Sabja seeds, also called tukmaria or basil seeds, are black seeds that look a lot like chia seeds and offer immense health benefits.
They are native to India but different from Holy Basil, also called Tulsi. Sabja seeds are high in protein, essential fats, carbohydrates and are full of fiber. Surprisingly, they contain zero calories.
Sabja seeds are very hard and you cannot eat them raw. Thus, they are best consumed after soaking in water, which makes them more gelatinous.
Sabja seeds usually come from sweet basil, i.e. Ocimum basilicum, which we commonly use as a seasoning. Since they come from the sweet basil plant, they are commonly referred to as sweet basil seeds.
The benefits of sabja seeds in Ayurveda and Chinese medicine have been known for some time. However, we have only recognized its benefits in the recent past.
Nutrition information by Sabja Seeds
Research shows that the nutritional composition of basil seeds varies depending on where people grow them. Evidence suggests that 100 grams (g) of Indian basil seeds contain:
- 14.8g protein
- 13.8g fat
- 63.8g carbohydrates
- 22.6g fiber
The main minerals contained in 100 g of basil seeds are:
- 2.27 milligrams (mg) of iron
- 31.55mg magnesium
- 1.58mg zinc
Research also suggests that 100g of Indian basil seeds contain about 442 calories, or about 57.5 calories per tablespoon (13g).
6 Proven Health Benefits of Sabja Seeds (Basil Seeds)
Sabja seeds have many benefits, including:
1. Basil seeds help with weight loss
Rich in alpha-linolenic acid, sabja seeds are known for their slimming properties. As they are full of fiber, they keep you full for a long time, prevent unwanted cravings and help with weight loss.
2. Basil Seeds Control Blood Sugar Levels
It slows down your body’s metabolism and controls the conversion of carbohydrates into glucose. It is even considered good for type II diabetic patients.
3. Basil seeds help relieve constipation and bloating
Sabja seeds naturally detoxify your body by gently regulating intestinal transit. It contains a volatile oil that helps relieve gas from your gastrointestinal tract and acts as a stomach cleanser.
4. Basil seeds help treat acidity and heartburn
Sabja seeds help neutralize the acidic effect of HCL in the body, which can relieve acidity and heartburn. This is because we consume the seeds after being soaked in water, the water content helps soothe the stomach lining and relieves you from the burning sensation.
5. Basil seeds good for skin and hair
We can accomplish the benefits of Sabja seeds for the skin by adding crushed seeds to coconut oil and applying it on the affected area. This helps treat skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. It also has many other benefits like regular consumption of the seeds which helps your body to secrete collagen which is necessary for the formation of new skin cells.
Sabja seeds are proven to be beneficial in maintaining healthy hair as they are full of iron, vitamin K and protein needed for long and strong hair. Moreover, the antioxidant properties they contain also benefit your skin and hair.
6. Basil seeds help cure coughs and colds
Another benefit of sabja/basil seed is its antispasmodic property. These seeds soothe spasmodic muscles and help them relax. The antispasmodic property helps in controlling whooping cough and also helps in boosting the immune system of the body.
Basil seeds are a rich source of minerals which are essential for your body to stay healthy.
Sabja seeds (basil seeds) for weight loss
These seeds play an important role in Ayurvedic medicines that relieve conditions such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, depression, type II diabetes and metabolic imbalances.
A recent discovery has revealed that these seeds can make you feel fuller and thus prevent unwanted overindulgence. Basil seeds for weight loss have recently gained popularity due to consistent and reliable evidence.
How it works Sabja seeds swell and release digestive enzymes when soaked in water. When consumed, these digestive enzymes suppress your appetite and help reduce unwanted cravings.
Basil seeds are loaded with fiber, which keeps you feeling full for a long time and thus prevents you from overeating unnecessarily by reducing your appetite.
These seeds are low in calories and high in nutrients like calcium, magnesium, iron, and phosphorus, along with other multivitamins. They are also rich in alpha-linolenic acid, which boosts the fat burning metabolism in your body.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that daily consumption of linolenic acid leads to fat loss.
How to use sabja seeds for healthy weight loss?
They are packed with nutrients and are one of the best ways to lose weight without missing out on essential nutrients your body needs. They are most effective when consumed after soaking them in water. When you soak these seeds in water, the water makes them translucent and soft.
To use basil seeds for weight loss, soak one/two teaspoons of the seeds in a cup full of lukewarm water and consume them directly after fifteen minutes. You can also sprinkle these seeds in salads and soups, or mix them with lemonade or green tea.
Side Effects of Sabja Seeds (Basil Seeds)
You can consume sabja seeds however, you have to be careful as it can react with other medications. Although these seeds pose little or no danger and almost all individuals can tolerate them, we suggest that you consult a doctor or nutritionist before eating.
If you consume these seeds in limited quantities, they pose no threat. But an overdose of these seeds has side effects. The recommended daily dosage should not exceed one tablespoon, although it may vary from person to person.
Side effects of these seeds include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, acne, acid reflux, headache, abdominal discomfort, loss of appetite, etc. They can also cause hypoglycemia in some people.
Most health care providers do not recommend sabja seeds to pregnant women and even children, as children could choke on the seeds if they are not mixed well in water. They are believed to reduce the level of estrogen in the body and are therefore not recommended for pregnant women.
As basil oil and extracts can slow blood clotting, their consumption is not recommended if you have recently had surgery or are injured. If you have scheduled surgery, you should stop using basil at least two weeks before surgery as side effects from these vary from person to person. We recommend that you consult your health care provider before consuming them.
Sabja Seed Recipes
Sabja seeds offer many health benefits. But soaking in water and consuming them can be annoying. To make these seeds interesting, try some of the recipes below.
1. A twist on lemonade
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Ice water (optional ice cubes) – 2 glasses
- Strawberry syrup- 3 tbsp
- Sabja seeds- 2 tsp
- Coarsely torn mint leaves – 4 to 5
- A pinch of salt for each glass (optional)
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
- Wash and soak the seeds in lukewarm water for 10-15 minutes.
- Filter the excess water and keep it aside.
- In a jar, add strawberry syrup, lemon juice and ice water. Mix well.
- Add strained seeds, stir and transfer to a chilled glass.
- Add mint leaves and salt.
- You can add ice cubes and serve them chilled.
You can also use rose syrup, any fruit flavored drink instead of strawberry syrup, or if you want a healthier alternative with no added sugar, just add the seeds to any fruit juice. Sabja seeds with coconut water not only taste great, but it is also the best way to refresh your body during the summer.
2. Sabja seed porridge with mixed fruits
- Unsweetened almond milk – 400 ml
- Ground cinnamon – ¼ tsp
- Sabja seeds – 2 tbsp
- Split bananas – 2
- Pitted dates – 2
- Chopped mixed fruit – 2 cups
- Pinch of salt
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
- Wash and soak the seeds in lukewarm water for 10-15 minutes. Filter the excess water and keep it aside.
- In a blender, combine the banana, unsweetened almond milk, dates, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Mix them to form a thick paste.
- Stir in the seeds and let sit for at least 10 minutes.
- Serve the sabja porridge in bowls, garnished with mixed fruits.
** You can add more almond milk to change the consistency of the porridge.
Sabja seeds are known for their benefits that add value to your life. They not only help keep your skin and hair healthy, but also provide several other health benefits that are necessary to maintain a healthy life.
It should be noted that although basil seeds have many nutritional benefits, you should consult a doctor before adding them to your diet.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q. What are the benefits of eating sabja seeds?
A. Sabja seeds or sweet basil seeds are excellent as a natural body coolant, aid in weight loss, regulate blood pressure, relieve acidity and bloating.
Q. How to consume sabja seeds for weight loss?
A. The best way to take sabja seeds is to soak a tablespoon in a glass of water for about 15 minutes. You can simply drink the water with soaked seeds or add them to lemon water or in buttermilk, milk or the juice of your choice. Since these seeds are rich in dietary fiber, they help a person feel full and full. The gelatinous seeds create a feeling of fullness and help ward off food cravings, thus aiding in weight loss.
Q. Can we take Sabja seeds every day?
A. Yes, you can consume sabja seeds daily.
Q. Do Sabja seeds help reduce body heat?
A. Yes, these seeds work as natural refrigerants and reduce body heat. Have them in a glass of cold milk to help reduce body heat.
Q. Are sabja seeds good for the thyroid?
A. Sabja seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which maintain a good metabolism, helping the proper functioning of the thyroid gland.
Q. What are the side effects of Sabja seeds?
A. Raw sabja seeds can cause choking. The high fiber content of sabja seeds can cause digestive side effects like bloating or diarrhea. Excess consumption can also lead to digestive problems.
Q. What is sabja called in English?
A. Sabja seeds are commonly known as sweet basil seeds in English.
Q. Is chia seed the same as sabja?
A. No, chia seeds are different from sabja seeds. Chia seeds are tiny black and white seeds derived from a desert plant Salvia hispanica and sabja seeds are tiny black seeds derived from the sweet basil plant, also known as holy basil.
Q. Which is better: chia seeds or sabja seeds?
A. Chia seeds and basil seeds both offer tremendous nutritional benefits. Although they come from two different plants, they look somewhat alike and have similar nutritional benefits. So choosing which one is the best may vary from person to person.
Q. Who should not eat Sabja seeds?
A. Sabja seeds should not be consumed by people after surgery as they slow blood clotting. Pregnant women and children can refrain from eating sabja seeds in their drinks or desserts, as sabja seeds cause hormones to fluctuate and induce contractions in pregnant women. As for children, it is possible that they choke on them.
Q. When is the best time to drink sabja seeds?
A. You can add sabja seeds soaked overnight in the morning in your detox drink or with your smoothie bowl. However, sabja seeds were traditionally eaten before meals, as they are appetite suppressants and are great for weight loss.
Q. Can you drink sabja seeds on an empty stomach?
A.Yes, you can consume Sabja seeds on an empty stomach, as they are recommended as an ingredient containing antioxidants and can be added to your morning detox water.
Q. Are sabja seeds hot or cold?
A. Sabja seeds are an excellent natural coolant and are known to reduce body heat. Ideal for summers, the seeds can be added to any juice or infused water of your choice.
Q. Are Sabja seeds good for hair growth?
A. Sabja seeds are beneficial in reducing hair loss and promoting hair growth as they are loaded with iron, vitamin K and protein.
Q. Are sabja seeds good for the skin?
A. Yes. Packed with antioxidants and flavonoids, sabja seeds improve skin texture and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. It is also known to treat skin infections.
Q. Are basil seeds good for menstruation?
A. Yes, basil seeds help improve the regularity of menstruation while reducing menstrual cramps.