Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Superfood Called Salba

You’ve probably read or heard about the nutritional benefits of seeds: pumpkin (pepitas), sunflower, sesame, hemp, flax and chia and maybe you include some of them in your daily diet. Well, here is another seed that you may not have seen before that is a nutritional powerhouse too. It’s called Salba.

Salba looks like a white chia seed and can actually form a gel similar to chia when they’re soaked in water, which makes them a good thickener for raw recipes. So what’s so special about it? Well, according to the Salba website, gram for gram, Salba has:

  • 30x more antioxidants than blueberries,
  • 3x more iron than spinach,
  • 6x more calcium than milk,
  • 15x more magnesium than broccoli,
  • 50x more folate than asparagus,
  • 25x more dietary fiber than flax seed, and
  • 8x more Omega-3s than salmon (although this is plant based Omega-3, not the same as what is found in fish)

I am always a little leary of making these comparisons simply because we may be comparing apples and oranges (such as with the salmon, for example), or nutrients may be more bioavailable in one food versus another, but it gives you an idea of what it’s got going for it.

Because of its mild flavor, it can be added to just about any dish to boost it’s nutritional value. I added it to my raw lentil hummus recipe and I never knew it was there. And there are lots of recipes on the Salba website to get some ideas. To easily get them into the diet, sprinkle them (either whole or ground) onto cereal, in yogurt, on salads, in grain dishes, soups and in sauces. They can even be added to dips like guacamole.

Depending on where you’re living, you can find them at places like Whole Foods or The Vitamin Shoppe, or you can check out the store locator for your state. Here's to your health!

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