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Research links variant of "Chia Pet" grain to benefits for diabetics

Research at St. Michael's Hospital has found that the same grain used to sprout the well-known Chia Pet novelty gifts can offer many health advantages to diabetics.

Toronto, December 7, 2007

Research at St. Michael's Hospital has found that the same grain used to sprout the well-known Chia Pet novelty gifts can offer many health advantages to diabetics. Adding the whole grain Salba, a variant of the chia grain, is effective in lowering elevated blood pressure, low grade body inflammation and blood clot formation.

Dr. Vladimir Vuksan, research-scientist at the Keenan Research Centre of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital and professor in the faculty of medicine, University of Toronto, is renowned worldwide for developing alternative therapies for diabetes and heart disease.

Vuksan's team calculates that 3.5 oz of Salba contains:

  • The same amount of omega-3s as 28 ounces of salmon
  • As much calcium as 3 cups of milk
  • As much iron as five cups of raw spinach

Furthermore, Salba is rich in dietary fibre, suggesting it can be part of a high-fibre diet that can help control diabetes.

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