Alpiste Canary Seeds offer amazing health benefits

Posted by Heather & Blair on

Alpiste canary seeds for human consumption

Canadian-grown, gluten-free and packed with protein

No longer just bird food de-hulled Canary seed for humans is known by its Spanish name Alpiste.

Alpiste seeds have a slightly nutty taste that can enhance the nutritional value of traditional and gluten-free foods such as breads, baked goods, bars and snacks. 

A member of the cereal grain family as wheat, oats, barley and rye and similar in size and appearance of flax seeds, Alpiste seeds contains bran, germ and starchy endosperm and is very high in protein at (21%). Also gluten-free and nutrient dense this specialty grain is known to reduce cholesterol, aid in weight loss and help control diabetes.

The scientific name for Canary seed plant is Phalaris canariensis which is a type of tall grass. As the name suggests both the seeds and bird species originated in the Canary Islands a Spanish territory off the cost of West Africa.

History of Alpiste

Canary seeds were traditionally used to make a healthy drink called leche de alpiste or alpiste milk (canary seed milk).

Canary seeds were classified as safe for human consumption as a cereal by Spanish Royal Decree in 1967.

The seeds were introduced and adapted to the Canadian prairies by the Canadian grain commission back in the 70s.

In 2016, the Canary Seed Development Commission of Saskatchewan received approval for de-hulled glabrous varieties of canary seed varieties for human consumption in Canada and the United States. 

spoon full of alpiste canary seed

Today, Saskatchewan Canada has become the world’s leading producer and exporter of Canary seed.

Health Benefits of Canary Seed


The health benefits of Canary seeds are best known for their lipid-lowering action, which help to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood.

According to a report by the Groningen University Medical Center (Netherlands), they contain an enzyme called lipase that promotes the cleansing of the arteries to remove harmful lipids (fats), including cholesterol and triglycerides.

There is limited research on canary seeds specifically, but since they are part of the larger group of grains, they can potentially help reduce some risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as cholesterol and blood pressure.

This also would have a positive effect on overweight and obese people because it promotes the breakdown of stored fat in various regions of the body.

Weight loss

Canary seeds are popular as a dietary supplement for weight loss because they contain lipases, which transport fat to cells to be used as energy.

They are filling and help regulate digestion, thanks to fiber and protein. They also help with weight loss by reducing fluid retention, due to their diuretic effect from potassium.

Antioxidants & Plant Sterols

They contain high levels of beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. It also contains comparable levels of tocopherols (forms of Vitamin E) to oats, and 0.47 mg/g of plant sterols. Beta-sitosterol makes up 43% of the total plant sterols.

Antioxidants have many benefits for the skin and body, including preventing chronic and degenerative diseases. They also have an anti-inflammatory effect, which can help protect organs like the liver and pancreas.

Canary seeds have a blood glucose regulating effect that could be helpful for diabetics, according to Mexican research.


Canary seed nutrient content is higher than that of wheat, oats and barley and is similar in nutrients found in amaranth or quinoa.

serving of alpiste canary seed tea

In 100g there is a a rich source of phosphorus, magnesium, manganese and more:

  • 21% Protein amino acids
  • 6.5% Fat
  • 60% Carbohydrates
  • 6.5% Fiber
  • rich source of folate
  • High in antioxidants & plant sterols
  • high in β-carotene
  • Vitamin E 2.8 mg/100g
  • 399 kilo calories
  • 50 mg of calcium
  • 664 mg of iron
  • 400 mg of phosphorus 

A New Gluten Free alternative

Canary grass has been tested to be gluten-free and safe for individuals with celiac disease.

But it may contain a protein similar to a wheat allergen protein and may not be suitable for those with a wheat allergy.

This product was processed in a facility that also processes wheat and may contain trace amounts of wheat gluten.

alpiste flour
Introduce Canary Seed Flour to your favorite recipes for health boost of nutrition. 


How to use Canary Seeds

Alpiste is a simple, nutritious, sugar free, gluten-free plant based ingredient that can be used in vegan, vegetarian, and meat-free dishes.

Canary seeds have a slightly nutty flavour that can enhance the nutritional value of traditional foods such as breads, baked goods, bars and snacks.

yellow alpiste canary seeds

For more information on the health benefits of alpiste and recipe ideas visit