Have you ever tried sabja seeds to improve the condition of your skin, hair, and overall health? Well, do you really know that these holy seeds can make your weight loss goal much easier to achieve? In fact, making sabja seeds a part of the daily diet is the newest health trend that everyone is going ga-ga over. If you are not much into chemical-based practices for your health and beauty, you should join the bandwagon too. This superfood has been delivering impressive benefits since ages and you should know about them in order to look and feel healthy and beautiful naturally. So, let us talk about amazing health, skin, hair, and weight loss benefits of sabja seeds in this article. We will also focus on its uses and potential side effects.
What Are Sabja Seeds?
Sabja seeds or basil seeds (also known as tukmaria / tukmalanga / subza / selasih / falooda) are small black fragrant seeds that resemble chia seeds in size and color. They are obtained from the sweet basil plant (scientifically called Ocimum Basilicum), which is a native to southeast Asia. Being one of the most beneficial herbs, sabja has long been used in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. The tear-shaped seeds have a rich concentration of powerful antioxidants and other active ingredients, which impact human health and beauty to a great extent. They are also considered as a popular addition to a variety of Asian and global dishes. Though the magical seeds have a mild taste and a bland flavor, they add a light crunch to the food and gives them a significant nutritional boost (1).
Sabja seeds are obtained from the sweet basil plant, which is typically used for consumption. It is different from the holy basil plant or ‘tulsi'(Ocimum Tenuiflorum).
Nutritional Value Of Sabja Seeds
Sabja seeds come loaded with nutrition, which keeps us healthy from inside and beautiful from outside. They possess 42% carbohydrates, 20% proteins, and 25% fats. The vitamin and mineral contents of the seeds are also quite high. They contain calcium (244% of RDI or recommended daily intake), magnesium (178% of RDI), iron (499% of RDI), potassium (56% of RDI), folic acid (78% of RDI), vitamin E (53% of RDI), and vitamin K (185% of RDI). Sabja seeds also hold large amounts of dietary fibers, phytochemicals, polyphenolic flavonoids, omega-3 fatty acids, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), lutein, orientin, vicentin, and almost negligible calories.
Benefits Of Sabja Seeds For Health
1. Packed With Nutrition
Fresh sabja seeds are loaded with all those essential nutrients, which are required for germination of the plant. Adding these seeds to your regular diet can help you get sufficient amounts of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, sugar, dietary fibers, vitamins, minerals, and calories. Hence, your bodily functions are regularized and you can stay away from a number of ailments.
2. Helps In Digestion
Scientists have proved that sabja seeds have excellent carminative effects. It actually contains a very high level of insoluble dietary fibers. They serve the purpose of a natural detoxifying agent, which cleanses out our entire gastrointestinal tract efficiently. As the stomach becomes toxin-free, the process of digestion turns easier and the scopes of developing various digestive issues like upset stomach, cramps, indigestion, flatulence, etc. also go down.
3. Cures Constipation
Being rich in insoluble dietary fibers, sabja seeds can reduce constipation to a great extent or even cure it completely. The mucilaginous gel present around their inner covering also turns the ingredient into an emollient upon soaking and contributes to its laxative effect significantly. All you need to do is to soak a handful of the seeds in a glass of milk and drink it every night before going to bed. It will make the movements of the bowel through your intestines smoother, thereby relieving constipation.
4. Heals Acidity Or Stomach Burn
Sabja seeds are very much soothing for our gastrointestinal tract, especially stomach. If you feel an acute burning sensation in your abdomen, you should consume sabja seeds the previous way, i.e. by infusing in milk. Practicing it a few weeks will provide a great calming and comforting effect on your entire digestive system, thereby healing acidity or stomach burn.
Read Also – Top 10 Health Benefits Of Papaya Seeds
5. Treats Type-2 Diabetes
People suffering from type-2 diabetes can be highly benefited by including sabja seeds in their diet. They are known to bring the amount of sugar in our bloodstream under control, which eventually stabilizes the blood sugar levels and treats diabetes in an efficient manner.
6. Relieves Respiratory Issues
As per a new study, sabja seeds are extremely helpful in reducing various respiratory issues. Take 1 tablespoon of pure raw honey, 1 tablespoon of finely grated ginger and 1 tablespoon of fresh sabja seeds in a glass of water. Bring it to a boil and drink the infusion for a couple of weeks. You will get rid of cold, cough, influenza, bronchial asthma, and so on.
7. Diminishes Stress
Sabja seeds are one of the best natural stress busters. As said before, they have wonderful calming effects on our body, which are to some extent similar to aromatherapy. Therefore, incorporating these seeds into your daily food actually means reduced stress level, increased mental clarity, improved mental strength, and uplifted mood.
When it comes to keeping our body cool during those scorching summer days, sabja seeds can be a true rescuer. It has great cooling properties and can bring down body heat instantly. Hence, it is used as an effective body coolant. Just submerge a handful of fresh sabja seeds in a glass of water for a couple of hours and drink it directly or with milk. They become even twice more effective when taken along with rose petal water or jam (Gulkand).
Read Also – How To Use Kalonji Seeds For Weight Loss?
Benefits Of Sabja Seeds For Weight Loss
According to health experts, sabja seeds can help us shed off excess body fat significantly if included in a weight loss diet. Basically, sabja seeds expand as much as 30 times their actual volume or size, when soaked in water. It makes the texture of the seeds gelatinous and turns the drink into a filling one (with least calorie consumption). In short, the high fiber content of these seeds can keep us full for a longer time and curb our appetite dramatically.
Benefits Of Sabja Seeds For Skin
Healthy skin is nothing but a reflection of good health. So, let’s take a peek into the skin benefits offered by such incredibly healthful sabja seeds:
1. Keeps Breakouts Away
2. Heals Skin Infections
They hold all anti-microbial, anti-fungal and antibiotic qualities, which can keep our skin healthy and infection-free from inside.
3. Gives Flawless Skin
Regular intake of sabja seeds can enrich our skin cells with essential vitamins and minerals. As a result, we get a blemish-free, radiant skin naturally.
4. Prevents Premature Aging
You can prepare an anti-aging face pack for your skin by grinding dry sabja seeds into a fine powder and blending it with a tablespoon of coconut oil.
Read Also – Using Pumpkin Seeds For Hair Loss & Skin Care
Benefits Of Sabja Seeds For Hair
It has also been proved that sabja seeds are very much beneficial for our hair. Protein is the main component of our hair and sabja seeds can provide a whopping amount of this nutrient to our body. As a result, you experience less hair fall, better hair growth, and wonderful hair volume. You can also ward off pesky dandruff with DIY sabja seed hair oil. Combine olive or coconut oil with sabja seed powder, massage your scalp with the concoction and leave overnight.
Side Effects Of Sabja Seeds
Sabja seeds have been reported to be completely safe for consumption in moderate amounts and also well-tolerated by people. But though sabja seeds deliver a host of benefits for our health and appearance, they come with their own share of risks. Possible side effects of excessive consumption of sabja seeds include nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, bloating, diarrhea, acid reflux, loss of appetite, headache, acne, thyroid imbalance, choking hazard, etc. They influence the level of estrogen hormone in the body, which can stimulate menstruation and create serious complications for pregnant and lactating women. Hence, they should always consult a specialist before including sabja seeds in their diet. They also contain lots of vitamin K, which may interfere with blood-thinning drugs like warfarin.
How To Prepare Sabja Seed Water?
Sabja seeds are most commonly used to prepare a water infusion. It is the simplest way to give yourself a nutrient-rich burst with those seeds. Add 1 teaspoon of sabja seeds to a cup of warm water and let them soak for around 15 minutes. As the seeds swell up and become soft, you can see a gelatin-like translucent, grey-colored film surrounding each seed while the center remains black. The size of each seed also becomes three times than its original volume. Make sure that you always maintain the 1:1 ratio as using too little water can create a lump of seeds. You can certainly use plain water for pre-soaking but warm water makes the seeds swell up completely and allows them to release most of their vital nutrients, antioxidants, and digestive enzymes. This makes the sabja seed water infusion the healthiest and the most nutritious drink ever. However, you can simply strain the soaked seeds and use it in a number of other ways.
Soaking sabja seeds for at least a couple hours before the use ensures that their digestive enzymes are released fully. They can be used either with their jelly-like coat or without it after rinsing and straining thoroughly.
Other Ways To Use Sabja Seeds
Apart from the basic sabja seed water, there are plenty of other ways to use these nutrition-packed seeds. You can:
- Blend them into lemonade and other refreshing drinks for added freshness.
- Sprinkle them over fruit juices, smoothies, milkshakes, beverages, and desserts.
- Add them to your favorite soups, stews, pancakes, and pasta dishes for a ‘crunch’.
- Combine them with fruits, yogurt, pudding, vegan cheeses, and cream sauces.
- Include them in your bowls of hot cereals like oatmeals, and so on.
- Grind them dry and mix with all-purpose flour to prepare bread and muffins.
- Replace eggs with whole, soaked sabja seeds in baked goodies.
- Use them as a ‘grassy’ topping or dressing for salads.
- Munch on them as a low-calorie snack.
The thickening properties of sabja seeds and chia seeds are similar as both of them create a thick, gelatinous mixture upon soaking in water. But sabja seeds soak up water in just 5 imnutes while chia seeds take up almost an hour to soften. So, sabja seeds are used as an alternative to chia seeds.
Tips To Use Sabja Seeds Safely
1. Follow The Liquid-Seed Ratio
When soaked in water, sabja seeds can form a large gelatinous clump. This poses a choking hazard, especially in people with swallowing difficulties. Therefore, it is important for elderly people or young children to know the process of consuming these healthful seeds safely and effectively. All you need to do is follow the proper ratio of liquid to seeds in order to prevent the seeds from turning gelatinous and getting clumped together. If the mixture remains in the liquid form only, it will not be difficult to swallow anymore.
2. Start Slowly, Build Gradually
Do not start consuming a large number of sabja seeds right from the very first time. As they are rich in dietary fibers, it will be hard for your gut to adjust. Rather, start with a very small amount and increase your intake gradually. It will allow your gut to adjust to the fibers and keep your health intact.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Where To Find Sabja Seeds?
Edible sabja seeds are easily available online or offline Asian food stores. If you have a sweet basil plant at your home, you can collect pure and organic sabja seeds from it too.
Can I Eat Sabja Seeds Daily?
Considering its benefits, you can definitely eat sabja seeds every day. However, you must consult your doctor before including it in your daily regime in order to avoid adverse effects.
When Should I Drink Sabja Seed Water?
Consume sabja seed water at least half an hour prior to having your meal. This will help you enjoy the optimal benefits for health as well as weight loss.
Can I Chew Or Swallow Sabja Seeds?
You can but it is not recommended by experts. Rather, soak them before consuming so that the nutrients and enzymes are released fully.
- “10 Amazing Basil Seeds Health Benefits & Uses“, OrganicFacts.net