White chia seeds are produced by the chia plant, or Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family. In its native form, the chia plant produces a mix of edible black, brown, and white seeds. These plant seeds packed with vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients were a staple crop for many Native American people. For many years, the benefits of chia seeds were largely forgotten, but research in recent years has brought chia back to the table, identifying these little seeds as a "superfood." Along the journey from relative obscurity to new fame, fresh varieties of the plant have been cultivated to produce only white seeds.
White Chia Seeds
For many years, when the most well-known use of chia was providing the "hair" on chia pets, small growers produced chia seeds. These days, as demand for it has risen with its popularity as a nutritional supplement, chia has become a commercial crop. As serious interest has been taken in chia, more sophisticated cultivation methods have been employed. Selective breeding practices have been used to cultivate chia that produces only white seeds, as opposed to the black, brown, and white mixture produced by the original plants.
White chia seeds are produced by a number of companies today, but among the first to put them on the market was Salba, who developed a trademarked variety of the chia plant through more than fourteen years of selective breeding. Research done on Salba seeds has shown them to be helpful in the control of diabetes, and led to the granting of a medical patent on the product. Salba maintains that its seeds are more consistent in nutritional value than the typical black chia seeds, offering reliable nutritional support. Many other varieties of premium white chia seeds have been developed, and are sold under a variety of brand names. Among these are:
High Demand for White Chia
In recent years, medicine has begun to move towards a more holistic approach to health, placing an increasing emphasis on disease prevention. Once virtually ignored by the health care industry, nutrition has emerged as an essential factor in preventative health maintenance. As a result, healthy, wholesome foods are back in style these days, and business is booming for health foods and nutritional supplements. Chia is no exception to this rule, its many benefits in the support of good health and nutrition making chia a rising star on the natural and alternative health scene.Grown under controlled conditions and bred for milder flavor and enhanced nutritional value, white chia has become a popular nutritional supplement among a wide variety of people. White chia is used by the weight conscious, its mild flavor blending into many foods without any aftertaste, and its soluble fiber helping to control appetite. Those interested in providing more wholesome snacks to their families have found white chia appealing, and it has even been used in some school cafeterias. Outdoor enthusiasts use these power packed little seeds as an energy food, and seniors use it to help reduce blood pressure, thin blood, and enhance fiber intake.
White Chia is very easy to integrate into the diet, an attribute that has enhanced its appeal. Chia seeds can be eaten whole by the handful, either raw or roasted, as a satisfying snack. Chia seeds are often added to baked goods to enhance fiber and nutrition, or used to thicken soups or sauces. Chia can be sprinkled on salads, or used as a topping for yogurt or puddings. White chia is particularly suited to such uses, as its mild flavor will not overpower other ingredients.
Many brands of white seeds advertise that their chia is more nutrient dense than black chia seeds, a claim that has yet to be conclusively proven. In fact, some opposing claims state that black seeds have more antioxidants than the white do. Others state that there is no difference due to the color of the seeds, attributing any nutrient differences from one seed to another to soil and growing conditions. However, one point on which there is general agreement is that chia seeds, white or black, are a nutrient rich food and a good addition to a healthy diet.