U of T Study Finds Chia Pet Seed Relative, Salba Seed, Has Big Health Benefits For Diabetes Patients

by Ray Varey and Dr. Richard Tytus

The Globe and Mail reports that U of T researchers will publish a study in the U.S. journal "Diabetes Care" showing that eating the Salba seed, a cousin of the popular Chia pet seed, will have a remarkable impact on diabetes and high blood pressure. The Salba seed grown in Central and South America and used extensively by the ancient Aztecs has long been thought to have exceptional nutritional properties. The Salba seed is a variation on the popular Chia pet seed often seen growing out of the heads of pottery frogs and turtles in gift shops. Please be aware that eating your Chia pet seed will not have the same impact on your health as eating Salba seed.

Dr.Vuksan, the lead researcher on the study, and Associate Director of the Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Centre at St. Michaels' Hospital in Toronto reports that, "You simply don't see many other ingredients that can do what Salba seed can. You add this to any food, even bad food, and it will improve your health." Researchers found that the nutritional impact of the Salba seed was more consistent and significant that its relative Chia pet seed.

High blood pressure is a significant problem for diabetes sufferers. The U of T study indicates when type-2 diabetes patients ate up to four teaspoons of Salba or Chia seed a day it had a major impact on high blood pressure readings. Another effect was an increase in EPA, a beneficial omega-3 fatty acid most often found in fish.

These results are good news for diabetes sufferers. Salba seeds are small and almost tasteless. They can be sprinkled on cereal or salads and included in baking with no impact on the taste of the food. Working a daily dose of Salba seeds into your diet can have a real impact on improving your health.

Food manufacturers have been quick to pick up on the beneficial aspects of the Salba or Chia pet seed. There are already Salba enriched crackers on the market and other large food corporations are exploring the possibility of new Salba and Chia products.

As a result of this study, Dr. Vuksan reports that the Salba seed, not the Chia pet seed, "Perfectly fits into our battle to beat diabetes."




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