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Health Benefits of Basil Seeds (Sabja)

Basil seeds, also known as sabja seeds or tukmaria, are an important ingredient in Ayurveda and traditional Chines medicine due to the health benefits they may offer. These seeds are derived from sweet basil, Ocimum basilicum and are also utilised for seasoning in the kitchen. 

Sabja seeds are black and hard seeds. They cannot be consumed raw and are best consumed after soaking in water, which makes them more gelatinous.

Nutritional facts of Basil Seeds

Basil seeds are a good source of fibre, proteins, carbohydrates, and Omega-3 fatty acids. It also contains minerals such as potassium, copper, manganese, calcium, and magnesium. It is rich is in plant compounds such as flavonoids and other polyphenols. Sabja seeds are low in calories.

As per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, 100 gm of basil seeds contains 27 calories, 2.5 gm proteins, 3.9 gm fiber, 4.3 gm carbohydrates, 0.61 gm fat, 0.3 gm sugar, 3.17 mg iron, 154 mg calcium, 462 mg of potassium, 4 mg of sodium, and 18 mg of vitamin C.

Potential Health benefits of Basil Seeds

1/6. Helps in weight loss

1. The alpha-linolenic acid present in the sabja seeds helps in boosting the fat burning metabolism in the body thus, promoting weight loss. 

2. The fibre content of sabja keeps the stomach full for longer durations and hinders unwanted cravings. Sabja seeds release digestive enzymes which suppress the appetite.

2/6. Helps relieve constipation

1. The fibre content of basil seeds helps in regulating smooth bowel movements thus relieving constipation. 

2. The volatile oils found in sabja seeds help in alleviating gas from the gastrointestinal tract.

3. Sabja seeds help to flush out the toxins from the stomach and they function as a  natural detox.

3/6. Help treat acidity and heartburn

1. The diuretic functions of sabja seeds flush out the toxins from the body, neutralising the acidic effect of stomach acids thus, reducing acidity.

2. The water content of the soaked sabja seeds helps in soothing the lining of the stomach and thereby relieving the burning sensation.

4/6. Help reduce body heat

1. The natural cooling properties possessed by Sabja seeds make them one of the best coolants.

2. These seeds reduce the body heat and also soothe the stomach. 

5/6. Helps boost immunity

The high antioxidants found in basil seeds help in boosting the immunity and in offering protection against free radical damage.

6/6. Other possible Benefits…

Basil seeds produce numerous health benefits, apart from the health benefits mentioned above, it also produces few more such as controls blood sugar levels, cures cough and flu, increases iron and calcium levels, combats various dental issues,reduces cholesterol levels,reduces stress & anxiety, reduces hair fall, improves hair volume,  gets rid of dandruff, treats eczema and psoriasis, prevents premature hair loss.

Also reduces arthritic swelling, combats stress, boosts mood, improves digestion, deals with polycystic ovarian syndrome,  prevents recurrent urinary tract infection, fights neuro disorders, provides a radiant glow to the skin, reduces the signs of ageing, clears acne and pimples, and tightens skin pores. 

People suffering from inflammatory conditions can try Basil seeds, soaked in water, as they as a good source of anti inflammatory property.

How to use Basil Seeds in the Diet?

Basil seeds cannot be consumed raw as they are too hard to chew. They can be consumed when soaked in water. On soaking in water, it swells to almost twice its size. They can be added to our diet in a variety of ways, some of them are as follows…

  • Sprinkle over kulfi.
  • Blend into a lemonade.
  • Used as a salad dressing.
  • Added to pastas or soups. 
  • Garnish drinks and desserts.
  • Added to yogurt, pudding, hot cereal like oatmeal.
  • Used in whole-grain pancakes, bread, and muffins.
  • Added to smoothies, or milkshakes, or other drinks.

How to prepare Sabja seeds porridge with mixed fruits?

Take 2 tablespoon sabja seeds, wash them and soak them in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain the excess water and keep it aside.

Take 2 chopped bananas, 400 ml unsweetened almond milk, 2 dates, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Mix them and blend it to form a thick paste.

Stir the sabja seeds and allow it to settle for at least 10 minutes.

Serve the sabja porridge, topped with 2 cups chopped mixed fruits.

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