Call it Sweet Basil or Sabja, consuming two teaspoons of tiny black-coloured seed is all you need to realise amazing health benefits. Sabja seed is also known as turkmaria or falooda seeds. In Telegu, it is known as Sabja-ginjalu and in Tamil, Sabja-vithai. The seeds originally belong to Ocimum basilisium family and is often confused with chia seeds.
The black seeds are gaining popularity due to innumerable health and therapeutic benefits. They are mostly grown in warm tropical areas and looks like a medium-sized herb. Sabja seeds are rich in carbs, minerals and essential fats which act as a good source of fibre for the body. Surprisingly, this tiny basil seeds do not contain calories, are rich in antioxidants and helps in controlling diabetes. It is usually recommended to consume at least two teaspoons of sabja seed every day to gain maximum health benefits out of it. Let us know more about sabja seed benefits and its side effects.
How can you eat Sabja Seeds?
To gain maximum nutrition from sabja seeds, you need to soak it in the water before consumption. They start welling once soaked in water. A white and translucent film coats every black seed and they turn twice as their original size. Sabja seeds can be soaked for 15 minutes before consumption. Soaking them in warm water is comparatively a better option as warm water swells the seed completely and releases beneficial antioxidants and digestive enzymes.
Sabja seeds can be used in many ways. The seeds have a unique fragrance and taste due to which it can be added to several dishes to boost nutrition in them. They are used to garnish desserts and drinks such as falloda. You can even sprinkle them over cold Kulfi or blended them in lemonade to give a grassy touch. Alternatively, the seeds can become your snacking food or add to soups and pasta for a crunchy feeling.
How nutritious are Sabja Seeds?
As mentioned previously, sabja seeds are very low in calories which make it one of the most desired ingredients for the people who seek to shed some extra weight. Though the seeds are rich in carbohydrates, they can provide us with a high amount of fibre, protein and other essential nutrients.
- Sabja seeds are rich in Carbohydrates. Every 100 grams of sabja seeds is loaded with 42% of carbs that provide our body with instant energy. The carbs are capable enough to fuel body metabolism and aid proper functioning of heart, kidneys and central nervous system.
- Sabja seeds contain a high amount of protein. Every 100 grams of sabja seeds is loaded with 20% of protein consuming which you can strengthen your muscles, bones and skin. The seeds stimulate the productivity of useful hormones and enzymes for better body functioning.
- Sabja seeds are rich in fibre. Just 4 grams of seeds has more fibre than the whole bunch of spinach or lettuce leaves. This makes sabja ideal for vegetarians and people dealing with stomach related issues. Perhaps, sabja seeds can keep you satiated for a longer time, improve your cholesterol levels, curbs hunger and prevents acute conditions such as heart diseases, diabetes and stomach cancers.
- Sabja seeds are very low in calories and if added to your daily diet, it can avoid joint diseases, sleep disorders and reduce issues like blood pressure and several types of cancer.
- This aromatic basil seed contains a high amount of Omega 3 fatty acids which will help you in fighting depression, improve vision, reduce anxiety and minimise the risk behind heart problems. If children intake sabja seeds regularly, their Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is improved significantly besides developing metabolic activities.
- The seeds contain the correct amount of minerals such as magnesium, calcium, folic acid, potassium and iron. Every 100 grams of sabja seeds contains 244% of calcium, 78% of folic acid, 499% of iron, 178% of magnesium and 56% of potassium.
Sabja Seed Benefits
Sabja seeds are popular in both Ayurvedic medicine and Chinese treatments. It provides many health benefits but is unknown to many of us. Let’s have a look at some known and useful benefits of sabja seeds.
Sabja seeds are good for skin and hair
You can crush sabja seeds into coconut oil before applying it on the affected part. The solution can treat skin diseases such as psoriasis and eczema. Just crush the seeds without soaking it in one cup of coconut oil. Warm the mixture for a couple of minutes before applying it on the surface. If you eat this sweet basil seeds regularly, your body will secrete collagen that is essential to form a new skin cell. When skin cell gets damaged and tends to tear, sabja seed mixed with coconut oil does miracles. Since these seeds are rich in protein, iron and Vitamin K, they can prove to be one of the best materials for long and healthy hair. Iron and protein increase hair volume too.
Sabja seed helps in reducing weight
Being rich in alpha-linolenic acid, sabja seeds are rich in Omega 3 fatty acid. These acids help in fat reduction by boosting fat burning metabolism in us. The seed is rich in fibre too which keeps our stomach satisfied for hours and prevents unwanted cravings. Just add a little amount of sabja seeds to your bowl of yogurt or sprinkle them on fruit salad to control appetite.
Sabja seeds reduce Body Heat
In many Asian countries such as China and Thailand, sabja seeds are used by making a drink containing water, honey, sugar and coconut milk. The seeds when added in the drink, tastes amazing besides scorches the summer heat. They act as one the best coolants for the body and is famous for lowering the body heat. This the reason many people like to add sabja seed to the nimbu pani, milkshakes and sherbets.
Sabja seeds help in curing Flu and cough
As sabja seeds contain antispasmodic properties, they help in soothing tension and relax spasmatic muscles. This, in turn, controls whooping cough. Besides, sabja seeds are good in strengthening body immunity. The body defence system is also boosted due to the presence of flavonoids such as orientin, vicenin and beta carotene.
Reduces heat-burn and treat acidity
The diuretic function of sabja seeds helps in soothing stomach burn and flushes out the harmful toxins from your body. The acidic effects are diminished which brings instant relief. Soak sabja seeds in water and have it on an empty stomach. It will not only soothe your stomach lining but also relieve burning sensation during hot summers.
Sabja seeds help in controlling blood sugar levels
These sweet basil seeds are considered good for people suffering from type 2 diabetics. The seeds check the blood sugar level and slow the metabolism in the body which controls the conversion from body carbohydrates to glucose. Simply soak some sabja seeds in a cup of milk to have it for morning breakfast.
Sabja seeds relieve from bloating and constipation
The sabja seeds are useful in detoxing your body naturally along with regulating smooth bowel movements. Sabja seeds mixed with a glass of milk works miraculously. Just have the drink before going to bed for a few days. This will act as a stomach cleanser. The volatile oil helps the stomach in relieving gas present in the gastrointestinal tract and boosts food digestion.
Treat mouth ulcers
People who face mouth ulcers repeatedly can have sabja seeds. The seed has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that heal mouth ulcers effectively. Eat one teaspoon sabja seeds that have been soaked in water. This act as a mouth freshener and cleans plaque besides keeping cavities at bay.
Since sabja food is rich in minerals and essential vitamins, protein along with Omega-3 fatty acids, it is regarded as PCOS friendly food. The seed does not spike insulin amount, prevents food allergies, regulate the menstrual cycle, keeps you filling for a long time and eliminates hormonal issues.
Sabja seeds are good in preventing regular UTI issues
These seeds are recommended to those who face recurrent issues related to urinary tract infections. Since sabja seed is a natural coolant and is quite able to flush out extra toxins from kidneys, it helps woman body in fighting with infections and complicated issues such as pain and burning sensations. All you need is drink sabja water regularly to cure the infection.
Sabja seeds side effects
Like other seeds, sabja seed too comes with some side effects. It can potentially decrease blood pressure and heartbeat rates. Study shows that sabja seeds can cause infertility in men and hypoglycaemia i.e. low blood sugar level. If any woman is pregnant or lactating, she needs to consult her doctor before consuming sabja seeds. Similarly, before including it on your child’s diet, do consult his/her paediatrician to avoid any discomfort.
Sabja seeds if consumed by small babies can choke them up and hence it must be mixed in the water very nicely. Other than this, side effects of sabja seeds include acne, vomiting, diarrhoea, headache, nausea, loss of appetite, discomfort in the abdomen and a few more. Hence, we would highly recommend to consult your physician before consuming it or stop its intake if you face any of the discomfort mentioned above.