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2 silver spoons rested on a table, one containing white chia seeds and one with black chia seeds.

White VS Black Chia Seeds - What's The Difference?

Chia seeds, hailed as "superfoods" for their incredible health benefits, are edible seeds sourced from the Salvia hispanica (or chia) plant. In this exploration, we'll decipher the nuances between the two predominant colors of chia seeds – black and white – to uncover the subtleties that make them unique.

Chia seeds in heart-shaped bowls on a wooden table, with white and black chia seeds side by side.

What Are Chia Seeds?

Chia seeds, originating from the Salvia hispanica plant, are a member of the mint family native to Guatemala and Mexico. These hydrophilic seeds have a remarkable ability to absorb up to twelve times their weight in water, presenting colors ranging from black to mottled black and brown.

Surprisingly, both white and black chia seeds stem from the same plant species. The color variance is a result of a recessive gene for white seeds and a dominant gene for black ones. This intricate genetic dance results in the prevalence of black chia seeds, while white chia seeds stand as a rarer occurrence.

Benefits of Chia Seeds

Despite their small size, chia seeds pack a nutritional punch. Rich in fiber, with up to 40% content, they stand as one of the world's best sources of this essential nutrient. The fiber aids digestion, promotes gut health, and contributes to a sense of fullness, aiding weight loss by curbing hunger.                                                   


Both white and black chia seeds are also high in protein, offering additional benefits for satiety and overall nutrition. Additionally, they boast significant amounts of calcium, iron, copper, manganese, and phosphorus. Research suggests potential benefits in lowering blood sugar levels and reducing blood pressure, making chia seeds a valuable addition to a balanced diet. Check out these eight confirmed health benefits of chia seeds.

What Are the Differences Between White and Black Chia Seeds?

The primary distinction between white and black chia seeds lies in their color, a result of genetic variations. While they share the same species and exhibit nearly identical nutritional compositions, there are minute differences that, although challenging to distinguish, merit exploration.

So Why Are White Chia Seeds More Expensive?

If white and black chia seeds come from the same plants and have the same nutritional composition, why are white chia seeds more expensive? The answer is because they are seen as rare. Because far fewer white chia seeds are produced, growers can charge more for them, and consumers seem happy to pay the higher price for the more aesthetically pleasing seed colour. 

Nutritional Differences

  • Protein Content: On average, chia seeds contain 0.17 oz of protein per ounce. Black chia seeds generally have slightly more protein than their white counterparts, though the difference is minuscule.
  • ALA Omega-3 Fatty Acid: Chia seeds typically contain 0.18 oz of omega-3 fatty acid per one ounce. White chia seeds contain slightly less than black chia seeds in this regard.

White and Black Chia Seeds in Food

Despite their small nutritional differences, white and black chia seeds share an identical taste. They can be utilized interchangeably in various recipes and consumed in diverse ways. Whether added to cereals, smoothies, yogurts, or incorporated into bread or tortilla recipes, these versatile seeds offer culinary flexibility.

Chia seeds, known for their water-absorbing properties, can even be consumed raw without soaking. They can be sprinkled over food or ground into a gel-like substance for use as an egg replacement in baking.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, the disparities between white and black chia seeds are primarily confined to their color. Whether you opt for the more common black variety or the rarer white counterpart, you can enjoy the same nutritional advantages. If you’re happy to spend more on white chia seeds, they can be a novel alternative to ordinary black chia seeds, but they do not provide any additional health benefits. If your looking for top quality chia seeds, you can buy them from us here.

If you found this article interesting we recommend you check out our post on Everything You Need To Know About Chia Seeds.

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