Manataka American Indian Council



Earth Medicine...

December 2010




Medicine for the People

By Harvey Walks With Hawks Doyle



Seeds Of Wellness:

Return Of A Supergrain

By Ted Kreiter, Saturday Evening Post

The Aztec civilization may never rise again, but part of its ancient legacy may be a gift of better health to those who have rediscovered the secret of its prized "running food."


In the beginning, Dr. Vuksan says, he only looked at the main nutrients in Salba. He knew that the seed's protein quality was higher than soy and that it had the highest fiber content of any food, higher than wheat bran. But to explain some of the effects he and his team had seen in their study, they had to look more closely at the seeds' makeup. And there they found a nutritional goldmine. They calculate that 3 1/2 ounces of Salba contain the same amount of omega-3 as 28 ounces of Atlantic salmon, as much calcium as 3 cups of milk, as much fiber as 1 1/4 cups of All-Bran cereal, as much iron as 5 cups of raw spinach, as much vegetable protein as 1 1/2 cups of kidney beans, as much potassium as 1 1/2 bananas, and as much vitamin C as seven oranges!

"When we started analyzing, we just couldn't believe it," Dr. Vuksan says. "For us in nutrition, this is like a dream food. This is an ideal composition." At first reluctant to study the seeds at all, Dr. Vuksan is now an advocate. "My family sprinkles ground Salba on our cereal every morning," he says.

Dr. Vuksan hopes to do further studies of the nutritious seeds. "I think Salba has great potential in regulating human health," he says. "We would like to do more studies in different categories--in people with hypertension, arthritis, and for weight loss." The diabetic patients in the study had no problem eating Salba, except that it made them feel full, he says. In fact, following the study, a number have continued asking for
supplies of the seed.

The researchers may also look into a phenomenon reported by some study participants who had been lactose intolerant, but who on Salba found they could again drink milk without side effects.

In a summary of their findings, the scientists noted that Salba "could be considered the world's most nutritious food crop and thus can be used as a global remedy for world hunger."

"There's no other food that can say that," says Larry Brown, a nutritional foods entrepreneur and president of Salba Research and Development Inc. in Toronto. "But it's going to take a while," he adds. Brown is working to introduce the product in North America. This year, in collaboration with Neutraceutical, a Utah-based manufacturer of nutritional supplements, the first product with chia has been made available in North America, a tortilla chip that contains over 400 mg of omega-3 per serving and has no trans fats. The chips, called Taste Waves, may also be the only food product in North America made with organically grown high-lysine corn, a modified version of the opaque-2 maize supergrain discovered by Dr. Edwin Mertz and his Purdue colleagues in 1964.

Brown's company is planning to offer more Salba products soon, including a salsa, a nutrition bar, and possibly a Salba drink. "Many companies have contacted us," he says. "We're talking to bakeries now to do bread and other baked goods with Salba. We've also been contacted by cereal companies. In fact, a company in Germany is doing a cereal with Salba now. So Salba is going to be around the world."

Still, Brown says, it's an uphill battle to convince people of the food value nestled in the tiny Salba seeds. "When we first started Salba," he says, "we hired a consultant [from one of the world's largest food makers] to advise us for a month and tell us what the biggest hurdle was going to be. He said, 'Fellows, your biggest hurdle is, NO ONE IS GOING TO BELIEVE YOU.' We laughed," Brown says. "But you know what? He was right. If we didn't have the University of Toronto researchers backing us up, saying that yes, what they're saying is true, nobody would believe us."


Source: From the November/December 2005 Issue, Saturday Evening Post


This information is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended to diagnose, cure or is in any way suggestive as far as medicinal advice.





EMAIL          HOME          INDEX          TRADING POST