Summer health: Stay cool and healthy with sabja or basil seeds

With the temperatures soaring, it’s essential to keep your health and nutrition in check by including summer-friendly food items in your diet. While you must consume hydrating antioxidant-rich seasonal fruits, don’t miss out on seeds that are known to address several health issues, and also cool down the body. One of them is sabja or basil seeds, commonly known as falooda seeds, which are a rich source of nutrients and ideal for hot and humid weather.

Native to India, basil seeds are rich in protein, essential fats and carbohydrates, Ayurvedic expert Dr Dixa Bhavsar shared in an Instagram post. “It is also called sweet basil but is different from the Holy Basil or Tulsi, which is common in every Indian household and credited for its immunity-boosting properties.”

While they are often confused with chia seeds, basil seeds “have more protein content than chia seeds and no calories making them the Asian superfood”.

Health benefits

Explaining it many health benefits, Dr Bhavsar added, they have “high fibre and mucilage – which helps in lowering constipation by promoting bowel movement, induce satiety, are diuretic – wonderful for urinary tract infection (UTI), detoxify kidneys, and help in weight loss by the slow conversion of starch into blood sugar.”

*They aid weight loss as basil seeds are an appetite suppressant.
*They control blood sugar.
*They help relieve constipation.
*They help treat acidity and heartburn.
*They are good for skin and hair.
*Sabja seeds are diuretic.
*They reduce estrogen levels and, therefore, are great for women with excess bleeding issues.

They aid weight loss as basil seeds are an appetite suppressant (Source: Pixabay)

How to consume?

The easiest and most effective way to consume these seeds is by soaking them in water. “Soak 1-2 teaspoons of sabja seeds in water overnight (or soak them 20 mins before) and drink it every day,” the expert suggested.

Since they do not have a distinct taste, you can add sabja seeds to a variety of dishes and drinks to enhance their nutritional value and add a cooling effect.

However, despite its many benefits, it can prove to be harmful to children and pregnant women. Thus, they must avoid consuming them. “Young kids could choke on these seeds if they are not mixed well with water. In the case of pregnant women, these seeds are known to lower the levels of estrogen in the body. It is best to consult your doctor if you’re pregnant before adding sabja seeds to your diet,” Dr Bhavsar said.

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