Discover the basil seed benefits – a long-standing famous Asian seed. As well as how to use the amazing little black seeds in this article.
1. Basil seed benefits
Basil seeds, also known as sabja or tukmaria seeds, are small black seeds that come from the sweet basil plant (Ocimum basilicum). They are commonly used in Asian cuisine, particularly in beverages and desserts, especially in Falooda – the traditional drink in India. Basil seed benefits have been known to Asians for a long time and they have been used to support overall health.
Basil seeds offer several potential health benefits, including:
Rich in nutrients
Basil seeds are a good source of essential nutrients like fiber, vitamins (particularly vitamin K), and minerals (such as iron, calcium, and magnesium).
When soaked in water, basil seeds form a gel-like coating around them, which can help keep the body hydrated. This makes them a popular addition to drinks during hot weather.
The high fiber content in basil seeds can promote a feeling of fullness, potentially reducing overall food intake and aiding in weight management.
Basil seeds have a soothing effect on the digestive system. They can help alleviate digestive discomfort and bloating and may aid in preventing constipation.
Blood sugar control
Some research suggests that basil seeds may help regulate blood sugar levels due to their fiber content. However, further studies are needed to confirm this.
The fiber and plant compounds in basil seeds may support heart health by reducing cholesterol levels and blood pressure, thereby lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Basil seeds contain antioxidants that can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. This may play a role in preventing chronic diseases and supporting overall health.
Basil seeds possess anti-inflammatory properties that can be beneficial in reducing inflammation in the body and related health conditions.
When consumed regularly, basil seeds may help improve the appearance of the skin, as they contain vitamins and minerals that support healthy skin.
In traditional medicine, basil seeds are sometimes used to relieve symptoms of respiratory conditions like asthma and bronchitis. They are believed to have a soothing effect on the respiratory system.
2. Basil seed nutrition
A Research form MDPI shows that the nutritional composition of basil seeds varies depending on where people grow them. Evidence suggests that 100 grams (g) of basil seeds from India contain:
- 14.8 g of protein
- 13.8 g of lipids
- 63.8 g of carbohydrates
- 22.6 g of fiber
The main minerals contained in 100 g of basil seeds are:
- 2.27 milligrams (mg) of iron
- 31.55 mg of magnesium
- 1.58 mg of zinc
Research also suggests that 100 g of basil seeds from India contain roughly 442 calories — or around 57.5 calories per tablespoon (13 g).
3. How to drink basil seed
Basil seeds can be added to various dishes. They are used in desserts like puddings, falooda, ice cream and even some salads… But usually, basil seeds are used in drinks.
Basil seed drink can be added to many different drinks: basil seed juice, basil seed smoothie, basil seed tea. They are very commonly used by Asians and are considered an ancient herbal medicine.
But basil seeds need to be soaked before consumption, as they expand and develop a gel-like coating when exposed to liquid.
Here is how you can prepare a drink from basil seeds:
1. Soaking basil seeds
Measure the desired amount of basil seeds. A typical serving is about 1 to 2 tablespoons of dry seeds.
- Place the seeds in a bowl or glass
- Add a sufficient amount of water to cover the seeds. The general rule of thumb is about 3-4 times the volume of water to the volume of seeds. So, if you have 1 tablespoon of seeds, use 3-4 tablespoons of water.
- Stir the seeds and water to ensure they are evenly distributed.
- Waiting for Gel Formation: Allow the seeds to soak for at least 15 to 20 minutes. During this time, they will absorb water and form a gel-like coating around them. You’ll notice the seeds expand and become translucent.
- After the basil seeds have fully bloomed, drain off all the remaining water. A filter can be used to remove excess water. And your basil seeds are ready to add to your drinks.
2. Adding to your drink
Basil seeds have absolutely no distinctive flavor, so you can add them to most of your drinks. Enjoy basil seed benefits with juice or other healthy drinks may bring you good health. Just remember to add a moderate amount of nuts to enjoy.
Since basil seeds contain high levels of fiber, eating too much of them may cause symptoms such as bloating, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea.
If you are using basil seeds for the first time, note that it may take some time to get used to the gel-like texture of basil seeds. Some people may find it comfortable, while others may not. Start with a smaller amount and adjust to your taste.
Additionally, if you have any dietary restrictions or health concerns, you should consult a healthcare professional before incorporating basil seeds into your diet.
4. Difference between basil seeds and chia seeds
Basil seeds and chia seeds are both popular seeds known for their nutritional value and health benefits. However, they have some differences in terms of appearance, taste, nutritional content, and culinary uses. Here’s the comparison table of basil seeds vs chia seeds:
|Appearance||Basil seeds are smaller and rounder than chia seeds. They are black when dry and turn gray when soaked in water, with a gelatinous outer layer.||Chia seeds are slightly larger, oval-shaped, and typically come in two varieties, black and white. When soaked in water, they develop a gel-like coating as well, but it’s less prominent compared to basil seeds.|
|Flavor and Texture||Basil seeds have a mild, neutral flavor and are often prized for their gel-like texture, which can add a unique mouthfeel to dishes and beverages.||Chia seeds also have a mild, nutty flavor, and their gel-like texture is less pronounced than that of basil seeds.|
|Nutritional Content||Basil seeds are a good source of fiber, vitamins (particularly vitamin K), and minerals like iron, calcium, and magnesium. They also contain some antioxidants.||Chia seeds are high in dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins (such as B vitamins), minerals (including calcium and magnesium), and antioxidants.|
|Omega-3 Fatty Acids||Basil seeds contain a minimal amount of omega-3 fatty acids.||Chia seeds are renowned for their high omega-3 fatty acid content, making them a popular choice for those seeking a plant-based source of these healthy fats.|
|Culinary Uses||Basil seeds are commonly used in Asian cuisine, particularly in beverages and desserts like falooda. They can also be added to smoothies, salads, and yogurt.||Chia seeds are more versatile and are used in a wide range of dishes, including smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, baked goods, and as a thickening agent in recipes. They are also commonly used in puddings.|
|Absorption and Expansion||Basil seeds absorb water and expand relatively quickly, forming a gel-like coating around them.||Chia seeds also absorb water and expand, but they may take a bit longer to develop their gel-like texture compared to basil seeds.|
In summary, both basil seeds and chia seeds have their unique characteristics and offer health benefits. While basil seeds are known for their gel-like texture, chia seeds are more widely recognized for their omega-3 fatty acid content and versatility in cooking. The choice between the two can depend on personal preference and the specific culinary applications you have in mind.
The bottom line
Thanks to the great basil seed benefits and basil seed drinks, they are increasingly consumed worldwide. That is also the reason why Nawon Beverage researches and develops a product line of basil seed drinks.
Nawon beverage supplier is proud to offer fun and refreshing Basil Seed Drinks, combining the best of nature with explosive flavors. Our basil seed drink is a unique and healthy beverage option, perfect for those looking for a delicious and nutritious alternative to traditional drinks. If you are a retailer or distributor, take a look at the BASIL SEED DRINK product line. We are always here to support you for more information. Thank you!