6 Surprising Benefits of Sabja Seeds

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Surajeet Kumar Patra, MBBS, MD, FDIAB, MBA & APMP January 5, 2022

Sabja seeds or basil seeds aren’t just for cultivating basil plants, these are also edible, and a person can consume them for several health benefits. They look just like sesame seeds but are black. The type that is consumed classically is derived from sweet basil, Ocimum basilicum, a plant commonly used at homes. Therefore, the seeds are naturally known as sweet sabja seeds. These seeds have a long history of use in Ayurvedic as well as Chinese medicine; however, their health effects have only been tested in some research studies.

The intake of sabja seeds is becoming more accepted in Western culture. Studies propose that sabja seeds are known to exert health benefits, including supporting digestive health, weight management, as well as preventing illnesses like cancers or heart problems. In this article, a detailed description on Sabja seeds, their nutritional information, the health benefits of basil seeds, as well as potential risks will be given to you.

What is Sabja seed?

Sabja seeds are derived from a variant of basil referred to sweet basil (Ocimum bascilicum). The plant is native to the tropical regions of Asia and Africa. These seeds are oval in shape, black in color, and when soaked with water get inflamed, resulting in a gelatinous mass.

health benefits of sabja seeds

Sabja Seeds Nutrition

Research has found that the nutritional composition of sabja seeds differs based upon where individuals grow them. Studies have suggested that 100 grams of sabja seeds comprise:

  • 63.8 g of carbs
  • 22.6 g of fiber
  • 14.8 g of protein
  • 13.8 g of lipids

The major minerals present in 100 grams of sabja seeds include:

  • 31.55 mg of magnesium
  • 2.27 mg of iron
  • 1.58 mg of zinc

Also, studies have found that 100 grams of sabja seeds are composed of around 442 calories.

Sabja seeds contain a high amount of calcium, fiber, and good fats! The benefits of these seeds are so excellent you won’t ever look back!

Also Read: Does high sugar make you tired?

Sabja Seeds Benefits

Rich Amount of Minerals

As per the U.S. product nutrition labels, one tablespoon of sabja seeds gives 15% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for calcium as well as 10% of the RDI for iron and magnesium. Magnesium and calcium are vital minerals for maintaining bone health and muscle function; although iron is essential for the production of RBCs. A lot of people don’t get sufficient calcium and magnesium from their diet. Consumption of Sabja seeds aids a person in reaching the daily requirements of all these nutrients. In addition, sabja seeds are a key source of iron and calcium for individuals who don’t consume meat or dairy products.

Full of Fibers

Sabja seeds are rich in fiber, chiefly soluble fiber, like pectin. Below are some of the ways how the fiber in basil seeds help in benefiting overall health:

  • Helps a person meet his or her fiber quota. Just one tablespoon (13 grams) of sabja seeds gives 7 grams of fiber. Fiber is thought to benefit people whose goal is to manage their weight. A diet with enough fiber can extend the feeling of fullness after consumption. Studies show that enhanced fiber consumption can be related to supporting sabja seeds for weight loss and higher success when sticking to a definite diet pattern. Also, studies suggest that fiber is seen to reduce the risk of conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and colorectal cancer.
  • Help in supporting gut health. Studies have found that pectin is packed with prebiotic benefits; it helps in nourishing and increasing the beneficial gut bacteria. This may involve anti-inflammatory bacteria seen to promote gut health. When there is a multiplication of good bacteria, digestion and absorption of nutrients get improved.
  • Makes the person feel full. Pectin can delay stomach emptying as well as boost hormone levels that give a sense of fullness to a person. Still, it’s unsure whether the consumption of Sabja seeds to control appetite is a successful weight loss approach.
  • Helps in blood sugar regulation. Studies suggested that when type 2 diabetics consumed 10 grams (3/4 tablespoon) of sabja seeds (soaked in water) after each meal regularly for 30 days, their post-meal blood glucose level was found to be 17% lower than when the study began.  A 2016 study has found that Sabja seeds are packed with potential anti-diabetic properties. The aqueous extract of Sabja seeds effectively treated rats with diabetes, reducing both body weight as well as blood glucose levels.
  • Improves the levels of cholesterol. Pectin is thought to reduce blood cholesterol by blocking cholesterol absorption in the gut. Individuals who consumed 30 grams (7 teaspoons) of sabja seeds every day for 30 days noticed an 8% drop in the levels of total cholesterol.

health benefits of sabja seeds

Contains a Good Amount of Plant Compounds

Sabja seeds are rich in plant compounds, such as flavonoids and other polyphenols. Flavonoids are nothing but powerful antioxidants. And they work by defending the body cells from getting damaged by free radicals. The oxidative stress resulting from free radicals has been found to be linked with cardiovascular ailment, neurodegenerative disorders, as well as different types of cancers. Evidence proposes that sabja seeds can have an improved antioxidant potential as compared to other seeds and thus, found to be beneficial for an individual’s overall health.

In addition, these plant compounds exert strong anti-inflammatory as well as anticancer properties. Studies have found that when a person eats higher flavonoids in their diet, heart disease risk is considerably got lessened. Additionally, Sabja seed extract has also been found to kill bad bacteria and led to increased death of cancer cells.

Also Read: Diabetic Gastroparesis Symptoms

Good Source of Omega-3 Fats

Sabja seeds are composed of an average of 2.5 grams of fat per 1 tablespoon serving. From this fat, about ½ is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is an essential omega-3 fat. The adequate consumption of ALA is 1,100 mg or 1,600 mg per day for females and males respectively. Thus, just one tablespoon of sabja seeds is able to meet most or even all of the person’s daily requirements for ALA and a person’s body chiefly uses ALA to produce energy. It can also exert anti-inflammatory benefits and lowers the risk of certain medical problems like heart disorder and type 2 diabetes. Some studies also proposed that because of their ALA content, sabja seeds are found to have anti-inflammatory effects on medical problems like arthritis, and are thought to have powerful antiulcer properties as well.

omega-3 fats

Great Option Over Chia Seeds or Basil Seeds vs Chia Seeds

Are basil seeds and chia seeds the same thing? Sabja seeds are a little larger as compared to chia seeds, however, have a similar nutritional profile. Chia seeds are composed of more than two times the omega-3 fat but a little less fiber than basil seeds. Both chia and sabja seeds inflame and form a gel when soaked in water. On the other hand, sabja seeds swell up earlier and to a bigger size than chia seeds. Both seeds are tasteless, so they can be utilized in smoothies and baked goods.

Potential Antibacterial Properties

Studies also suggested that Sabja seeds may exert promising antibacterial properties. These seeds were found to be effective against different bacteria, particularly Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacterium responsible for pneumonia.

antibacterial properties of sabja seeds

Also Read: Quinoa and Diabetes 

How to Eat Sabja Seeds?

Sabja seeds have a mild flavor as well as a gelatinous texture when soaked. This makes them easy to include in certain drinks and desserts. In lots of Asian countries, people use Sabja seeds commonly. An example is falooda, a well-known dessert in many parts of India. There are lots of recipes available for different basil seed dishes.

Basil seeds recipe can vary on the duration the seeds have been soaked, but most suggest soaking them for between half an hour and 2 hours prior to straining off the water. Once strained, individuals can blend the seeds into, or add them as a topping to:

  • cold desserts
  • oatmeal
  • lemonade or other drinks
  • yogurt
  • smoothies and milkshakes

Also, individuals can grind sabja seeds and add them to baking recipes, rather than soaking them in water.


Sabja seeds are rich in fiber, a perfect source of minerals like iron, calcium, or magnesium, and are rich in plant-based omega-3 fat and other plant compounds. These seeds have a beneficial nutritional value and can be easily incorporated into a number of dishes. Even though research into other potential health benefits of sabja seeds is in early phases, intake in moderate amounts may add to a healthy diet.


How can I plant Sabja seeds?

The brown is cut off and flower heads are washed out. Let them dry for some days in a warm, dry place. The heads are then crushed over the colander and the old petals and chaff is picked out. Basil seed collection is very easy.

Is it ok to have sabja seeds without soaking?

Basil seeds are quite hard to chew, so avoid consuming them raw. It’s better to soak them in water before having them, this makes them more gelatinous. It is suggested to consume at least 2 teaspoons daily to derive health benefits. These seeds are packed with various health-benefiting properties.

What occurs when you have sabja seeds at night?

Sabja seeds are a natural detox and helps in controlling smooth bowel movements. It’s suggested to add Sabja seeds in a glass of milk and drink before going to bed for a couple of days. Sabja seeds contain volatile oils that assist in relieving gas from the gastrointestinal tract.

Is it safe to have sabja seeds the whole day?

The easiest thing any person can do is soak 2 teaspoons of sabja seeds in water and have it daily. Also, Sabja seeds can be added to smoothies, sherbets, or falooda for obtaining extra benefits.


  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/basil-seeds#The-Bottom-Line
  2. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/basil-seeds#summary


The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

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