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What is chia seed? Chia seeds are small, edible seeds that are highly nutritious and particularly rich in fiber (which forms an edible gel when the seeds are added to liquid). They are also a good source of healthful oils (particularly the omega-3 fatty acid ALA) and a range of minerals and vitamins. (See What It Is).
What does chia seed do? Although highly nutritious, taking chia as a supplement not been shown to prevent or treat any health condition. (See What It Does).
What did CL find? Among the tested chia seed products (including whole seed, ground seed, sprouted seed, seed flour, and a chia seed dietary supplement), ConsumerLab discovered one to be contaminated with lead and to contain amounts of nutrients very different from those listed on its label. All other products passed testing and provided similar amounts of nutrients to one another, although cost ranged several-fold across products to obtain the same amount of chia seed. (See What CL Found).
Which is the best chia seed product? Among the products that passed testing and were "Approved" for their quality, CL selected a Top Pick for chia seed, costing less than half the price of other products.
What are the side effects or other concerns with chia seeds? Chia seeds readily absorb water and expand and can, therefore, be a choking hazard if consumed dry. Leave them in liquid for at least 10 minutes before consuming. The high fiber content may cause some gastrointestinal side effects and the seeds may cause allergic reactions in some people. Salmonella contamination has occurred in sprouted chia seed products, so ConsumerLab tested all products for Salmonella and other pathogenic organisms. (See Concerns and Cautions).
You must be a member to get the full test results along with ConsumerLab.com recommendations and quality ratings. You will get results for six chia seed products (including whole and ground chia seeds, sprouted chia seed powder, chia seed flour, and a chia seed supplement) selected for testing by ConsumerLab.com.
In this comprehensive review, you'll discover:
Which chia seed products failed our tests and which ones passed
CL's Top Pick among products as the best chia seed based on quality, taste and price
The differences between whole, ground and sprouted chia seed, as well as chia seed flour and a chia seed supplement
The health benefits of chia seeds, and evidence for and against chia seeds for cardiovascular health and weight loss
Whether chia seeds are really a good source of omega-3s
Which chia seeds are contaminated with heavy metals like lead or bacteria like Salmonella
The best way to prepare and store chia seeds
Safety and other potential concerns with consuming chia seeds