White Chia Seeds
The word Salba is a combination of chia’s scientific name Salvia hispanica L. and the Latin name for white, “Alba”.
In addition to Salba, there are many other varieties of premium white chia seeds that have been developed, and are sold under a variety of trademark and brand names.
White Chia Seeds – Fact and Fiction
Many brands of white chia seeds advertise that their chia is more nutrient dense than black chia seeds, a claim that has yet to be conclusively proven through scientific study.
And statistically speaking, there is no difference in the nutritional content of Salba (white seed) vs. normal chia seeds (white/black/mottled seed (Salvia hispanica).
While the overall nutritional profiles are basically identical, for example, protein, fiber, fat, etc., the black chia seed has an ORAC rating quite a bit higher than the white seed. Ten points to be precise, which is quite a large gap.
What is ORAC?
(ORAC) stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, in other words it is a way to measure antioxidant capacities in biological samples (foods).
Numerous types of foods have been tested using this method, and certain berries, spices, and legumes have been rated highly over other types of food.
The belief is that if a fruit or vegetable has a high antioxidant property, then it directly correlates to superior health benefits of consuming said food, which goes to fighting free radical damage, helping to prevent disease and to slow aging.
The increasing availability of the white seeds just goes to show that if you plant white chia seeds, you get white chia, and if you plant black seeds, you get black chia.
White chia seeds and black chia seeds are very close in nutrition, as the black chia has a tad more antioxidants than white chia, but white chia has a bit more protein.
White chia seeds do not have a pigment based antioxidant called Quercetin and therefore have one less antioxidant than black Chia.
However, there is one thing we can agree on and that is chia seeds, white or black, are a nutrient rich food and a good addition to a healthy diet.
White Chia Seeds – Climate and Soil Produces Superior Seeds
In its native form, the chia plant produces a mix of edible black, brown, and white seeds. Studies suggest the most nutritious chia seed is grown in cool temperatures and high altitude.
Since things like the soil and temperature of the place that the plant is grown does affect the nutrient content, both black and white chia seeds grown in the same area will have their entire nutritional content and not just protein alone being identical.
Whether you prefer white chia seeds or dark chia seeds, it just goes to show that all colors of chia seeds are equally nutritious if they are grown under the same conditions. So stop worrying about color and think, location!