- 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's tests of chia 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.
- Chia safety and side effects: 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).
Chia Seed Review – Whole, Ground, and Sprouted Seed, Seed Flour, & Supplements
Find the Best Chia Seeds, Sprouted Chia Powder, Flour, and Chia Supplements. Tests and Reviews of Chia Seeds & CL's Top Picks.
Chia seed products compared in this review
Better Body Foods Organic Chia Seeds
Food to Live Organic Chia Seed Flour
Navitas Organics Organic Chia Seeds
Nutiva Chia Seed Ground
Organic Traditions Sprouted Chia Seed Powder
Swanson Chia Seed
In addition the results of its expert testing, ConsumerLab uses only high-quality, evidence based, information sources. These sources include peer-reviewed studies and information from agencies such as the FDA and USDA, and the National Academy of Medicine. On evolving topics, studies from pre-print journals may be sourced. All of our content is reviewed by medical doctors and doctoral-level experts in pharmacology, toxicology, and chemistry. We continually update and medically review our information to keep our content trustworthy, accurate, and reliable. The following sources are referenced in this article:
- Burdge, Br J Nutr 2002
- Davis, Am J Clin Nutr 2003
- Ferreira, Nutr Hosp 2015
- Garland, BMJ Case Rep 2020
- Nieman, Nutrition Res 2009
- Silva, J Medicinal Foods 2020
- Simmelink, Case Rep Intern Med 2017
- Sorana, Am J Plant Sci 2018
- Tomas-Perez, J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2018
- USDA Food Data Central, 2019
- 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
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