The chaya plant is native to the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, and to parts of Guatemala. It is similar to spinach and other greens, but grows on a bush that can get to 3 meters (10 ft.) tall and 2 meters (6.5 ft.) wide. The leaves are about the size of an adult hand. Chaya leaves are one of the most nutritious vegetables in the world. For centuries, chaya was a staple food of the Mayans, and was known as chae, chatate, or chaya mansa. There are many varieties of chaya, but Estrella (Star) chaya is highest in nutrition and leaf mass. During dry or colder weather, chaya may lose leaves, but they will come back with the rains and sun.
- Published: 2012