As we enter the 3rd millennium, with improved life expectancy, and high media coverage of health care issues, people are becoming more aware of and interested in the potential benefits of nutritional support for disease control or prevention. The review aimed to gather published information regarding nutrition and health benefits associated with the use of chia seeds for human health. Researchers have reported chia seeds to have high nutritional content in the form of protein (15-25%), dietary fibre (18-35%), fat (15-35%) and ash content (4-6%). Apart from their rich nutritional content, chia seeds can improve the nutritional content of various food products when they are blended or mixed. This article reviews the nutritional content, bioactive compounds, and nutraceutical functionality of chia seeds and their use in the development of functional foods. Also highlights functional properties of chia seeds, usage in the food industry and fortification of food with chia seeds. The results showed the potential use of chia seeds with blending with other food to produce more nutrient dense food products that can be regarded as a functional food.
Key words: Chia seeds, functional foods, bioactive compounds, nutraceuticals, fortification.
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