FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What are the health benefits of canaryseed / alpiste?

Many people have stories about using canaryseed (alpiste) and say it has influenced their health. Some people claim it helps them maintain a healthy weight. Others say it supports normal health of the heart, blood vessels, liver, kidneys and pancreas.

So far, however, there has been very little scientific study of alpiste benefits for humans, so use for these purposes is not yet substantiated.

For the well-being of consumers, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not permit dietary supplement providers to discuss a product’s potential or known health benefits as related to a disease or condition. This is out of concern that people who may need to seek medical treatment might instead use products that have not undergone extensive testing for safety and effectiveness. Such a delay in seeking effective treatment could be harmful. With this in mind, we do not discuss specific diseases or health conditions here on our website.

We focus instead on the nutritional properties of Silica Fiber Free alpiste that may support normal health. Learn more

What’s the difference between traditional canaryseed (alpiste) and Silica Fiber Free™ alpiste? Which kind is Pureza?

Traditional canaryseed hulls are covered in sharp, microscopic silica fibers, and there is a possible link between these sharp fibers and esophageal cancer.

For this reason, Pureza sells only Silica Fiber Free™ canaryseed. We contract directly with farmers in Canada who grow this special canaryseed for us. Learn more

If I use alpiste as a dietary supplement, is there anything to be concerned about?

Yes. Traditional varieties of alpiste, typically sold for bird food, have natural silica fibers on the hull that have been linked to certain types of cancer. For your health and safety, avoid these risks by buying only Silica Fiber Free™ alpiste.

Separately, whole canaryseed contains every part of the grain, including the fibrous hull, so if you have had difficulties digesting fiber or whole grains before, pay close attention to how consuming alpiste is affecting you. Consult a health professional immediately if you have any concerns. Learn more

How can I tell the difference between traditional canaryseed (alpiste) and Silica Fiber Free™ alpiste? How do I know what kind I'm getting if I order it online or buy it in a store?

Unless you break out the microscope, different varieties of canaryseed will appear identical to the naked eye.

Whether you're shopping online or in person, the safest thing to do is to look for the Silica Fiber Free™ seal on the package. Learn more

I've heard there's a link between alpiste and esophageal cancer. Is this true?

Certain regions of the world display a higher rate of esophageal cancer, and several studies have indicated that one contributor might be flour made from grain contaminated with alpiste. Learn more

Can I just use the canaryseed I see sold as bird food at the pet store?

No, that's not safe. Most bird food canaryseed naturally has sharp, potentially dangerous silica fibers on the hull, and human consumption of these fibers has been linked to esophageal cancer. To avoid this risk, make sure you buy only Silica Fiber Free™ canaryseed. Learn more

If traditional canaryseed isn’t safe for humans, is it safe for birds? If so, why?

That's a great question. It's possible that canaries don't live long enough for their different physiology to react (they typically live 8-10 years).

No one knows for sure, but when scientists begin investigating canaryseed for humans, hopefully we'll learn the answer to this and other questions about canaryseed. Learn more

On your website, why don't you talk about using canaryseed for diabetes, heart disease, weight loss or other health problems?

That's a great question!

Anecdotal evidence suggests some link between canaryseed and maintaining a healthy weight. Nutritional components suggest that it could support normal health of the heart, blood vessels, liver, kidneys and pancreas.

To date, however, there have not been scientific studies done about how canaryseed might influence any type of human disease or health condition.

For the well-being of consumers, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not permit dietary supplement providers to discuss a product’s potential or known health benefits as related to a disease or condition. This is out of concern that people who may need to seek medical treatment might instead use products that have not undergone extensive testing for safety and effectiveness. Such a delay in seeking effective treatment could be harmful.

With this in mind, on our website we don't discuss specific diseases or health conditions. We focus instead on the nutritional properties of Silica Fiber Free™ canaryseed that may support normal health. Learn more

If the hull with the silica fibers is removed, is it safe to eat the grain or flour from traditional canaryseed? What if I make “canaryseed milk” and then strain the liquid?

Unfortunately, no. Because the silica canaryseed fibers, called spicules, are so very, very tiny, it's impossible without specialized industrial equipment to keep the silica fibers from clinging to the grains and contaminating the canaryseed flour or canaryseed milk. It’s much simpler and safer just to buy Silica Fiber Free™ alpiste to make canaryseed milk. Learn more

How do I prepare canaryseed?

Here are preparation instructions for canaryseed milk.

Also, please visit our Recipes page for complete, detailed instructions about preparing canaryseed milk, plus links to recipes and ideas for ingredients to include in your canaryseed smoothies!

How much shall I take? How often?

Many people have an 8-12 oz. canaryseed drink twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Others prefer to drink it throughout the day. Each serving contains approximately 5 tablespoons (measured dry) of canaryseed. Learn more

Can I remove the canaryseed hulls that rise to the top of the canaryseed milk?

Absolutely. You may remove them or drink them down—it's entirely up to you. Learn more

Is canaryseed a good source of protein? I read on the Internet that canaryseed has more protein than meat. Is that true?

Canaryseed is a good source of protein. Almost 20% of the groats (the seeds inside the hulls) is protein. It does not contain more protein per gram than meat.

Why soak the canaryseed before using it?

Soaking grains softens them and reduces their phytic acid content which can otherwise inhibit nutrient absorption (iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc). It also activates the enzymatic break-down of starches, tannins and proteins.

Where can I get organic canaryseed?

At this time there is no such thing as certified organic canaryseed produced in the US or Canada, and certainly not Silica Fiber Free™ organic canaryseed. As soon as it becomes available, we will offer it to you! Learn more

Is canaryseed an antioxidant?

One scientific study indicates that canaryseed has antioxidant activity very close to Vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Learn more

How many calories does canaryseed have? How much protein, fat and carbohydrates?

5 tablespoons (47 grams) of dry canaryseed contains approximately 200 calories from 9 g of protein, 4 g of fat and 1 g of sugars. Learn more

Can I cook with canaryseed?

Cooking canaryseed will destroy many of the enzymes in the seeds and decrease some of its nutritional value.

Where is canaryseed grown?

Most canaryseed (Phalaris canariensis) is grown in Canada, Hungary and Argentina.



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