Don’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of Salba. It’s the latest grain product being introduced to the United States for its health properties. It’s actually a tiny seed produced from the chia plant, of Chia Pet fame, and in actuality, though it’s new to our knowledge, it’s a plant that’s been around for centuries, that people in South America have always known about.
Salba is considered a more powerful food source for Omega 3 fatty acids and fiber than fish. It’s purported to provide eight times more Omega 3s than salmon, four times more fiber than flax, six times more calcium than whole milk, 13 times more antioxidants than blueberries. Salba is considered superior in protein quality to wheat, corn, rice, oats, barley, amaranth, and soy. It offers disease-fighting antioxidants. It’s rich in potassium, magnesium, calcium, folate, niacin, and copper. And it has the highest fiber content of any food, including wheat bran. Salba can absorb 14 times its weight in water, which facilitates slower food digestion, decreasing blood sugar levels and helping to moderate hunger.
Wow, that’s a lot of stuff, isn’t it? And it supposedly does even more than that. It can help reduce incidences of heart disease. It can enhance one’s memory, and help beat depression. It can help strengthen bones and potentially reverse osteoporosis. It can boost your immune system and help slow down the aging process. It can help reduce the effects of diabetes. And it’s all natural and has no side effects.
How does one ingest Salba? You’re supposed to sprinkle it into foods that you eat. You can bake it also. It’s pretty bland stuff, but supposedly takes on a nutty flavor when baked. Many people like to mix it up in smoothies.
So, what are the negatives? Can’t find many, that’s for sure. Anywhere you search on the internet, you don’t see anyone, not one place, saying anything bad about it. However, it’s not perfect, and some claims might be a bit misleading. For instance, while it does have 8 times more Omega 3 than fish, only 12% of its alpha-linoleic acid is converted to the equivalent of fish. So, don’t give up salmon just yet. Also, it’s marketed as a food, which means it doesn’t need FDA approval, and I tend to often wonder about new things and how they’re seen by the rest of the scientific community. When everyone jumps on a bandwagon, yet no scientists or news sources have started talking about it yet, like they did with hoodia on 60 Minutes, I tend to be somewhat skeptical.
My wife has started taking it within the last couple of weeks, and says she feels more regulated with her bowel movements, hasn’t suffered any leg cramps, which was common, and has stemmed her hunger somewhat. I’m going to try it out myself; nothing wrong with trying out the next big health benefit, right?