New Superfood? Perilla Seeds Make Chia Look Puny In Comparison

Perilla Seeds: Omega 3 Powerhouse?

Move over chia seeds, your reign is about to end. Maybe. The seeds of the Asian Shiso plant are poised to be the next big thing when it comes to plant based omega-3. Commonly used for their minty leaves, shiso is popular in Japan, Korea and parts of China. But it turns out that the seeds are nutrition powerhouses.

Perilla seeds have twice the omega-3 fatty acids as chia seeds. Omega-3 is important for brain functioning, and is hard to come by from plant sources. Additionally, chia seeds are becoming very expensive because of the limited supply. Perilla seeds are a by product of the mint leaves, so currently it appears that prices will stay low.

The omega-3 to omega-6 ratio in perilla seeds is 6 to 1, the highest of any oils. Some studies have indicated that our modern diets have created an imbalance in the desired ratio (too much omega-6), so any food that can work to restore the balance is considered welcome.

The perilla seed is also supposed to taste a bit milder than chia seeds. We haven’t tired any yet, so if anyone out there has – please let us know!!

  • The Candid RD

    Oh boy, thanks for giving me a heads up because I’m sure people will be asking about these at the supermarket where I work! Hmm…I wonder when Dr. Oz will start talking about them. THAT’S when I know I’ll hear more about them :)

  • Jerryfingers

    I wonder what other nutritional benefit they have, or is it only omega 3?

    • Fooducate

      We’re trying to find more info, it’s very limited right now

  • InfiniteOnion

    I must concur, if you are going to extol the wonders of these seeds, would you please include as complete a nutritional write up as you can. Numbers are appreciated.

  • Carol H.

    A much faster way to increase your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio is eat some fish. Vegetable sources don’t have EPA or DHA, so they aren’t particularly useful except to the extent that they are lower in omega-6 than other seeds. As for eating the seeds themselves… looks like there might be a digestibility issue, as with chia, because they are so small and/or contain soluble fibers that prevent certain nutrients from being absorbed. Every food that gets sent to a lab is going to tout something it has a strength in… doesn’t mean it is a significant (or real) strength, or that other foods don’t have the same (or different) strengths. The true BS test is: if there’s no nutrition info (for a proper, defined FDA serving) given in the ad/claim/packaging, it probably is BS.

    • igbymac

      Relying on the FDA as your guard dog, knowing it accepted twinkies as a food for decades, suggests you’re looking in the wrong place for health info, at least to me.

      • Carol H

        FDA doesn’t provide the nutrition info on product packages, the manufacturers do. FDA simply provides the framework by which everything should be displayed fairly, equally (hence matching serving sizes for all like products) and scientifically.

  • Guest

    I haven’t seen these on the shelf yet, but I will keep my eyes open.

  • More About Lasik

    It’s good to know about these seeds. Me too, I’ll keep my eyes open! :)

  • John

    You need to check your sources, it DOES NOT contain twice the amount of omega 3 as chia seeds, chia seed oil has a percentage of omega 3 in that oil of 60% to 65%. Research before you post. Perilla is a member of the mint family as is chia, the seed is not a byproduct of mint leaves.

  • Linutritionist

    Perilla plants come in green and red. Red perilla leaves are often in pickled ume or umeboshi. Japanese cuisine uses the green perilla leaves and seeds as condiments for soba and udon. I grow them in my garden. Love the taste but in small quantities. I look forward to hearing more about these!!’