12 Amazing And Useful Basil Seeds Benefits And Its Side Effects (Sabja Seeds Benefits And Side Effects)
Basil Seeds Benefits – These seeds aren’t just for growing basil plants, they can also be eaten.
They look like moles but they are black. The kind you eat usually comes from basil, Ocimum basilicum, a plant commonly used to flavor foods.
This is why the seeds are commonly called basil seeds. They are also known by many other names, including sabza and tukmaria seeds.
Basil seeds have a long history of use in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, but their health effects have been proven in only a few studies.
Here are 12 Best Basil Seeds Benefits And Its Uses.
1- Good source of minerals
According to US food labels, 1 tablespoon (13 grams or 0.5 ounces) of basil seeds provides 15% of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for calcium and 10% of the RDI for magnesium and iron.
Calcium and magnesium are important for bone health and muscle function, while iron is essential for red blood cell production.
Many people do not get enough calcium and magnesium from their diet. Eating basil seeds can help you meet your daily requirements for this nutrient.
Additionally, basil seeds can be an important source of iron and calcium for those who do not eat meat or dairy.
Just 1 tablespoon (0.5 ounces or 13 grams) of basil seeds is a good source of iron, calcium, and magnesium, which can fill large gaps in your diet.
Packed with fiber
Basil seeds are high in fiber, especially soluble fiber, including pectin. Here are some ways the fiber in basil seeds can benefit your health.
2- Helps you meet your fiber quota
Just 1 tablespoon (13 grams or 0.5 ounces) of basil seeds provides 7 grams of fiber—25% of the RDI. Only 5% of Americans get enough fiber.
3- May support Gut health
Test-tube studies have shown that pectin has prebiotic properties, meaning it can nourish and increase beneficial gut bacteria. These may include pro-inflammatory bacteria that support gut health.
4- It can help you feel full
Pectin can slow gastric emptying and increase levels of hormones that make you feel full. However, it is unclear whether eating basil seeds to suppress appetite is an effective weight loss strategy.
5- It can help control blood sugar levels
When people with type 2 diabetes ate 10 grams (3/4 tablespoon) of basil seeds in water after each meal for a month, their subsequent blood sugar levels were 17 percent lower than baseline.
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6- It can raise cholesterol levels
Pectin can lower blood cholesterol levels by blocking the absorption of cholesterol in the intestines. People who ate 30 grams (7 teaspoons) of basil seeds daily for a month had an 8 percent decrease in their cholesterol levels.
Due to the lack of recent scientific research on basil seeds, more research is needed to confirm its health benefits.
Basil seeds contain soluble fiber that supports gut health, blood sugar control, healthy cholesterol levels and appetite control. However, more research is needed in this area.
7- Flavorless thickeners and stabilizers
The pectin-rich string gum from basil seeds can be a valuable ingredient in the food industry because it is tasteless and can help thicken and stabilize mixtures.
For example, it can stabilize ice cream and reduce unwanted ice crystal growth by 30-40% compared to standard ice cream recipes.
Basil seed sugar can also stabilize salad dressings, low-fat creams and jellies, and acts as a fat substitute in yogurt and mayonnaise.
Home cooks can also use these seeds to make thickeners such as desserts, soups, and sauces.
In the food industry, the pectin-rich gum in basil seeds can help thicken and stabilize food mixes such as salad dressings and ice cream. It can also be used at home.
8- Rich in plant compounds
Basil seeds are rich in plant compounds including flavonoids and other polyphenols.
Flavonoids are antioxidants, which means they protect cells from free radical damage. This plant compound also has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
Several observational studies have linked high consumption of flavonoids to a lower risk of heart disease.
Additionally, in test-tube studies, basil seed extract killed harmful bacteria and caused the death of cancer cells.
However, studies on the potential health benefits of basil seeds are still lacking. These benefits have not been tested on humans or whole seeds.
Basil seeds are rich in plant compounds, including flavonoids, which have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-cancer properties. However, human studies are needed.
9- Ingredients for Fun and Fibrous Beverage
Basil seeds have long been used in beverages in India and Southeast Asia.
A popular frozen drink-like dessert in India is falooda, made with basil seeds, rose-flavored syrup and milk. Some versions include ice cream, pasta or fruit.
Additionally, some food manufacturers in the US and Europe now sell bottled beverages made with basil seeds. The seeds make the drink a little chewier and add lots of healthy fiber, something some drinks often lack.
Basil seeds have long been a popular beverage ingredient in India and Southeast Asia. Now, other parts of the world, including the US, have started selling bottled drinks with basil seeds, which are rich in healthy fiber.
10- Plant sources of omega-3 fats
Basil seeds contain an average of 2.5 grams of fat per 1 tablespoon serving (13 grams or 0.5 ounces). It depends on the growing conditions. About half of that fat, 1,240 milligrams per tablespoon, is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fat.
There is no RDI for ALA, but 1,100 mg or 1,600 mg per day for women and men, respectively, is considered an adequate intake for this essential fatty acid. Therefore, just one tablespoon of basil seeds can meet most or all of your daily ALA needs.
Your body uses ALA primarily for energy production. It may also have anti-inflammatory properties and may reduce the risk of certain conditions, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Just 1 tablespoon (13 grams or 0.5 ounces) of basil seeds can meet most or all of your daily needs for ALA omega-3 fats.
11- A great alternative to chia seeds
Basil seeds are slightly larger than chia seeds but have the same nutritional value.
Here is how 1 tablespoon (13 grams or 0.5 ounces) of seeds compares:
The most notable nutritional difference is that chia seeds have double the omega-3 fats but slightly less fiber than basil seeds.
Chia and basil seeds swell and form a gel when soaked. However, basil seeds germinate faster and are larger than chia seeds. Both seeds have a mild flavor, so they can be used in many recipes, such as smoothies and baked goods.
Chia seeds can also be eaten dry, sprinkled on salads, for example, while basil seeds are generally not eaten dry because they are difficult to chew.
Basil seeds and chia seeds form a gel when soaked and have similar nutritional properties. However, chia seeds have twice the omega-3 fat but slightly less fiber than basil seeds.
12- Ease of Use
You can buy basil seeds in Asian supermarkets and online. Look for edible basil seeds. Packaged seed for planting usually costs more per ounce and may be treated with pesticides.
To eat basil seeds, you usually start by soaking them.
Soak the seeds
To soak basil seeds, add 1 tablespoon (13 grams or 0.5 ounces) of basil seeds to 237 milliliters or 1 cup of water.
Use more water if you want, as the seeds will only absorb what they need. Using too little water can cause the seeds to stick together when wet.
Allow the seeds to soak for about 15 minutes. When swollen, the seeds triple in size. In addition, the gel-like exterior becomes gray.
Soaked basil seeds have a dark core. These parts become slightly crunchy when chewed, like cassava.
Sift the soaked basil seeds and add them to your recipe. If the recipe contains a lot of liquid, such as soup, it is not necessary to soak it.
How to use it?
You can find recipes online that include basil seeds. Its mild flavor goes well with the dish.
For example, you can use basil seeds:
- Lemonade and other drinks
- Salad dressings
- Hot cereal like oatmeal
- Whole-grain pancakes
- Whole-grain pasta dishes
Bread and muffins
When using basil seeds for baking, you can use some flour instead of grinding them and adding them to the sauce.
Alternatively, you can use soaked basil seeds instead of eggs in baked goods. Use 1 tablespoon (13 grams or 0.5 ounces) of basil seeds soaked in 3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces or 45 ml) of water to replace 1 egg.
You can buy edible basil seeds in Asian supermarkets and online. Soak the seeds in water or crush them before use. Try adding it to baked goods, hot cereal, drinks or smoothies.
Possible Side Effects
The high fiber content in basil seeds can cause digestive side effects such as bloating. As a general rule, it’s best to increase your fiber intake gradually to give your gut time to adjust.
Additionally, the basil seed supplier claims that these seeds provide 185% of the recommended daily value of vitamin K per tablespoon (0.5 ounces or 13 grams).
Vitamin K promotes blood clotting. Therefore, eating basil seeds may interfere with warfarin and other blood-thinning medications.
Increase the amount of basil seeds gradually to give your intestines time to adjust to the fiber. Note that high levels of vitamin K in seeds may interfere with blood-thinning medications such as warfarin.
The Bottom Line
Basil seeds are high in fiber, a good source of minerals, rich in omega-3 vegetable fats, and rich in beneficial plant compounds.
They can be eaten after soaking in liquid. Basil seed drinks have long been popular in India and Southeast Asia and are now gaining popularity in the United States.