Sabja seeds or sweet basil seeds in English are all the rage in the West now but did you know that they have a long history of use in India? Sabja seeds uses have been noted in several traditional Indian recipes and the health benefits of basil seeds have been reaped for centuries now. So what’s this hype all about and if it’s true, how to eat basil seeds?
Before we get into how you can consume these nutritious seeds, let’s discuss the nutritional aspect and health benefits of basil seeds.
Sabja Seed Nutrition
Here’s a complete list of all the important and nourishing components that exist in a single serving of sweet basil seeds (1 tablespoon or 13gms) -
Nutrition per Serving
15% of RDI (Recommended Dietary Intake)
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
15% of RDI
10% of RDI
Now that you know about sabja seed nutrition, let's get into its benefits for your body and the multiple sabja seeds uses that make it a powerhouse of a seed.
Overall Health Benefits of Basil Seeds
High in Minerals
Sabja seeds are high in important minerals like calcium, magnesium and iron. From the chart above, you can see that a single teaspoon of sabja seeds can nourish your body with about 10-15% of the recommended dietary intake of these essential nutrients. Most people don’t get enough calcium, iron and magnesium from their diets, and this is the case for many vegetarians and vegans. Calcium is essential for bone health while iron helps with growth and development. Magnesium is an important mineral for proper brain functioning, and together, these three minerals are absolutely essential for your body. Incorporating a couple of tablespoons of sabja seeds can boost your nutrition and keep you healthy. Other sources of important minerals are almonds cashews and pistachios- the three types of nuts you need.
High in Fibre
Like most seeds, sabja seeds are also high in fibre, an important component that your body needs for overall digestive health. Besides sabja seeds, other important sources of fibre are nuts, dry fruits and lentils.
High in Antioxidants
A key component in sabja seed nutrition is the presence of antioxidants - particularly flavonoids. Flavinoids help prevent cell damage caused by oxidation and keep us looking young and healthy for a long time. Along with seeds, berries are also high in antioxidants that are especially beneficial during pregnancy. You can read more about antioxidants and their benefits in this article- benefits of eating blueberries during pregnancy.
High in Omega 3 Fats
Omega-3 fatty acids are a family of essential fats that are crucial for the body’s functioning. Foods high in Omega 3 fatty acids nourish the body and keep everything working the way it should. The presence of omega 3 fats is a key health benefit of basil seeds that make it a true powerhouse of vital nutrition.
Can Help Cool The Body
Sabja seeds uses to keep the body cool are well known in Ayurveda as well as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). This is why you may see basil seed beverages being sold, particularly during the summer months as they help beat the heat and soothe the body as well as the stomach.
While sabja seeds uses for the body are plenty and they are packed with nutrients, consuming too much may have some unpleasant side effects. While they are nothing but good in most cases, here are a few side effects to keep in mind.
Side effects of Sabja Seeds Uses
- Since a key aspect of sabja seed nutrition is fibre, consuming too much without your body being used to it may result in bloating. In order to prevent this, you can start consuming a teaspoon of sabja seeds a day and slowly start increasing your intake to a tablespoon if your body reacts well to it.
- Sabja seeds may slow down blood clotting and are hence not recommended for consumption if you have recently had surgery. However, it is best if you consult your doctor on the same before eating them regularly.
Don’t be too alarmed by these side effects, as like most things, consuming sabja seeds in the right quantities is nothing but beneficial for your body. In order to reap all of the sabja seeds uses and benefits, it is recommended to consume a tablespoon a day.
Difference Between Chia Seeds and Sabja Seeds
A common misconception is that sabja seeds are the same as chia seeds but this is not the case. Chia seeds come from a flowering plant in the mint family while sabja seeds come from sweet basil plants. Besides this difference between chia seeds and sabja seeds, there is some difference in quantities and composition of key nutrients.
A key difference between chia seeds and sabja seeds is the amount of omega-3 fatty acids, with chia seeds having more than double the quantity. However, basil seeds have a higher concentration of iron, magnesium and calcium, all important nutrients that your body needs.
Sabja Seeds Benefits for Hair
One of the best sabja seeds uses is for healthier, stronger hair. Basil seeds are high in vitamin K, an important nutrient that keeps hair follicles supple and nourished. The presence of iron in sabja seeds benefits for hair growth, as iron is necessary for hair strength.
Basil Seeds Benefits for Skin
Omega 3 fatty acids nourish our bodies from the inside as well as the outside. Some of the many basil seeds benefits for skin come from the presence of omega 3, along with other vital nutrients like vitamin K that keep the skin looking healthy and plump. Besides eating basil seeds, one of the best sabja seeds uses is to make glowing face masks. Simply mix a tablespoon of sabja seeds with some milk and honey to form a thick paste. Apply onto the face and after 15 minutes, rinse off with warm water to unveil soft, supple skin.
Basil Seeds For Weight Loss
Basil seeds can be an incredible companion in your journey towards weight loss as they are naturally low in calories. Packed with fiber, protein and healthy fats, it’s incredibly healthy to consume basil seeds for weight loss as it also keeps you full for longer and helps you avoid binges and cravings. You can also read in detail about how to consume seeds for weight loss.
How To Eat Sabja Seeds
Now that you know about sabja seed nutrition and their many health benefits, are you curious about how to eat sabja seeds? Here are a few ways to seamlessly incorporate this magnificent seed into your daily diet.
One of the best sabja seeds uses is as a thickening agent in sauces, syrups and desserts. Since these seeds are overall neutral in flavour, they take on the flavour of other ingredients well while simply adding thickness and texture to ingredients. You can add the seeds to sauces directly or crush them into a fine powder for a smoother texture. Sabja seeds can even replace the usual, unhealthy thickening agents like cornstarch or maida and add a bonus of nutrients to any dish.
2. Add to Drinks
A great way to beat the heat during the dreadful summer months is to make basil seed drinks. Whether you’re making a simple lemonade or fruit punch, add a tablespoon per glass of sabja seeds to give the drink an interesting texture along with a kick of healthy nutrients while also keeping your body cool.
3. Consume with Water
A great way to utilise basil seeds for weight loss is to soak about a tablespoon of sabja seeds in a large glass of water and consume them before breakfast. The seeds can help naturally curb your appetite while giving you a boost of nutrients to kickstart your day.
4. Make Interesting Desserts
If you’ve ever had a falooda or jigarthanda, you probably know that sabja seeds are a key ingredient in these desserts that add the extra ‘oomph’ factor. Even if you aren’t making these classic Indian desserts, you can use sabja seeds in any puddings or desserts of your choice.
There’s no denying that sabja seeds uses are plenty and there are more pros to eating them than there are cons. Whether it’s weight loss you’re looking for or overall health and wellness, adding sabja seeds to your diet is a fun and easy way to go about your fitness journey. Most sabja seed recipes are easy to follow and involve minimal steps to achieve. So are you ready to improve your health and wellbeing with sabja seeds uses yet?
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