Basil seeds (sabja) have a unique texture and flavor, making them a popular ingredient in food and beverage recipes. Basil seeds are a useful ingredient due to their high dietary fiber content. Sabja seeds have emulsifying, foaming, thickening, stabilizing, viscosity, and gelling properties. As a result, they are often used as a source of dietary fiber in beverages, ice creams, and confectionery products.
These tiny seeds are a complete diet for optimum health as they are abundant in many essential health components. The following article will concentrate on basil seeds’ health benefits and also it’s side effects. Continue reading to learn why and how to benefit most from basil seeds for your health.
About Basil seeds
Basil (Ocimum basilicum), commonly known as sweet basil, is an annual herb of the Labiatae family. This plant is of tropical origin and has been growing in Pakistan, India, and Southeast Asia for 4000-5000 years. Basil seeds are oval, small, and porous, and their size varies depending on the region and country of cultivation.
The small, black seeds of the sweet basil plant are rich in nutrients and have been used in traditional medicine for centuries. Basil seeds are hard when dry, but when soaked in water, they absorb liquid and expand, creating a crunchy texture. Basil seeds can absorb up to 10 times their weight in water, making them a popular beverage ingredient.
Nutritional Value Of Basil Seeds
Although basil seeds are low in calories, they are rich in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, and minerals. Protein contents in basil seeds range from 11.4 to 22.5 g per 100 g. They contain all the necessary amino acids except tryptophan and S-containing amino acids. They also contain dietary fiber (soluble and insoluble), which ranges from 7.11 to 26.2 g/100 g lipids, with linoleic (12-85.6 g/100 g) and linolenic fatty acids (0.3-75 g/100 g) making up the highest proportions.
Iranian and Indian basil seeds are the most used seeds, but they have differences in terms of physical and nutritional characteristics, which are discussed below :
Physical and nutritional characteristics of Iranian and Indian Basil Seeds
|Iranian Basil Seeds||Indiian Basil Seeds|
|Length (mm) = 3.11||1.97|
|Width (mm) = 1.82||1.06|
|Thickness (mm) = 1.34||Note determined|
|Moisture = 4||9.6|
|Protein = 20.4||14.8|
|Lipids = 16.6||13.8|
|ASH = 8.9||7.7|
|Carbohydrate = 40.1||63.8|
|Fiber = 26.2||22.6|
Uses Of Basil Seeds
In Indian, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisine, basil seeds are used as a versatile ingredient. They are used as a texture or thickener in food and have a mild, nutty flavor. In addition, they are used as a seasoning for soups, baked goods, salad dressings, and beverages. By soaking basil seeds in water for a while, they become gelatinous. This gelatinous product can give a distinctive texture to drinks, desserts, salad dressings, bread dough, cake dough, and soup seasoning.
Basil seeds are also suitable for biodegradable films and food packaging due to their high tensile and deformation capacity. In polluted waters, they can absorb metals such as copper, cesium, and strontium and act as a secondary reservoir of selenium. Heavy metals in the soil can affect Basil morphology, biomass, and oil content. More research is needed to determine whether heavy metals are present in basil seeds of different regions .
Health Benefits Of Basil Seeds
Basil seeds are a great food source and have many health benefits. They are an excellent source of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. In the following section, we will go through some of the most important health benefits of sabja seeds :
Rich In Minerals
Minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, and folic acid are abundantly found in Basil seeds. Hence, basil seeds help the health of teeth and bones. In addition, they strengthen hormones and enzymes and stimulate brain activity.
Anti-inflammatory and Anti-Cancer Properties
Basil seeds contain active compounds such as flavonoids that have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activities. They also help prevent cancer from spreading and protect your cells from damage.
The alpha-linolenic acid and omega-3 fatty acids are abundant in Basil seeds. These components can increase the body’s metabolic capacity to burn fat. In addition, they contain fiber, which makes a person feel full for longer and prevents hunger, which ultimately helps in weight loss.
Sabja seeds aid in lowering levels of harmful cholesterol. Low cholesterol levels reduce the burden on the heart and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, as well as the risk of atherosclerosis, plaque formation, and high blood pressure.
Controling Blood Sugar Level
Dietary fibers in basil seeds can regulate blood sugar levels. They are beneficial for type 2 diabetes since they seem to regulate blood sugar levels. They slow down the body’s metabolism, which in turn regulates the rate at which carbohydrates are converted into glucose. A morning glass of water with basil seeds can increase insulin sensitivity throughout the day.
Controling Blood Pressure
Basil seeds contain potassium, which directly affects blood pressure by dilating blood vessels, reducing tension in arteries and blood vessels, and reducing stress on the cardiovascular system.
Improving Bone Health
The elements in basil seeds, including iron, potassium, copper, calcium, manganese, and magnesium, increase the density of bone minerals and, at the same time, reduce the incidence of osteoporosis and preserve youthful energy.
Since basil seeds contain substantial amounts of vitamin A, people with poor vision or high levels of oxidative stress can include them in their diet. In the retina, vitamin A acts as a powerful antioxidant that prevents cataracts and delays the onset of macular degeneration.
Helping Dental Health
Due to anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-microbial properties, basil seeds prevent the formation of plaque, cavities, bad breath, and mouth ulcers. You can freshen your breath by chewing some basil seeds.
Basil seeds can relieve pain and also reduce the severity of conditions such as arthritis, gout, headaches, and irritable bowel syndrome. Since ancient times, basil seeds have been used for their anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. They can reduce swelling and inflammation and also plaque growth in blood vessels.
Basil seeds improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression.
Reducing Body Temperature
Basil seeds are one of the optimal body coolers and are a great drink to cool down during intense heat. In Asian countries, basil seeds are used to make drinks with water, sugar, honey, and other ingredients. The sabja seeds soothe upset stomachs and help keep drinks cool.
Relieving Constipation And Bloating
Basil seeds aid in the body’s natural detoxification and as a stomach cleanser to help remove toxins from the stomach. These seeds contain volatile oils that help digestion and expel gas from the digestive system.
Basil Seeds Benefits For Skin
Due to the presence of antioxidants and flavonoids, basil seeds improve skin health by promoting cell growth. When crushed in coconut oil, they can treat skin conditions, including eczema and psoriasis. Basil seeds are a powerful anti-aging diet as they continuously stimulate the production of collagen, which repairs damaged skin cells and helps the skin maintain its elasticity.
Basil Seeds Benefits For Hair
Basil seeds are rich in iron and antioxidants, promote hair growth, and protect against premature hair loss. They also protect against oxidative stress and inflammation, keeping your hair beautiful and healthy. Sabja seeds are rich in protein and vitamin K and are beneficial for hair health.
Sabja Seeds Benefits For Female
Sabja seeds can be beneficial for women because they reduce estrogen levels. Women with too much estrogen in their menstrual cycle can relieve their excessive bleeding by consuming basil seeds.
basil seeds also play an important role in regulating menstrual and hormonal cycles since they are rich in vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Sabja Seeds Benefits For Male
In traditional medicine, basil seed tea is widely used to awaken dormant libido in men. It increases male fertility because it improves sperm quality.
Basil Seeds Side Effects
Consuming sabja seeds provides many health benefits. However, overusing basil seeds may lead to side effects listed below:
- Nausea, diarrhea, bloating, Acne, acid reflux, headache, stomach pain, and loss of appetite are possible symptoms of overconsuming basil seeds.
- Excessive consumption of basil seeds may lower blood sugar.
- Overconsumption of basil seeds can reduce blood pressure below the recommended level and lead to several significant issues.
- The consumption of basil seeds by young children may cause throat sticking.
- Basil oil and seeds shouldn’t be consumed if you’ve recently had surgery or are injured as they may prevent blood clotting.
Sabja Seed Side Effects For Females
Sabja seeds may be beneficial for women by controlling menstrual health and cooling the body if consumed in the right amount. However, consuming sabja seeds during pregnancy is not recommended as they may suppress estrogen levels in the body.
How To Use Basil Seeds
Soak one or two tablespoons of sabja seeds in a cup of warm water for 15 minutes. Each black seed swells as it grows, forming a translucent gray layer around it. You can add these seeds to various beverages, including yogurt, smoothies, lemonade, milkshakes, coconut water, and soups. You can also add them to salads, spaghetti, and ice cream for a great crunchy taste.
The Daily Intake Of Basil Seeds
One or two tablespoons of sabja seeds per day are suggested amounts.