Birdseed: 8 benefits and how to make milk

Have you thought about preparing vegetable milk with birdseed ( Phalaris canariensis )? Yes, from that very common seed in the feeding of some species of birds bred in captivity. Never? Well know that this is possible and the drink derived from it is full of nutrients and other compounds that are only good for your health.

The species’ seeds are rich in several types of proteins, essential amino acids and fatty acids , making them the option to strengthen muscles , protect against cardiovascular diseases and even increase the feeling of well-being.

In addition, birdseed milk is an easy and cheap alternative to replace the animal-based version in recipes for people who follow vegetarian diets or have an intolerance or allergy to lactose or to the most common vegetable milks on the market ( soy and almond) .

8 benefits of birdseed for your health

Milk prepared with canary seed has a good amount of amino acids, in addition to being a natural source of omegas 3 , 6 and 9. ( 1 )

At least 20% of all seed phytochemicals are composed of different types of proteins and more than 7% are dietary fiber . ( 2 )

It is also possible to find small amounts of minerals such as iron, zinc and magnesium in the grain. ( 3 )

All of this makes this a highly nutritious food.

1. Helps to gain muscle mass

Birdseed milk is a source of protein and essential amino acids, so it helps to gain muscle mass. ( 2 )

Muscles concentrate much of the protein present in the human body and use this nutrient to regenerate .

During exercise, muscles use more protein than the body can replace. The lack of this nutrient can cause the reverse effect, so there is supplementation, so that the muscles have a kind of nutritional reserve from which to extract the energy needed to regenerate after intense activity. ( 4 )

But it is necessary to understand that this “muscle gain” only occurs in people who already practice some intense physical exercise, where there is a cycle of wear and regeneration of muscle fibers, which is the factor that promotes the growth of lean mass , as it is called popularly.

2. Controls blood pressure

Birdseed has a hypotensive action, enabling the regulation of Blood Pressure (BP), as a result of the vasodilator effect. That is, to widen the veins, allowing the blood not to exert such strong pressure so that they can reach the heart. ( 5 )

3. Lowers cholesterol

Another benefit of birdseed in the diet is to promote cholesterol reduction. This potential is mainly derived from the presence of nutrients known as resistant starches .

They are resistant to stomach acids and pass whole to the intestine, delaying the absorption of fat from newly eaten foods, and dragging everything into the stool. Thus promoting less cholesterol absorption .

The drink is able to reduce not only cholesterol levels, but also triglycerides , another type of fat that is harmful in large amounts. ( 6 )

4. Contributes to diabetes control

One more reason to consume this unconventional cereal, and perhaps one of its most cited benefits, is that it provides blood glucose control .

It is rich in two substances that have a great influence on this process: dietary fiber and resistant starch.

Both are not digested by the stomach. In the case of fibers, they absorb water and form a gel that makes it difficult to absorb carbohydrates from food, which are transformed into glucose .

Resistant starch, on the other hand, which is a type of carbohydrate, cannot be turned into sugar because it has not been “broken down” beforehand by stomach acid. Thus, consuming foods with these two nutrients provide a kind of natural control for the disease. ( 2 )

5. Decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease

Birdseed is also great for protecting the heart and not just because of the effects it has on lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.

The other mechanism involved in reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases is due to the presence of fatty acids, especially omegas 3, 6 and 9 .

What happens is that these acids are a type of good fat, which prevents the degradation (oxidation) of the bad lipids. With this, they prevent all this material from starting to accumulate uncontrollably in the veins and arteries. ( 7 )

6. Prevents the action of free radicals

The proteins found in this seed, especially prolamine, as well as some types of organic acids are responsible for another super important benefit: preventing the oxidation of cells, the so-called antioxidant effect .

These antioxidants are compounds that prevent the production and action of free radicals, which are molecules produced by cell degradation .

And precisely for this reason they must be fought, otherwise they can destroy the membranes that protect the cells, modifying their interior, which causes serious damage to the organs and even modify the structure of the DNA, increasing the risk of developing cancer . ( 2 )

7. Increases the feeling of well-being

The tryptophan amino acid is related to an increase in the feeling of well-being. ( 2 )

This compound is part of the production of serotonin , a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood and is associated with the control of problems such as depression. ( 8 )

8. Reduces the symptoms of inflammatory diseases

Adding this grain to the diet helps to reduce the symptoms of inflammatory diseases, even those of a chronic nature, such as rheumatism .

The seed has the ability to inhibit the release of substances known as mediators of inflammation, responsible for making the body start the process, and which serves to protect the body against attacks, but which can get out of control and become a chronic problem.

The bean extract is effective in relieving arthritis symptoms such as pain, burning and redness in the joints. (9 )

How to prepare and consume canary seed milk

The best way, and perhaps the most common, to consume canary seed and enjoy all the benefits of this seed is to prepare a vegetable milk.

Place 5 tablespoons (soup) the seeds soak in water filtered by at least 8 hours. This process is important to remove most of the phytates, which are compounds that make it difficult for the body to absorb minerals.

Once this is done, discard the water and take the seeds, along with 500 ml of filtered water, to a blender to blend for a few minutes. The result will be a very light milk, with plenty of foam, totally lactose free and gluten free.

It can be drunk straight or used as a substitute for vegetable versions in vitamins and other recipes.


The seed is quite safe for human consumption, having no negative effects on health.

Ellie Lauderdale

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

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