High Vs. Low Quality Chia Seeds: Telling The Difference

High Vs. Low Quality Chia Seeds: Telling The Difference

Contrary to popular belief, the use of chia seeds in a nutritious diet is not a thing of modern times. These seeds were a part of a daily diet possibly hundreds of years ago. Studies show that chia seeds may have been a staple in the Aztec diet. These nutritious seeds were likely popular among Native Americans local to the southwestern regions.

While those overnight oats or guilt-free puddings you love because of their chia twist may be a fairly modern concept, chia seeds were coveted as a superfood far, far back in history.

That said, you get to enjoy your chia-based breakfast and power smoothies if you get the best quality out there. When buying chia seeds, you may come across several brands at the same health food store or supermarket. And, you’ll see some difference in the way the chis seeds appear through the transparent part of the packaging.

Not sure which chia seed is subpar and which is high-quality? Lucky for you, this simple guide is all you need to identify the best quality chia seeds for your nutritious meals!

A Brief Look At Chia Seed’s Popularity

If you’re venturing the aisles containing chia seeds merely because you want to know what the hype is about, here’s what you need to know. Besides looking good on Instgrammed food, chia seeds are also full of health. The benefits for your body range from a lower risk of cardiac disease to stronger bones and teeth.

However, it’s the fiber-rich quality of chia seeds that takes the prize. Because of the high soluble fiber content, chia seeds work wonders for gut health. By improving digestion, these seeds can contribute to better absorption of nutrients and blood sugar regulation.

Moreover, chis seeds are also high in antioxidants, and contain plenty of protein, calcium, and omega 3 (ALA), making it truly deserving of its label—a superfood!

What Forms Of Chia Seeds Can You Buy?

You’ll find chia seeds in different forms when you go shopping, the most common kind being whole chia seeds. The other form is crushed chia seeds. Coarse chia seeds are common, whereas you’ll find various brands offering chia seed powder.

So, what’s the difference? Since it’s hard to get a minuscule grain of chia at home, or you may just prefer the inconvenience, chia seeds are available in powder form. These are perfect for smoothies and puddings or can be great as alternative thickeners for burger patties.

As for whole chia seeds, it’s best to chop these up, no matter if coarsely done, when you sprinkle them over salads or main dishes. Chia seeds swell up to 12 times their size when they absorb moisture, which is why chopping these makes for easier swallowing and digestion. As for puddings, overnight oats, and similar dishes, you can go ahead and use whole chia. Just make sure to chew every bite well.

Finally, you can also mix the whole chia with water, some lemon, honey, and salt to create a chia energy gel.

How To Know Which Chia Seeds Are Good?

Prioritize checking the label and ingredients before you buy chia seeds. And, of course, take the time to read a few reviews to ensure that you’re getting the absolute best quality product.

Here are the main factors you need to consider when you go shopping for chia seeds:

  • Understand What The Color Means

You’ll find chia seeds in two different colors: black speckled or white. The black chia seeds belong to plants with purple flowers, while white chia seed plants have white flowers.

While you may find some people claim that black chia are higher in antioxidants, most nutrition experts disagree. Also, there’s a belief that white chia seeds have slightly more protein and a mellower taste. Again, the nutritional content bit may be untrue, as researched. As for the taste part, either kind of chia seeds feel the same to some people—but you can go ahead and test these out yourself!

Brown chia seeds are a no-no. These may not be bad quality, but these are ‘immature’ seeds. The likely reason is that these did not receive enough sunlight and water to fully mature, or they may have been grown in unfavorable climates. As a result, not only may they feature a bitter taste, but also have minimal nutritional content.

  • Organic Vs. Inorganic

Here’s a fact: insects generally have a natural dislike for chia seeds. So the use of pesticides is wholly unnecessary…unless the weather conditions are extremely unfavorable. If you are on the lookout for the best quality chia seeds available, go for the organic kind.

Besides making an ethical decision and steering clear of chemicals in your diet, you also make a good choice regarding quality. The absence of pesticides in chia seeds shows that there were ideal conditions during growth—and you’re getting high-grade seeds.

  • Steer Clear From Processed Stuff

For buying top-notch chia seeds, favor the ones that are unprocessed form. High-temperature processing, ‘extra nutritious’ ingredients, and other additions are not needed. Chia seeds by their raw self are perfectly fine and very, very healthful—only simply purified to remove any natural contaminants. There’s an abundance of antioxidants and additional nutrients in chia seeds, all of which stand to lose potency due to high heat. Another reason why the label asks that you store your chia seeds in a cool, dry place.

If you find ‘treated’ , these are not what you call bad chia seeds, but what you call over-processed ones. Even when chia seeds are ground, brands focusing on high quality ensure that the use of milling machinery involves no heat.

Bottom Line: Looking For Quality Identifiers In Chia Seeds

It’s fairly simple; you go for either black-speckled or white chia seeds, not brown. Go for unprocessed, non-GMO, and certified organic seeds as well. And of course, check for labels that show that the chia seeds have been through testing for purity and quality standards—and you’re good to go to add these to your cart!

Healthy Lifestyle