A very tiny seed that is edible as a seed or is used for planting to produce sprouts. Easily digested, the chia seeds are black to white in color and are covered with a highly absorbent shell that can absorb over seven times its weight in water, producing a gelatin-like substance. The gel-like substance acts as a barrier to slow the release of carbohydrates and thus, enabling a slower conversion into glucose (blood sugar) as the seed is digested. High in protein, minerals and enzymes, the outer hull of this seed is an excellent source of fiber. The seed is also a good source of essential oils since it contains almost a third of its mass as omega 3 and omega 6 oils.