The Best Chia Seeds - Why My Choice
My choice… AZChia - I found that AZChia provides the best chia seeds consistently throughout the year by testing. You can read the details on how I do the tests. They aren't hard if you want to keep on top of what is good chia and what is not. Here's what you want to know and why:
Water Test - How much water will the chia seeds absorb. The results tell you:
- Available nutrition by indicating immature seed content, other types of seeds and foreign particles
- Electrolytes and hydration quality with chia gel
This first picture shows the chia seeds absorbing all the available water.
This second picture shows not all the water was absorbed by the same amount of chia seeds.
Important Note: Because lower quality chia seeds or debris may be present in the package, it's important to shake the package well to get the contents mixed well. The contents will absorb less water due to being poor quality.
Summary of steps you can take to ensure you know the extent of the immature or poor quality seeds in the package:
- Shake the package before using it the first time
- Use the water test to determine the chia seed absorption capacity
- Repeat water test until you see more water above the chia seed level
- Note results to compare if you decide to try another brand
Tip: Use more water than what you think the seeds can absorb so you get a true picture of their full absorption capacity.
Water Chia Seeds
- 1/2 C 1 Tbsp
- 3/4 C 1 Tbsp
- 1 C 1 Tbsp
- 1.5 C 1 Tbsp
You can start out with just the 1/2 C to 1 Tbsp and see if you have standing water above the chia gel after setting overnight in the fridge. This will tell you how much the chia seeds are able absorb the water in their fibers.
If all the water is used by the chia, that's good. You should increase the water to 3/4 C using 1 Tbsp. If all the water is used by the chia this time, that's even better. Go to the next step of 1 C to 1 Tbsp and see what that does.
When you reach a point where the chia gel is less than the amount of water, you have reached it's maximum capacity. You can gage the amount of available nutrition by how mature the seeds are. The immature seeds have not finished their growth cycle where the available nutrients are ready to sprout. A sproutible seed indicates all nutrients are in place and ready for new growth. Immature seeds may sprout but the resulting plant may be puny or feeble. I am looking for good sound nutrition from my chia seeds.
By testing for the fullest amount of hydration, you will be getting more for your money in electrolytes and hydration for your body. The highest water to chia seed ratio I have found was 24 Tbsp water (1.5 C) to 1 Tbsp chia seeds.
The hydration factor is important for you to maintain enough fluid to nourish all parts of the body. The electrolytes are made of chia mineral ions which help distribute the fluids to the body extremities.
How I Came to Find the Best...
Years ago, I found the best chia seeds quite by accident. I came across a brand of chia seeds called Chian. I happened to read an article in NaturalNews where a Dr Wayne Coates was being interviewed by a Dr. Fred Liers. It just so happened that Dr Coates had a mission...
(as stated by Dr. Coates in the NaturalNews article.) "to disseminate information about chia to people and to help raise their awareness. And we make high-quality chia available at low cost. That is what we are up to basically."
Since I was always looking for new healthy products to try out, I was captivated. I came to realize that Dr. Coates has been the guiding influence on bringing chia to the world after being purposely removed as a food source over 400 years ago.
So... as I did more research, I became hooked on this brand of chia that Dr Coates was selling. This was the Chian brand of chia. I was amazed at how I began to feel after adding it to my diet. Certainly not what I would have expected from those little chia seeds I played around with earlier.
Taste Didn't Disclose the Best Chia Seeds
I did some testing over time, buying some chia seeds from a bulk bin at a local health food store. It was definitely lacking something but I couldn't tell by taste. I later learned that many factors influence the chia quality. Chian seemed to come from the best location with all the correct growing conditions. Something was very right about this product which was missing in other brands.
The Best Chia Seeds Disappeared
Well, a sad thing happened after I got really "into" this chia and making it a part of my healthy food diet. Wayne Coates sold his Chian product line to a company that took it off the market. I couldn't understand why they would take such a valuable product off the market.
I later learned that the company taking over the Chian product line was a network marketing company that made it into a form of chia powder. The change in processing and marketing was positioned to claim a higher price, more than 5 to 10 times what I had been paying. I was not interested so...
I began a two year search for a replacement. I never found a brand that replaced the Chian but I did find a couple that I settled on for awhile.
Then I found the Navitas brand. It claimed to be organic, although that was not a requirement for me. (I've grown to love sustainable as much as organic when grown right.) Now Navitas chia seeds have become an acceptable replacement, at least until...
Hold On - My Best Chia Seeds Came Back!
I learned that Dr. Coates was again distributing chia seeds under a new company. I was over-joyed thinking I would get my Chian brand of chia seeds back. I cautiously compared prices before trying to determine which are the best chia seeds. This is what I found...
I began comparing the Navitas Chia Seeds (which I liked), the Nutiva Chia Seeds (which I never tried before but liked the Nutiva Hemp Seeds) and then the AZChia from Dr. Coates.
I then tried all three brands several times throughout the following year. Some very enlightening information came out of that year. At first I started taking a lot of pictures of the chia gel and comparing all three, one against the other. What I ended up comparing was how well they absorbed water when making the chia gel. It was amazing to see the differences I found throughout the year in color and size.
Sometimes Navitas Chia Seeds would hold more water and the seeds seem to be larger. Then I'd get a batch of Navitas that seem to hold less water as a gel and I'd feel like I'd gotten a bad batch. Same thing with the Nutiva. In early summer, I purchased a large bag of Nutiva and the seeds were wonderful. When that ran out, I purchased a small 8 oz size from my local health food store. They were so different and I was back to feeling like I had just bought a bad batch. It became very confusing for me. How was I going to really tell which were the best chia seeds? Each new batch seemed to change.
I would buy the AZChia and they seemed to be consistently the same size when I created the gel. I could see that one time Navitas performed better than AZChia, and one time Nutiva performed better, but then I would get the batches that were so disappointing. AZChia continued to look and behave better than both the other two brands, consistently throughout the year.
Oh Dear! My Kitchen Turned into A Science Lab
I decided to do more tests and my husband Glen, having a scientific mind, gave me pointers in creating various tests to see what information I could come up with. I have to say, I came up with quite a bit. So much, that I decided to write an ebook. I did write that ebook but after publishing it, I was informed that I had named the ebook a name that had been trademarked. So... I am in the process of changing the name and breaking the ebook into a series of mini ebooks.
I should have the first one published soon with more to follow.
I have to say, AZChia is the best chia seeds to buy consistently throughout the year. They are actually the cheapest while being consistently better than the other two I was testing.
I have tried other brands as well. One was Rainforest, and I recommended that brand on my website. But after two people bought it and found it to be a lessor quality than what I had purchased, I've had to change my mind. It fell into the same category that Navitas and Nutiva fell into.
As more and more people find out about chia, the better chia is not always found from season to season. Some of the companies or suppliers have to look for other sources. This has not resulted in consistently good chia from the research I've done. The companies that have reliable and well managed chia farms throughout the year are able to consistently deliver the best chia seeds year round.
AZChia seems to be one of those companies. The chia seeds quality does fluctuate from season to season but not dramatically different like I've encountered from other companies.
The price for AZChia still seems to be lower than most other brands. They sell 1.5 lbs at a time instead of .5 lbs or 1 lb. Also sell lower prices for larger quantities at a time. If you'd like to try their chia, just go to the AZChia Store and have a look around.
And, please feel free to email me (see my address below) if you have questions. I am always happy to respond.
Go to Chia Seeds, How Much a Day from Best Chia Seeds.