Best Chia Brands

Question:  

So whats the best chia brands u can buy at a store and not online??

Answer

Thanks for writing.  I wish I could tell you the best chia brands to buy in your local area.  I've bought a few at stores but they weren't good consistently.  Here's what I did buy and what others have reported were good. I've also bought the same brand again and found foreign particles in them.  Or, I found a lot of the chia seeds were immature.  

  • Navitas - I've purchased many packages from them locally and over the Internet.  I liked them sometimes and sometimes very disappointed.  This is a good choice to start with.
  • Rainforest - I tried them once and found them to have a great product.  Then I recommended the brand to two different friends who had bad experiences. I'd pass on this one at this point.
  • Spectrum - I've never tried them but a friend did and they seemed to be okay.  This was one report only so I can't say how consistent their chia quality is throughout the year.  You might try this one and follow my test procedures. (see below)
  • Frontier - Another friend bought this at her local health food store from the bulk bin.  She tested it according to some of my tests and it performed better than the Rainforest she had purchased on my recommendation.  You might try this one as well but I recommend you do the tests as well.

What Do Bad Chia Seeds Look Like?

During my research, I took a lot of pictures and would like to give you an idea of what is good and what is not so good. 

I had bad luck with some white chia that I bought from my local health food store. The brand came from a reputable company so I called them up to let them know what I had found in the package along with the chia. (I did have good luck with their black chia several months earlier.) 

They asked me to send them a picture which I did. Then they asked me to send a sample so they could investigate further. I sent the rest of the package back. Here's the picture I sent them to give you an idea of what my store chia seeds package had in it.  

Glen had gone through a portion of the package with a small magnifier and pulled out the foreign particles.  He then took the picture with the camera looking through the magnifier.  

The above doesn't mean you only get debris in white chia but I never found so many odd particles in the black or brown chia.  Here's another brand with the black seeds.  You'll see some debris but not as much as the white chia above.  They are also different brands.

These seeds may have been exposed to moisture that made them stick together. Also, notice the small amount of debris and one odd seed there?

How do We Get Bad Seeds?

The problem I discovered when buying chia from various companies was they seem to have to rely on an exporter to find them good chia.  

If they are really good companies, they will have their own small farms to work with directly and can oversee the growing, harvesting and screening before packaging. Because of the demand for chia increased dramatically over the last two or three years, well meaning companies had to find new sources to meet the demand.

They ended up going to large exporters for chia. These exporters would get chia from many small farmers, some more ethical and educated in growing chia seeds than others.

In the coming years, many companies will get better but some will get worse. It's important to learn how to look at what you buy to find the best chia brands. Just keep in mind... a lot of good brands may have some of the plant bits or broken seeds along with the good seeds. Overall they are edible and will still enhance your nutrition. 

Look Closely at Your Chia

Always take a really good look inside the package so you know what to expect from the company in the future. This could take several times throughout the year to get a feel for the brand.

You won't see any foreign particles unless you look for them closely, or with a little magnifier.  

Here's the magnifier, Glen used to see the particles up close.

Examples: Good and Best Chia Brands

The next picture has some broken seeds. Also look at that brown seed that got mixed in there. This package had a majority of good chia seeds. Broken seeds are still edible so I don't concern myself over them.

I don't keep them around for more than six months so feel there shelf life is quite stable for that length of time with broken seeds.

Below is a picture of the best chia brand to look for. This is the perfect hispanica chia.  An entire package of this quality is probably rare. That's because we do not live in a perfect world. But look for the majority of your hispanica seeds for this quality and you'll do well.

There are also other tests to do to determine other important qualities. I suggest you read over these two other articles (links below) and do the tests once you get some chia. Then you'll kind of know what you have.  

Best Chia Seeds - Why My Choice?

Chia Seed - Water Test

If you are not into testing of this nature, you might want to check out the AZChia that I recommend. They are the least expensive that I've found while being consistently high quality. You buy them over the Internet.    

They have a lot to do with the growing, harvesting, screening and packaging, all year round. For this reason, I feel they will maintain this quality I've been seeing over the last couple of years.

Sincerely,

Janis

You can learn more about chia.

Just go to Chia Seed FAQ from Best Chia Brands