Sabja or Basil leaves have been used since time immemorial as a culinary herb, whether it is Italian Margherita Pizza or Basil Pesto, in soups or in salads. But what people don’t know is, Sabja seeds or seeds of basil have different health benefits too.
Sabja Seeds or Basil seeds: Health Benefits, Side effects & How to Use?
Sabja seeds also known as Falooda seeds, or Tukmaria seeds, are the seeds of great Basil or Saint-Joseph’s-wort, species Ocimum. This plant is found in tropical areas of Africa to southeast Asia. It is eaten as a food supplement all over the world. The stem, seeds, leaves, and oil all have medicinal values. The seeds of many varieties of basil, when soaked, become gelatinous.
Health Benefits of Sabja Seeds
Sabja seeds have many health benefits:
1. Nutritional Value: Sabja seeds contain various phytochemicals, antioxidants and polyphenolic flavonoids like orientin and vicenin. The leaves also contain many essential oils like eugenol, Limonene, Citronellol, terpineol, and citral. It also contains other vitamins like vitamin A and vitamin K, beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Important minerals like copper, calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, and folate can also be found in Sabja seeds.
2. Cooling properties: Drinks containing Sabja seeds act as a healthy coolant. It helps to lower the body temperature during summer. They mix well with water, sherbets, milkshake, and coconut milk.
3. Oral health benefits: Sabja seeds have antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties. It can help in curing mouth ulcer. It can be used as a mouth freshener. These seeds also help to combat various dental issues like bad breath, plaque, and cavities.
4. Hair care: Deficiency of vitamin K leads to baldness or thinning of hair. Sabja seeds contain natural vitamin K, iron and protein, and promotes healthy and shiny hair.
5. Skin care: A mixture of Sabja seeds and coconut oil helps to cure many skin problems like psoriasis, eczema, and others.
6. Curing Acidity: It has natural cooling and soothing properties. Hence it helps in curing acidity in the body and prevent stomach ulcers.
7. Indigestion and constipation: Sabja seeds help digestion by enhancing the digestive enzymes and removing the toxins from the body. It is also known to reinforce the inner walls of the digestive tract. These seeds to cure constipation. It is more effective when it is taken with milk before sleep.
8. Vaginal Infections: Sabja seeds also strengthens the vaginal lining. Thereby prevents vaginal infections.
9. Curing respiratory problems: Sabja seeds have antispasmodic properties, relax spastic muscles. It also contains natural flavonoids that strengthen the immune system against cough, cold, and flu.
10. Bone density: These seeds contain vitamin K. It increases the bone and cartilages density.
11. Anti-anemic properties: Anaemia is caused due to the low level of hemoglobin in the blood and can be very harmful if left untreated. Sabja seeds contain iron that is essential for hemoglobin development, thereby helps in curing anemia.
12. Diabetes management: Sabja seeds help to breakdown the carbohydrates to simple glucose. By increasing insulin secretion, it helps to lower blood glucose level in type I and especially type II diabetic patients. Placebo study conducted on 40 types II diabetic patients who were given basil leaf powder without any other diabetic medication for about four weeks shows a considerable decrease in fasting blood glucose level at an approximate rate of 17.6%, and that of post-prandial blood glucose level at a rate of 7.3% hence, Sabja seeds can be used for the benefit of diabetic patients.
13. Cardiovascular diseases (CVD): Basil seeds have antioxidant properties that help to neutralize free radicals. It also contains healthy lipids like omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. It has also been shown to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Along with its ant diabetic properties, this helps to prevent various CVD by preventing stiffening of arteries.
14. Help in weight management: Basil seeds contains about 11 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber and 5 grams of carbohydrates. Two teaspoons of Sabja seeds in water contain only 40 calories but is high in nutrients like linoleic acid, linolenic acid, unsaturated fatty acid, and oleic acid. Thus, the fiber content of the Sabja seeds helps in boosting satiety and fat metabolism reducing the deposition of excess fats and carbohydrates within the body. The dietary fibers also help in enhancing bowel movement and detoxifying the body. Having Sabja seeds along with milk before sleep helps in digestion and cleanses the stomach. All these properties help in weight loss when combined with other weight loss supplements or programs.
Ways to Use Sabja Seeds
Sabja seeds are generally soaked in water for 15 to 20 minutes when they swell up and can be used in healthy and refreshing concoctions. It can be added in milkshakes, Roof Afza, faloodas, sherbets, Shikanji, nimbu-paani, rose water, and milkshakes to make for a refreshing drink to soothe during summers. Read this article in order to know in detail on how to use them.
They can even be mixed in salads, yogurt, and other probiotic drinks, cereals like hot oatmeal, bread, muffins, whole grain pancakes, and whole grain pasta dishes as it adds crunch to them.
While using them in baked goods, they can be ground raw without soaking and even mixed with flour. Soaked basil seeds can be used in eggless cakes in place of eggs. A mixture of 1 tablespoon of basil seeds soaked in 3 tablespoons of water can act as a single egg in eggless baked recipes.
Raw seeds can also be added in soups and puddings to make it healthier.
Soaked seeds have a gel-like consistency with a seedy, black center and can be used to make delicious summertime lemonades or fruity smoothies or simply as toppings to fruit desserts.
Side Effects Of Sabja Seeds
These seeds are known to decrease the estrogen level and hence are not advisable for the consumption of pregnant women.
When not properly soaked it may cause choking hazards to the children and the elderly.
Patients suffering from thyroid problems are advised not to take these seeds without a doctor’s recommendation.
An overdose of these seeds may cause various ailments like diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, acidity, headache, vomiting, acne or loss of appetite.
Lactating mother, as well as infants, should not be given these seeds without proper medical consultation as it may be harmful to the health of the infant.