Basil Seeds: Health Benefits, Side Effects and More
November 7, 2023
November 7, 2023
India has an incredible variety of herbs and spices, and one such indigenous seed is the basil or sabja seeds. Often known by a variety of names such as sweet basil seeds or falooda seeds, these seeds come from a variant of basil, a culinary herb valued for its strong, sweet, and somewhat spicy flavour. Not only does basil have a unique flavour, but the seeds of basil plants are also edible.
Basil seeds are small, black, and gelatinous when soaked in water, similar to chia seeds. Basil seed is also an excellent source of nutrition. The seeds of basil plants have long been employed in herbal medicines by Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine practitioners. It helps with digestion, encourages weight loss, enhances skin health, and has a cooling effect on the body, among other health advantages.
The nutritional value of 100 g of dried basil seeds is as follows:
Basil seeds contain 42% carbohydrates, 20% proteins, and 25% good fats. They also boast a variety of essential minerals like potassium, magnesium, copper, calcium, and magnesium. They are also rich in choline and folate. Moreover, for people with gluten intolerance or celiac disease, basil seeds are naturally gluten-free.
Basil seeds are often confused with chia seeds. Here are the key differences:
Often mistaken for chia seeds, basil seeds differ in colour, shape, and origin. Plus, basil seeds swell faster in water. While both offer similar nutritional benefits, basil seeds are jet black and elliptical. In contrast, chia seeds come in a mix of colours and are oval.
Basil seeds are a complete source of vegetarian protein. Moreover, they have the highest nutritional value, playing a significant role in traditional medicines. With a nutrient-rich profile, basil seeds benefit in several ways. Here are some of the most prominent benefits of basil seeds:
Basil seeds have a cooling effect on the body, as per Ayurveda. It makes them a popular ingredient in refreshing beverages like lemonades, coconut water, and milkshakes. They help reduce body heat and soothe the stomach, providing relief from heat-related discomfort. Basil seeds neutralise the acidic effect in the body, providing relief from acidity and heartburn. Basil water helps the stomach lining by reducing the burning sensation.
Basil seeds are rich in fibre, which aids digestion and promotes regular bowel movements. When soaked in water, these seeds form a gel-like substance that softens stools, preventing constipation. This natural detoxifier cleanses the body and regulates smooth bowel movements, ensuring a healthy gut. It also contains volatile oils like palmitic acid (5-13%), stearic acid (2-3%), oleic acid (6-10%), linoleic acid (12-32%) and linolenic acid. These oils help in relieving gas from the gastrointestinal tract and act as a stomach cleanser.
For those managing diabetes, basil seeds can be a game-changer. These seeds slow down the release of sugar into the bloodstream, helping maintain steady blood sugar levels. Consuming basil seeds before meals prevents a spike in glucose levels, making them a valuable addition to a diabetic-friendly diet.
Incorporating basil seeds into the diet can support healthy digestion, effective nutrient absorption, and, ultimately, weight loss. Basil seeds are packed with soluble dietary fibre, keeping you full for more extended periods. It also reduces cravings and prevents overeating.
Basil seeds offer a natural solution for radiant skin and shiny hair. Their antioxidants fight free radicals, promoting clear and glowing skin. Additionally, their protein content strengthens hair, reduces hair fall, and encourages better hair growth. For a beauty boost, try applying a mixture of basil seed powder and rose water on your skin.
Beyond their digestive and beauty benefits, basil seeds have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. They combat mouth ulcers, bad breath, and other dental issues, ensuring oral health. Moreover, basil seeds have a calming effect, reducing stress, tension, and anxiety, contributing to overall well-being.
As a natural body cooler, basil seeds lower body temperature and provide relief from acid reflux and heartburn. Their high fibre content facilitates the body’s detoxification, avoids constipation, and aids in digestion. They successfully control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Due to their ability to increase fullness and reduce cravings, basil seeds also help in weight loss. They fight free radicals and promote hair growth, which benefits the health of the skin and hair. Their antibacterial and anti-inflammatory abilities improve oral health and overall well-being.
To start, people shouldn’t consume more than two teaspoons of basil seeds in a day. It is all about balance when it comes to these wonder seeds.
Soak two teaspoons of basil seeds in warm water for 15 minutes. They swell up and go well in various drinks like lemonades, smoothies, and even soups.
Add soaked basil seeds to ice creams, pasta, and salads, or use them as crunchy toppings for desserts. They are versatile and can enhance the taste of any dish.
Munch on soaked basil seeds as a low-calorie snack. They are perfect to curb those mid-day cravings.
Grind basil seeds and add them to baking recipes for a healthy twist. They can enhance the nutritional value of your favourite treats.
For consumption, soak basil seeds in water for 15 minutes. They can be added to a variety of beverages, desserts, salads, and even baked goods, enhancing both taste and nutrition.
While basil seeds are safe for most people, there are potential side effects and precautions to be aware of:
Moderation is critical, as excessive consumption of basil seeds can lead to digestive issues, low blood sugar, or medication interactions in some cases. It is crucial to adhere to recommended dosages. Especially stay cautious with children, pregnant women, and individuals who have recently undergone surgery. Steer clear of basil seed oil and extracts if you’ve just undergone surgery, as they may slow down blood coagulation.
Basil seeds are extremely nutritious but you don’t need to over indulge in them. Ideally consuming up to a teaspoon a day is more than sufficient or you can combine them with other healthy seeds such as chia, flax, sunflower and pumpkin for additional health benefits. You can also use them to make a homemade trail mix that you can then store and snack on.
Basil seeds have the highest nutritional value and can help improve health in multiple ways. Basil seeds are rich in protein, healthy fats, carbohydrates and fibre. They are easy to incorporate into many dishes. But, since they are so rough, people cannot consume raw basil seeds. So, it is better to eat them after soaking them in water to increase their gelatinous texture. While research into further possible health advantages of basil seeds is still in the initial phases, consumption in moderate amounts may contribute towards a healthy diet.
Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is just to disperse knowledge and raise awareness. It does not intend to replace medical advice from professionals. For further information, please contact our certified nutritionists Here.
A. Basil Seeds, also known as Sabja or Sweet Basil Seeds, come from a variant of the basil plant (Ocimum bascilicum).
A. Basil seeds are similar to chia seeds when soaked in water, becoming gelatinous. However, they differ in colour and shape. Chia seeds are a mix of black, white, and grey; basil seeds are jet-black and elliptical.
A. Basil seeds are nutrient-rich, containing 42% carbs, 20% proteins, and 25% good fats. They also provide essential minerals like potassium, manganese, copper, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, and folates.
A. Soak basil seeds in warm water for 15 minutes before consumption. They swell up and become gelatinous, making them suitable for various culinary uses.
A. When soaked in water, basil seeds absorb liquid and form a gel-like substance. This characteristic texture is similar to chia seeds, making them versatile for different recipes.
A. Yes, basil seeds offer several health benefits, including:
1. Natural body coolant
2. Aiding digestion
3. Regulating blood sugar levels
4. Supporting weight loss
5. Treating acidity and heartburn
6. Promoting skin and hair health
7. Contributing to overall well-being
A. Yes, basil seeds are rich in fibre, which aids digestion and promotes regular bowel movements. When soaked, they form a gel-like texture that softens stools, preventing constipation and detoxifying the body.
A. Basil seeds are traditionally used in refreshing beverages like lemonades, coconut water, and milkshakes due to their cooling effect. They are also incorporated into dishes, ice creams, salads, and desserts to enhance flavour and nutrition.
A. It’s recommended not to consume more than two teaspoons of basil seeds per day. Balance is critical when adding these seeds to the diet.
A. While basil seeds are generally safe, some individuals may experience digestive issues, blood sugar concerns, or medication interactions.
A. Yes, basil seeds go well with a variety of beverages like lemonades and desserts like ice creams to enhance their taste and nutritional value.
A. Basil seeds can help manage blood sugar levels by slowing down the release of sugar into the bloodstream. They are a valuable addition to a diabetic-friendly diet when consumed before meals.
A. Basil seeds contain antioxidants that promote clear and glowing skin. Their protein content strengthens hair, reduces hair fall, and encourages better hair growth. Applying a mixture of basil seed powder and coconut oil can provide a beauty boost.
A. Yes, basil seeds are beneficial for weight loss and appetite control. Their high soluble dietary fibre content helps one feel full for longer, reducing cravings and preventing overeating.
A. Basil seeds can be added to a variety of dishes, including ice creams, pasta, salads, and desserts, as a crunchy topping. They can also be used in baking recipes for a healthy twist, enhancing the nutritional value of dishes. Remember, moderation is vital, so do not overdo it.