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.
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.