Simple Palate: The Salba Rx

This gluten-free grain tastes good, and is good for you!

This gluten-free grain tastes good, and is good for you!

Written by: Cielestia Calbay

Courtesy of

Quinoa fans, rejoice.

Salba is the newest nutritional “superseed” to join the ranks of the popular grain as it makes its way into foods and breads. Rumored to be higher in protein, iron, calcium, fiber and Omega-3 fatty acids than chia, flax and any other seed, Salba is native to Mexico but is currently grown in other geographic regions with similar climates like Spain, Peru and Bolivia.

Like quinoa, its microscopic size makes it ideal to be added to foods very easily. But unlike its counterpart, the light brown seed is a member of the mint family, are about the same size as the sesame seed and has a nutty flavor. It can also be used as a digestive aid due to its ability to absorb 14 times its weight in water and slow down the digestion process, resulting in an increase in blood sugar levels after a meal. Additionally, Salba is gluten-free.

Nutritional Breakdown:

  • Five times the calcium compared to milk
  • 3.5 ounces = 28-ounce piece of salmon
  • 4 ounces = 5 cups of uncooked spinach
  • 12 grams = 1 ¼ cups of bran cereal


Cielestia Calbay is the Associate Editor of Competitor Magazine. If she’s not at the office, you’ll probably find her outdoors or scouring the area for the nearest juice bar. She may be reached at or @ccalbay