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Do You Know Nutrition: Salba full of health benefits

July 26, 2010 at 2:26 a.m.
Updated July 27, 2010 at 2:27 a.m.

Phylis Canion

By Phylis Canion

Can you please explain exactly what salba is and what the health benefits are? Is salba related to the chia seed?

Salba is a 100 percent natural antique South American grain that was first used by the Aztec civilization and its roots date back as early as 3500 B.C.

Salba is a variety of the Salvia hispanica L. botanical family of mint called chia. Although salba comes from chia, it is not the exact same substance, as salba has more nutritional value than chia. Salba is all natural, contains no trans-fats, is completely gluten-free, contains very few carbohydrates and is a certified not genetically-modified organism.

Since salba is gluten-free, it makes an excellent substitute for flour (1 part salba replaces three parts flour). Gram for gram, salba contains 15 times more magnesium than broccoli, eight times more omega-3 than salmon, six times more calcium than milk, three times more iron than spinach and three times more antioxidant strength than blueberries. Best of all, salba has the perfect balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids found in nature. Salba holds a United States medical patent and is the only whole food in existence that is medically patented.

Can I eat green bananas?

Green bananas are safe to eat, even though they can be bitter when eaten raw. Some studies even suggest that green bananas are healthier than their yellow counterpart. Green bananas contain a resistant starch called short fatty chain (SCFAs), which is helpful for people controlling their blood sugar. Green bananas also offer diabetics a high energy, low-calorie source of carbohydrates, which meets their dietary restrictions. According to the National Institutes of Health, SCFAs enhances the body's capacity to absorb nutrients. The incidence of irritable bowel disease and cancers is lower in places where people consume more green bananas than yellow.

My recommendation is to slice the green bananas and saute them in butter. UMMM, MMMM, good and healthy.

Note: The next nutrition class will be, Monday, Aug. 9, at The Crossing, 404 N. Bridge St., Victoria. Call 361-580-1400 to book your seat.

Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant. E-mail her at doc.phyl@yahoo.com. This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.

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