 gram) serving of chia seeds contains 9 grams of fat, 5 milligrams of sodium , 11 grams of dietary fiber , 4 grams of protein , 18% of the recommended daily intake of calcium , 27% phosphorus and 30% manganese.  These nutrient values are similar to other edible seeds, such as flax or sesame .
In 2009, the European Union approved chia seeds as a novel food , allowing up to 5% of a bread product's total matter. 
Chia seeds may be added to other foods as a topping or put into smoothies , breakfast cereals , energy bars , granola bars , yogurt , tortillas , bread , made into a gelatin-like substance or consumed raw. 
 The gelatin -gel can be used to replace as much as 25% of egg content and oil in cakes while providing other nutrients. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvia_hispanica