The Benefits of Canary Seed for Cholesterol and Weight Loss

Thanks to the enzymes in canary seed, it can help to lower harmful fat like cholesterol. It can also be used as a diuretic.
The Benefits of Canary Seed for Cholesterol and Weight Loss
José Gerardo Rosciano Paganelli

Reviewed and approved by the doctor José Gerardo Rosciano Paganelli.

Last update: 11 July, 2022

Canary seed is widely used all over the world because it’s the food of choice for domesticated birds. However, many people don’t know that it’s also suitable for human consumption. In fact, it has certain nutritional qualities which make it beneficial for our health.

Canary seeds are grains with a high proportion of protein and fiber. They also contain really valuable photochemical compounds. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about them.

Now it’s recognized that the intake of canary seeds has a positive impact on the body, there are many health and nutrition experts who recommend them as a food supplement for all types of diets.

From a nutritional point of view, they contain substances that can be useful in the elimination of body fat and cholesterol and can even prevent and control diabetes.

Canary seed and its nutritional values

Canary seed is a cereal obtained from the seeds of the Phalaris canariensis L plant. It comes from the same family as other better-known grains such as wheat, barley, rye, and oats.

Today, its grains are used almost entirely to feed birds. It’s cultivated in many areas with temperate climates. For example, certain regions of Argentina, Canada, Australia, and Thailand.

Common birdseed isn’t suitable for human consumption as it contains small hairs that could be harmful to health. There are three types without this toxic component. However, due to their low yield, they’re not widely cultivated.

Canary seeds (once the shell is removed) are about 4 millimeters in size, similar to that of flax seeds. Despite being so small, their nutritional content is significant. In fact, every 100 grams provides:

  • 399 kilocalories.
  • 57.6 g of carbohydrates.
  • 21.3 g of protein.
  • 50 mg of calcium.
  • 6.7 g of fat.
  • 6.2 g of fiber.
  • 664 mg of iron.
  • 400 mg of phosphorus.

Since the commercialization of varieties suitable for human consumption, interest in this cereal and its possible health benefits has been growing. It’s also of interest for its possible applications in the food industry.

Health benefits of canary seeds

Blood cells inside a vein

Thanks to their remarkable nutritional value, eating canary seeds regularly can help improve your health in a variety of ways.


This is one of the properties for which canary seeds have become best known. Due to their lipid-lowering action, it’s believed that they can be beneficial for lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood.

They contain an enzyme known as lipase that stimulates the cleansing of the arteries to remove harmful lipids (fats), including cholesterol and triglycerides. A study conducted by the Groningen University Medical Center (Netherlands) confirms this fact.

This same action has a positive effect on overweight and obese patients since it supports the burning of accumulated fat in various areas of the body.

Specific studies on canary seeds are scarce given their relative novelty as a food for human use. However, if one takes into account that they form part of a larger group such as grains, it may be said that their inclusion in the framework of a healthy diet can reduce some risk factors for cardiovascular disease. These are cholesterol and blood pressure.

Weight loss

Canary seeds are also popularly eaten as a supplement to aid weight loss. One of the possible explanations for this is that the lipases they contain would help transport fat to the cells to be used as an energy source.

In addition, due to their fiber and protein content, they have a marked satiating effect which would help regulate gastrointestinal transit. Finally, thanks to the presence of potassium, they have a diuretic effect and would help weight loss in the case of fluid retention.

Other properties of canary seed

Although the aforementioned are the two benefits that have the most interest at a popular level, due to their nutritional content, canary seeds can have other health benefits.

For instance, they contain significant amounts of antioxidants. These benefit the skin and the body by stopping the action of free radicals. Furthermore, these compounds are also known to help prevent many chronic and degenerative diseases.

In addition, their enzymes have an anti-inflammatory effect, according to interesting research from the National School of Biological Sciences (Mexico). This would make them one of the best protectors of the liver and pancreas.

In this last organ, canary seeds have a stimulating effect that can be used to control blood sugar levels and diabetes, according to a study conducted by the Higher School of Chemical Engineering and Extractive Industries (Mexico).

You might also like to read: Lose Weight with Bird Seed Milk

The best way to consume canary seeds

Many people consume the seeds in salads, smoothies, and even soups. However, most prefer to do it by preparing vegetable milk or water.

Dr. Gloria García, in her book, Alimentos que ayudan a prevenir y combatir Enfermedades (Foods That Help Prevent and Fight Diseases) teaches us how to prepare canary seed milk:


  • 5 tablespoons (50g) of canary seed for human consumption.
  • 1 glass of water (200ml) for soaking.
  • I liter of water for blending.


  • Place the five tablespoons of canary seed to soak in the glass of water and let it stand overnight.
  • The next morning, throw away the water and put the seeds in the blender with the liter of water. You can replace the water with soy milk or another similar drink if you like.
  • Process everything for a few minutes, until the water turns white.
  • Pass the liquid through a cloth strainer to separate the milk from the seed shells.
  • Store it in a cool place or in the refrigerator.

How to consume canary seeds to regulate cholesterol

If your main objective of including canary milk in your diet is to control cholesterol levels, drink a glass on an empty stomach and another before going to sleep. Keep in mind that it has a diuretic effect, so you may have to go to the bathroom several times.

Take it for three weeks in a row, or more if you think it is necessary. From then on, take it regularly, up to three times a week.

How to consume canary seeds to aid weight loss

Firstly, we must make it clear that canary seed milk isn’t a miracle cure or a powerful fat burner.

However, including it in your diet will help you lose weight, as long as you accompany it with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

If this is your goal, start your day by drinking a glass on an empty stomach and another glass before each main meal. Thanks to its fiber content, you’ll feel fuller so it’ll prevent you from consuming too many calories.

Canary seeds can aid weight loss and regulate cholesterol

Canary seeds are a really new food for humans. They’re safe to eat as long as they’re the kind listed for human consumption. They don’t contain gluten but may not be suitable for people with allergies to wheat.

At the moment, there’s little evidence of their possible positive effects on health. Although, given their composition, some of their properties can be established, as we mentioned earlier.

Their inclusion in the daily diet and within the framework of a healthy diet and lifestyle can help improve body weight and reduce blood cholesterol. Although if you do suffer from these problems, it’s advisable to seek professional help to draw up the best plan for your situation.

Now that you know that these seeds aren’t just for birds, start including them in your diet and you’ll soon realize how beneficial they can be to your health.


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Abdel-Aal. E-SM.; Hucl, P.; Sosulski, F. W. Characteristics of canaryseed (Phalaris canariensis L.) Starch. Starrch/Stärke (1997).
  • Annema W, Tietge U. Role of hepatic lipase and endothelial lipase in high-density lipoprotein-mediated reverse cholesterol transport. Current Atherosclerosis Reports. Marzo 2011. 13 (3): 257-265.
  • Canaryseed Development Commission of Saskatchewar. Canaryseed (Phalaris canariensis) nutrient composition of canary seed groats. Mayo 2016.
  • García Glória. Alimentos Que Ayudan a Prevenir y Combatir Enfermedades. (2012).
  • Government of Canada. Information for what-allergic individuals. Canary seed. Febrero 2020.
  • Madrigales-Ahuatzi E, Pérez-Gutiérrez R. M. Evaluation of anti-inflammatory activity of seeds of Phalaris canriensis. Drug Research. Enero 2016. 66 (1): 23-7.
  • Mason E, L’Hocine L, et al. Hairless canary seed: a novel cereal with healthy promoting potencial. Nutrients. Septiembre 2018. 10 (9): 1327.
  • Pérez Gutiérrez M, Madrigales Ahuatzi E, et al. Ameliorative effect of hexane extract of Phalaris canariensis on hight fat diet-induced obese and streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice. Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Enero 2014. 145901.
  • Ros E, Hu F. B. Consumption of pant seeds and cardiovascular health: epidemiological and clinical trial evidence. Circulation. Julio 2013. 128 (5): 553-565.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.