In our ever evolving quest to get to know our food and really try to improve our nutrition, we continue to come across many new products and unfamiliar items. While some of these offer nothing more than empty promises of unrealistic caliber, many are actually ancient super foods that are just now being revived back into our society.
One of those items is Salba. You may not be familiar with the name at the start, but this is a product that is well worth getting to know as it is one of nature’s most powerful ancient nutritional sources.
Perhaps you would be more familiar with Salba if the name Chia was mentioned. Well in this article I will introduce you fully to Salba, cover the differences between it and Chia and answer many more important and useful questions in getting to know this powerful little seed that holds an amazing nutritional potential for us all.
What is Salba?
Salba is the branded name of a tiny seed that is grown and cultivated in South America. Its botanical name is Salvia hispanica L. It is known for its excellent source of various nutrients like vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids.
It is so distinctive in fact, that it is the only food that is the subject of a US medical patent.
What types of nutritional benefits does Salba have?
Salba is a nutritional powerhouse. For every 12g (roughly 1.5 – 2 tablespoons) of the seeds, you get:
Total Fat: 4.14g
Saturated fat: 0.41g
Monounsaturated fat: 0.23g
Polyunsaturated fat: 3.50g
Omega 3: 2.5g
Omega 6 : 0.65g
Omega 9: 0.25g
Total Carbohydrates: 4.5g
Dietary Fiber: 4.2g (gram for gram more fiber than any known food)
Soluble Fiber: 0.42g
Insoluble Fiber: 3.7g
(gram for gram 4 times more vegetable protein than kidney beans)
(Gram for gram 2 times more than bananas)
(Gram for gram 15 times more than broccoli)
(Gram for gram 6 times more than milk)
(Gram for gram 3 times more than spinach)
Vitamin B1 (thiamine): 0.09mg
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): 0.02mg
Vitamin B3 (niacin): 0.86mg
Folic Acid: 0.01mg
And has an ORAC value of 840
(Gram for gram 4 times more antioxidants than blueberries)
It is the highest known whole food form of dietary fiber and omega-3 found in nature.
Is Salba the same as Chia?
No. Botanically Salba is Salvia hispanica L. while Chia is Salvia hispanica. Salba was cultured from the white Chia seeds and through natural selective breeding techniques bred to become nutritionally superior to the original Chia seeds. Thus Salba is the next generation of Chia.
Where is Salba grown?
Salba is strictly grown in Peru’s pristine Amazon basin under a strict genetic ID program that allows Salba’s nutritional composition to stay intact crop after crop.
Chia on the other hand is typically grown in Mexico under various conditions such as GMO farming, extensive pesticide/herbicide use and substandard employee practices.
Is Salba’s nutrition documented scientifically?
Yes. Salba has been documented in long-term human nutritional studies and has been studied for the past 15 years. It has been extensively researched by the Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor and Modification Center at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, ON and The University of Toronto, Faculty of Nutritional Sciences, and Faculty of Medicine, Canada.
What health benefits can I expect from Salba?
- · Reduction in Inflammation
- · Reduction in Systolic Blood Pressure
- · Improvement in blood Coagulation
- · Control of Diabetes
- · Help with Weight Management
- · Decreased risk of cancers
- · Improved bowel movement and colon health
- · Improved overall health and vitality
What does Salba taste like?
Salba does not have any particular taste and hence can be a complement to any food dish.
Is Salba genetically modified?
No. Salba was cultivated using natural selective breeding techniques.
Is Salba organic?
There is both a conventional and organically grown version of Salba.
Is Salba safe for Celiac’s Disease?
Yes. Salba is gluten free.
Is Salba suitable for Diabetics?
Yes. Salba can actually help to stabilize blood glucose as it is virtually sugar free. Salba can also decrease cardiovascular risk in diabetics.
Is Salba suitable for vegans or vegetarians?
Yes. It is a 100% plant food.
Is Salba safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding?
Yes. Salba’s rich calcium and iron content make it excellent for women in their child bearing years, nursing and beyond menopause.
Is Salba suitable for children?
Yes. Salba can help provide the key nutrients children and adolescents need to develop into strong and healthy adults.
Does Salba require cooking?
No. The Salba seeds are eaten in their raw, natural state.
How much Salba should I eat daily?
A serving of Salba (12g – 1.5 tablespoonfuls) is a sufficient daily amount. More should not necessarily be eaten as with any other vitamin, mineral or highly nutritious food it can cause a nutritional imbalance in the body.
How do I incorporate Salba into my diet?
Salba can be added to literally any meal:
- Shakes, smoothies and yogurts
- Sprinkled on fruit or vegetable salads
- Sprinkled on soups
- Sprinkled on cereal
- Sprinkled on pasta, rice or any other main dish
- In baked goods
Where can I buy Salba?
Salba is sold in various health food stores and online stores throughout North America.
How do I store Salba?
Salba is best stored in a cool and dry place. This may include the refrigerator but is not necessary.
How much does Salba cost?
A 360g of conventionally grown Salba bag, which provides 30 servings or a month’s worth if eaten daily, ranges in cost from $20 – $30.
Evita Ochel, B.Sc., B.Ed., CHN - is a certified holistic nutritionist, biologist, educator, writer, researcher and speaker in the areas of health, science and holistic wellness. She is a nutritional science expert and her teaching and writing focus on natural, wholesome, plant-based and organic nutrition to achieve optimal health and longevity.
Latest posts by Evita Ochel (see all)
- Eat to Gain, Not to Lose and Feel Great About Your Food! - September 22, 2010
- Get To Know Salba – Nature’s Super Little Seed - February 6, 2009
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