Sabja seeds, also called tukmaria or basil seeds are the black seeds that look a lot like chia seeds and offer immense health benefits. They are native to India but different from the holy basil- also called Tulsi. Sabja seeds are rich in protein, essential fats, carbs, and are packed with fiber. Surprisingly, they contain no calories.
Sabja seeds are very hard and cannot be consumed raw. They are best consumed after soaking in water, which makes them more gelatinous. Sabja seeds typically come from sweet basil, Ocimum basilicum, which we commonly use as seasoning. As 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 a while.It is only in the recent past that sabja seed benefits have been recognised.
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Sabja seeds benefits
Sabja seeds have a lot of benefits which include, but are not limited to, the following:
Aids Weight Loss
Rich in alpha-linolenic acid, sabja seeds are known for their weight loss benefits. As they are full of fiber, they keep you full for a long time, prevent unwanted cravings and aid in weight loss.
Controls blood sugar levels
It slows down the metabolism of your body and controls the conversion of carbs into glucose. It is considered to be good for type II diabetes patients.
Helps relieve constipation and bloating
Sabja seeds naturally detox your body by regulating smooth bowel movement. It contains a volatile oil that helps relieve gas from your gastrointestinal tract and acts as a stomach cleanser.
Helps treat acidity and heartburn
Sabja seeds help to neutralise the acidic effect of HCL in the body, which can bring relief from acidity and heartburn. As the seeds are consumed after being soaked in water, the water content helps soothe the stomach lining and, in turn, relieve you of the burning sensation.
Good for skin and hair
Sabja seeds benefit for skin can be accomplished by adding crushed sabja seeds to coconut oil and applying it on the affected area. It helps in treating skin ailments such as eczema and psoriasis. Eating sabja seeds regularly helps your body to secrete collagen, which is required to form new skin cells.
Sabja seeds have also been proved to be beneficial for healthy hair as they are full of iron, vitamin K and protein that is needed for long and strong hair. The antioxidant properties of sabja seeds also benefit your skin and hair.
Helps cure cough and cold
Yet another sabja seeds benefit is its antispasmodic property. These seeds soothe the spasmatic muscles and help them relax. The antispasmodic property helps to control whooping cough. They also aid in strengthening the body’s immunity system.
Sabja seeds are a rich source of minerals which are essential for your body to stay healthy. They are loaded with health benefits and have recently started gaining popularity for their weight loss properties.
Sabja seeds for weight loss
Sabja seeds are known for the role they play in ayurvedic medicines to relieve conditions that include high blood pressure, cholesterol, depression, type II diabetes, and metabolic imbalances. Recently it was discovered that sabja seeds have the ability to keep you feeling full and thus avoid unwanted binging. Sabja seeds for weight loss has gained immense popularity recently due to the consistent and reliable evidence of its weight loss properties.
Sabja seeds swell up and release digestive enzymes when they are soaked in water. These digestive enzymes suppress your appetite and help reduce unwanted cravings. These seeds are full of fiber, which keeps you feeling full for a long time. They further prevent you from unnecessary overeating by reducing your appetite.
Sabja seeds are low in calories and high in nutrients like calcium, magnesium and iron, phosphorus, along with multivitamins. They are also rich in alpha-linolenic acid, which stimulates the fat burning metabolism in your body. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that daily consumption of linolenic acid results in fat loss.
How to use sabja seeds for healthy weight loss?
Sabja seeds are packed with nutrients and are considered the best way to lose weight without falling short of the essential nutrients that your body needs. They are most effective when they are consumed after soaking them in water. When sabja seeds are soaked in water, the water makes them translucent and soft.
To use sabja seeds for weight loss, soak one to two teaspoons of the seeds in a cup full of warm water. Consume them directly after fifteen minutes. You can also sprinkle these seeds in salads and soups, or mix them with lemonade or green tea.
Sabja seeds side effects
You can consume sabja seeds with little fear of it interacting with other medications. Though these seeds pose little to no threat and are tolerated by almost all individuals, it is suggested to consult your healthcare provider. If these seeds are taken in limited quantity, they do not pose any threat. But overdose of sabja seeds have some side effects. The daily recommended dosage is not to exceed a tablespoon, though it might vary from person to person. Sabja seeds side effects include diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea, acne, acid reflux, headache, abdomen discomfort, loss of appetite and such. Sabja seeds can also cause low blood sugar in some people.
Most healthcare providers do not recommend sabja seeds to pregnant women and children. Children could choke on the seeds in they are not mixed well in water. As sabja seeds are believed to reduce the estrogen level in the body, it is not recommended for pregnant women. As basil oil and extracts can slow blood clotting, it is not recommended for consumption if you have recently had surgery or are wounded. If you have a scheduled surgery, you must stop using basil at least two weeks before the surgery. As the side effects of sabja seeds vary from one person to another, it is recommended to consult your healthcare provider before consuming them.
Sabja seeds offer a lot of health benefits. But soaking them in water and consuming them may prove to be boring. To make these seeds interesting, try out some of the recipes below.
A twist on the Lemonade
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 glass chilled water (ice cubes optional)
- 3 tablespoon strawberry syrup
- 2 teaspoon sabja seeds
- 4 to 5 mint leaves roughly torn
- Pinch of salt for each glass(optional)
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
- Wash and soak the sabja seeds in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Strain out the excess water and keep aside.
- In a jar, add strawberry syrup, lemon juice and chilled water. Mix well.
- Add the strained sabja seeds, stir and transfer to a chilled glass.
- Add the mint leaves and salt.
- You can add ice cubes and serve chilled.
You can also use rose syrup, or any fruit-flavoured drink instead of strawberry syrup. You can simply add sabja seeds in any fruit juice. Sabja seed with coconut water not only tastes good, but it is also the best way to cool your body during summer.
Sabja seeds porridge with mixed fruits
- 400 ml unsweetened almond milk
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoon sabja seeds
- 2 bananas broken
- 2 dates pitted
- 2 cups chopped mixed fruits
- Pinch of salt
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
- Wash and soak the sabja seeds in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain out the excess water and keep aside.
- In a blender mix banana, unsweetened almond milk, dates, cinnamon and salt. Blend them to form a thick paste.
- Stir in the sabja seeds and let it sit for at least 10 minutes.
- Serve the sabja porridge in bowls, topped with mixed fruits.
You can add more almond milk to alter the consistency of porridge.
Sabja seeds are known for their benefits that add value to your life. They not only help in keeping your skin and hair healthy but also offer several other health benefits required for a healthy life. Recently, sabja seeds started gaining popularity for their ability to aid weight loss. It must be noted that though sabja seeds have a lot of nutritional benefits, you must consult an experienced doctor before adding them to your diet.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
A: The best way to take sabja seeds is soak a tablespoon of them in a glass of water for about 15 minutes. You can drink the water with seeds or add them to lemon water or in buttermilk, milk or curd. Since these seeds are high in dietary fiber, they help a person feel full and satiated.The gelatinous seeds create a feeling of fullness and help in keeping away cravings, thus helping in weight loss.
A: Yes, you can consume sabja seeds on a daily basis.
A: Yes, these seeds work as natural coolants and reduce body heat. Have them in a glass of cold milk in order to help reduce body heat.
A: Sabja seeds are rich in omega 3 fatty acids which maintain good metabolism, thereby helping in proper functioning of the thyroid gland.
A: Raw sabja seeds can cause choking. The high fiber content of sabja seeds may cause digestive side effects like bloating or diarrhea. Excessive intake can also lead to digestive issues.