What is Salba?
It is this incredibly old grain that is supposed to be “. . . the richest whole food source of Omega-3 fatty acids and fiber found in nature” according to the news release.
But there are questions. Lots of questions about this stuff.
Of course, I don't want to blindly follow the highly subjective news release (as all news releases are). So I do a quick Google search on Salba and here are some of the things I find:
- Salba seems to be merely a form of Chia seed
- In fact, Salba appears to just be a registered trademark for a varietal of Chia
- And that varietal seems to be nothing more exotic than white Chia
- Which can explain why the company that markets Salba compares it to flaxseed (the evil competition, I assume!) and not to Chia seeds
Why yes. Take a look at the chart in my last link. the major benefit here is that Salba seems to be loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids do all sorts of wonderful things, from reducing the risk of heart attack to aiding in digestion.
But is Salba the best source of Omega-3 fatty acids?
When we are talking about the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids, we are predominately talking about fish and fish oils which contain DHA and EPA while some nuts (such as flaxseed) contain ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). And, according to the Mayo clinic, "Although similar benefits are proposed for alpha-linolenic acid, scientific evidence is less compelling, and beneficial effects may be less pronounced."
So if Omega-3 is what you are after, you are better served eating fish. Where Salba (and flaxseeds) come into play is if you do not eat fish.
So should you eat Salba or regular Chia or flaxseeds?
Alas, Salba seems to be five times more expensive than Chia without the fancy name. And I find it has a slightly (and very slightly at that) bitter, almost plastic aftertaste.
What I do
I like the taste of flaxseeds sprinkled in my 'nanner and on my yogurt. I like the crunch and I especially like the fact that while the price of flaxseeds is equatable with the price of Chia, their nutritional value is equatable with the Salba. So I'm sticking with flaxseeds. Only I also supplement them with hemp seed.
Protein for vegetarians
Hemp seed, you see, is also a decent source of Omega-3 fatty acids. And it, too, tastes good. But, even better for us vegetarians concerned about getting enough protein, it also contains protein.
Now, I figure all this makes me so healthy I should be able to life 200 lb. weights with my little finger. And I plan to try just as soon as I get off the couch.