Meet sabja seeds, the Indian superfood that will make you forget chia seeds

Published on:28 November 2019, 12:43pm IST
Known as basil seeds or tukmaria–sabja seeds are rich in fibre, good fats and calcium. Easily available in India, you’ll never eat chia seeds after reading this.
Payal Kothari
Trust basil seeds to meet your nutritional needs. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

You must have at least heard about sabja seeds, if not relished them. Also known as basil seeds or tukmaria–they are often touted as the Indian alternative to chia seeds. 

But, as the saying goes: ghar ki murgi daal barabar! Our sabja seeds were also only given recognition after the world gave the title of superfood to chia seeds. This despite the fact that sabja seeds have more protein content and less calories than most other seeds. Not to mention, they are inexpensive and easily available in India. 

Ayurvedic texts swear by the many benefits of sabja seeds, including their  metabolism boosting properties and their ability to lower risk of heart attack. 

The best part? They are not new to the Indian cuisine or palate. Eaten with like falooda, ice cream, milkshakes, and even buttermilk–they have been around for a while.  

Still not sold? Well then, let us reveal the six health benefits that a daily dose of tukmaria can offer you.

1. Sabja seeds are a rich source of fibre
Just one tablespoon of these seeds can give you seven grams of fibre. So on the days you eat less fibrous meals, add them to your water bottle, let them bloom, and gulp them down–bit by bit–through the course of the day.

2. They help control blood sugar
Sabja seeds carry a lot of benefits for diabetics. You see, consuming them after a meal can lower your blood sugar level. This is the reason why they’re added to desserts like faloodas in India and to smoothies the world over.

Sabja seeds in falooda
You know also know basil seeds are falooda seeds. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. They might also improve your cholesterol
Basil seeds have pectins, which are known to lower cholesterol by inhibiting absorption from your diet into your gut.

4. Sabja also has gut healing properties
Pectins are prebiotics that help the good bacteria (or microbiome) in your gut to flourish. When the good bacteria multiplies, you get better digestion and absorption of nutrients.

GIF courtesy: Giphy

5. They are full of minerals
Minerals are not often spoken about. But they are essential for energy, metabolism, and sleep. Tukmaria are rich in iron, calcium, and magnesium–all of which are very important for your bone health, red blood cell production, and muscle repair.

Plus they are a great source of these minerals for vegetarians and vegans.

6. Sabja seeds are a plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids
Good fats are the fuel for our brain. Moreover, they also help our gut heal faster. Sabja seeds have alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fat which has anti-inflammatory benefits. Just one tablespoon of basil seeds could meet your daily requirement of ALA.

Now that you’re over your chia seeds hangover, relish sabja seeds well. They’ll do you a world of good.


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Payal Kothari Payal Kothari

Payal Kothari is an integrative nutritionist and gut health coach who believes all fad diets fail, but when a holistic approach is taken a transformation lasts a lifetime.