Thanks to their useful properties, chia seeds have become widely popular in the last few years and everyone has tried at least one of the numerous chia pudding recipes. Chia seeds are some of the healthiest foods on the planet. But what you may not know is that seeds come in different colors. White chia seeds vs black chia seeds – this is what we shall talk about today. We shall see what the differences are, what the benefits are and how to use this superfood.
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White Chia Seeds vs Black Chia Seeds – What Is the Difference?
Do you know that “Chia” is an ancient Mayan word for strength? Thousands of years ago, chia seeds were a staple food of the ancient Aztecs and Mayans. Chia seeds were, after beans and corn, the third most important crop for the Aztecs.
White chia seeds vs black chia seeds – what is the difference? Both types of seeds come from the Salvia hispanica plant but from different varieties. The most obvious difference between white and black chia seeds is color. The difference in color is due to genetics. Experts explain that with heredity. The black chia gene is dominant and that’s why most seeds are dark in color. The variety Salvia hispanica plant that has purple flowers yields brown seeds which we call black chia while the variety with white flowers produces only white seeds.
What Is the Nutritional Difference between White and Black Chia Seeds?
The main difference between white and black chia seeds is that that black variety contains anthocyanins. This is the dark colored pigment in foods like blueberries, blackberries, ruby chard, beets, plums, black beans, etc. The darker the color, the more anthocyanins it contains. Why anthocyanins are important? Because they have antioxidant properties and help fight free radical damage to the body. As you know, free radicals can lead to premature aging and inflammation in the body. In addition, black chia seeds have a slightly higher protein content. White chia seeds contain more alpha-linolenic acid which is due to the higher oil levels. However, it must be noted that the differences are minimal and hardly noticeable.
Otherwise both white and black chia seeds are packed with fiber, protein, Omegas 3, 6, and 9, vitamins, calcium and phosphorous, etc. These nutrients have many beneficial effects on our health:
- help lower blood pressure and cholesterol;
- reduce risk against heart disease and diabetes;
- calcium and phosphorous promote bone strength;
- Anthocyanins are beneficial against cancer, aging, neurological disease, inflammation, bacterial infections, etc.
White Chia Seeds vs Black – Is There a Difference in the Taste?
Despite the minor differences in nutritional properties, white and black chia seeds have the same taste. By mixing the two kinds of chia seeds, you won’t miss out on any of the valuable benefits. When you buy chia seeds from the supermarket, usually it is a mixture of both white and black seeds but the black variety is dominant in every package which is due to production and yield.
Are Chia Seeds Good for Weight Loss?
When it comes to weight loss, chia seeds are recommended for their fiber and Omega-3 content which is beneficial to weight loss. Many people are worried to include chia to their menu when they want to lose weight because it’s not a low calorie product. But if you look at the nutritional value and health benefits in general, these are “healthy” calories. The amount of fiber makes you feel full and reduces the desire to eat other foods.
How much chia seeds should you consume daily for weight loss? Generally, the recommended amount is up to 2 tablespoons per day. Chia seeds can absorb 12 times more liquid than their own weight. When they interact with water, they form a gel that, when absorbed into the stomach, improves its salt balance and prevents the absorption of large amounts of carbohydrates, thereby reducing appetite.
Can You Eat Raw Chia Seeds?
Yes, you can! Sprinkle them on top of your smoothie, for example or add them to your bowl of oatmeal. Chia seeds are often added to pastry or bread but as you know, high temperatures destroy most of the important ingredients of the seeds. The best way to consume chia seeds is to soak them for at least 20 minutes.