What's with Salba and Chia?

Salba and Chia

Salvia hispanica is a plant that produces small, nutrient-dense seeds sold under the names Salba (which is trademarked) and chia.


Salba and chia have similar nutritional profiles, although Salba consists of only the white seeds of the Salvia hispanica plant, while chia is available in both white and black. Scientific studies suggest that white and black seeds are nearly identical. Both Salba and chia are excellent sources of omega 3 fatty acids and dietary fibre, and they are also a good way to add protein, potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron to a meal. Gram-per-gram, these seeds contain more essential nutrients than many other foods—for example, Salba contains six times more calcium than milk, gram-per-gram. Keep in mind, though, that a serving of Salba or chia is only 2 tablespoons, or about 12-15 grams. Salba and chia don’t contain any sugar, cholesterol, trans fat or gluten, and are very low in saturated fat and sodium.


Many people are new to chia, but chia is actually an ancient food. The Aztecs relied on these seeds as a staple, and they are still eaten as part of traditional meals in Mexico and South America. During the 1980s, chia seeds were used to grow the green ‘hair’ in Chia Pets, those strange clay figurines with the even stranger TV commercials. We at Foodstuffs promise not to sing the jingle.


Traditionally, chia seeds were soaked in water or juice to make a gelatinous cereal, or ground into a meal to be used for baking, but you don’t need to get fancy to enjoy Salba and chia. You can add the whole, raw seeds to oatmeal, smoothies, salads, or anything you please.


Currently we stock white and black chia. We go through these little seeds very quickly; give us a call or pop into the store, and we’d be happy to set aside some Salba or chia for you.

Posted on August 25, 2015 and filed under You asked us.