Black Vs White Chia Seeds

Black Vs White Chia Seeds — What’s The Difference?

Two types of chia seeds exist: black and white. Both varieties are quite popular and highly nutritious, but they differ in a couple of ways. Black chia seeds have a higher protein content than white chia seeds, but since white chia seeds are more rare, they cost a bit more. To help you decide which black or white chia seeds to use in your next recipe, we will discuss how these two varieties differ.

What Are Chia Seeds?

Salvia hispanica, a mint plant native to Mexico and Central America, was cultivated by the Aztecs and Mayans for centuries. Chia seeds have a diameter of 1 millimeter.

Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Peru currently grow chia seeds commercially.

The seeds of the chia plant contain omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein, and antioxidants. They can be eaten whole or ground into flour for baking.

Chia seeds can be used as an egg substitute in vegan recipes when soaked in water.

A variety of health benefits have been linked to chia seeds, including lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and reduced inflammation.

Chia seeds contain both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are vital to maintaining a healthy body balance.

Cell membranes are supported by these essential fatty acids, and inflammation is regulated by them.

A good source of vitamins A, B, D, and E, chia seeds are also good for skin, eyes, and bones.

Additionally, they contain iron, sulfur, iodine, magnesium, niacin, and thiamine, minerals that help the body produce energy and support the immune system.

A final benefit of chia seeds is that they are rich in antioxidants, which help prevent cell damage caused by free radicals.

The popularity of chia seeds as a superfood has grown in recent years due to all these reasons.

Black Vs White Chia Seeds — Similarities And Differences 

Chia seeds were once cultivated separately in Central America, but over time white chia seed production diminished, and black chia seed became more common.

Most chia seeds on the market today contain both white and black seeds!

There are both black and white chia seeds in a bag of chia seeds. The black seeds have a grainy, patterned swirl, while the white seeds are rare.

There are some slight differences in terms of nutrition, use, and cost between the two types of chia seeds. These seeds are both good sources of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and minerals like iron and magnesium.


Color is, of course, the most obvious difference between black and white chia seeds.

A bag of chia seeds from the supermarket usually contains both black and white seeds, as black and white chia seeds can be harvested from the same plant.


Black chia seeds have a higher protein content than white chia seeds, which results in slightly higher crop yields.

The higher protein content of black chia seeds is due to the fact that they contain more essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are necessary for the body to create proteins.

As a result, black chia seeds have a higher protein content than white chia seeds.

White chia seeds contain slightly more ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) than black chia seeds, probably due to their higher oil content.

Note that these differences are very marginal, which means that choosing one type over the other will not have a noticeable impact on the benefits you can receive.


There are some slight differences in nutrients between the two types of chia seeds, but they both taste the same.

A chia seed’s flavor is actually determined by the coating, not its color. Different oils make up the coating, which is what gives chia seeds their nutty taste.

Color may affect the aesthetics of the dish, which many believe can also enhance the flavor, but it is a chef’s decision.


To yield bigger crops of black and white chia seeds, farmers have experimented with separating and planting the seeds separately.

Because of this, you can now purchase white chia seeds on their own, whereas previously you had to buy both black and white seeds in a mixed bag!

The plant will still produce 5–8% of white chia seeds when planted with black chia seeds, but the majority will be black seeds. When planting white chia seeds, the majority of the yield will be white, beige, or tan seeds.

Black chia seeds are usually sold with a few white chia seeds mixed in, while white chia seeds can be sold with just the white variety.


There is a greater price difference between white chia seeds and black chia seeds, since white chia seeds are less readily available.

People keep black chia seeds in their pantries for this very reason!


There is a difference in color between black and white chia seeds, which makes them great for garnishing light-colored dishes, like yogurt.

Moreover, black chia seeds are usually used to extract oil, while white chia seeds can be ground into flour. Chia flour can also be used as a vegan alternative to eggs.

Since white chia seeds have a softer shell, they are easy to break down into gel-like substances that thicken smoothies and puddings.

The only major difference between black and white chia seeds is their color. You can consume both raw or sprinkle them over your favorite smoothie, yogurt, or cereal. You can also make bread or tortillas with them.

When To Use Black Vs White Chia Seeds

The taste and nutritional profile of black and white chia seeds are similar, so you don’t need to choose one over the other.

When making a dish, you can choose a seed color that complements the dish aesthetically.

With chia seeds, you’ll never have to worry about quality or nutrition.

Things To Avoid When Buying Chia Seeds

Brown seeds are actually immature chia seeds that have not yet developed their full nutritional profile, which is why most black and white chia seeds are black or white.

Brown chia seeds either lack sufficient sunlight and water to mature properly or have been damaged by frost and harsh weather.

Brown chia seeds may not offer the same nutritional benefits as other varieties, but they are also not harmful.

Be sure to check the color of the chia seeds before making a purchase, so you can choose a bag that mainly contains black and white seeds.

Related Questions 

The following questions may also be of interest to you now that we’ve learned all about black and white chia seeds.

Can you substitute chia seeds with linseeds? 

Linseeds, also known as flax seeds, contain about the same amount of protein and fiber as chia seeds. Linseeds are slightly larger in size than chia seeds.

Linseeds are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. While omega-3s can be found in many foods, linseeds contain more of this beneficial nutrient than chia seeds.

Thus, linseeds are a great alternative to chia seeds!

What’s the best way to enjoy chia seeds? 

The versatility of chia seeds makes them a great addition to a variety of dishes, whether they’re eaten whole, ground, soaked, or raw.

  • To add texture to salads or cereals, whole chia seeds can be sprinkled on top, and ground chia seeds can be used as an egg substitute in vegan baking.

  • Adding raw chia seeds to smoothies or yogurt will boost protein and fiber content.

  • A variety of healthy pudding recipes can be made with soaked chia seeds. Chia seeds form a thick gel when soaked, which can also be used as a thickener.

You can enjoy chia seeds in a variety of ways depending on how you prefer.

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