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What Is Chia Seed Oil?

By Janet Renee, MS, RD

Chia oil has generated buzz due to its rich omega-3 fatty acid content. The oil is made from the edible seed of the Salvia hispanica plant. You can cook with the oil in place of unhealthy oils. The seeds themselves contain high amounts of oil, so you don't necessarily need to use the oil by itself to reap the benefits. Chia seeds are fiber-rich with a neutral flavor, making them versatile. You can add them to your favorite beverage, sprinkle them on a salad or top your yogurt with them.

Chia Oil Benefits

Approximately 25 to 40 percent of the chia seed is composed of oil and 60 percent of the oil is made of omega-3 fatty acids. Your body is unable to manufacture omega-3 fats, making it essential for you to get them from your diet. While human studies are needed, chia seeds and oil appear to promote healthy cholesterol levels, according to an animal study published in the 2007 edition of the journal "Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism." The researchers found that feeding rats chia oil, whole seeds or ground seeds exerted beneficial effects on cholesterol.

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