Basil seeds: 12 amazing health benefits

Basil seeds aren’t just for growing basil plants – they can also be eaten. They are similar to sesame seeds, only black.

The type of seeds eaten usually comes from the sweet basil, Ocimum basilicum, which is used for seasoning. For this reason, the seeds are commonly referred to as sweet basil seeds. They are also known by many other names, including sabja and tukmaria seeds.

12 Surprising Benefits From Using Basil Seeds

Basil seeds have a long history of use in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, but their health effects have only been verified in a few studies.

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1. Source of minerals

1 tablespoon (13 g or 0.5 oz) of basil seeds provides 15% of your daily value for calcium and 10% for magnesium and iron.

Calcium and magnesium are needed for healthy bones and muscles, and iron is needed for the production of red blood cells. Many people don’t get enough calcium and magnesium in their diet. Eating basil seeds will make up for the deficiencies in these nutrients.

Besides, basil seeds can be an important source of iron and calcium for people who don’t eat meat or dairy products… Just 1 tablespoon (0.5 ounce or 13 g) of basil seeds is a good source of iron, calcium and magnesium – which can help fill important deficiencies in your diet.

2-6. Alimentary fiber

Basil seeds are rich in fiber, especially soluble fiber, including pectin.

Here are some facts about the health benefits of basil seed fiber:

  • Helps meet dietary fiber intake. Just 1 tablespoon (13 grams or 0.5 ounces) of basil seeds provides 7 grams of fiber – 25% of your DV.
  • Supports intestinal health. Test-tube studies show that pectin has prebiotic properties, which means it can nourish and increase the population of good gut bacteria. This includes anti-inflammatory bacteria that support gut health.
  • Helps feel full longer. Pectin can delay gastric emptying and increase hormone levels, which can make you feel full.
  • Helps control blood sugar levels. When people with type 2 diabetes ate 10 grams (3/4 tablespoon) of basil seeds in water after each meal for a month, their post-meal blood sugar was 17% lower than at the start of the study.
  • Reduces cholesterol. Pectin can lower blood cholesterol levels by suppressing the absorption of cholesterol in the intestines. People who ate 30 grams (7 teaspoons) of basil seeds daily for one month had an 8% reduction in total cholesterol.
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Due to the lack of the latest scientific research on basil seeds, more research is needed to confirm these health benefits.

Basil seeds contain soluble fiber that can promote gut health, blood sugar control, healthy cholesterol levels, and appetite control.

Basil seeds: 12 amazing health benefits

7. Tasteless thickener and stabilizer

The fibrous, pectin-rich goo from basil seeds can be a valuable ingredient in the food industry because it is tasteless and can help thicken and stabilize mixtures.

  • For example, it can stabilize ice cream and reduce the growth of unwanted ice crystals by 30-40% compared to standard ice cream formulations.
  • The gooey mass of basil can also stabilize salad dressing, low-fat whipped cream and jellyand also serve fat substitute in yogurt and mayonnaise
  • Home cooks can also use these seeds. for thickening recipes such as desserts, soups and sauces

8. Rich in plant compounds

Basil seeds are rich in plant compounds including flavonoids and other polyphenols. Flavonoids are antioxidants, meaning they protect cells from free radical damage. These plant compounds also have anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties.

Several observational studies have linked higher intake of flavonoids with a reduced risk of heart disease.

Additionally, in a test-tube study, basil seed extract killed harmful bacteria and caused cancer cells to die.

However, research on the potential health benefits of basil seeds is lacking. These benefits have not been tested in humans or whole seeds.

9. Fun and fiber-rich beverage ingredient

Basil seeds have long been used in drinks in India and Southeast Asia.

A popular cold drink-like dessert in India is faluda, made from basil seeds, rose syrup and milk. Some versions add ice cream, noodles or fruit.

In addition, several food manufacturers in the United States and Europe currently sell bottled drinks made from basil seeds.

The seeds make drinks a little stringy and add healthy dietary fiber – something that drinks usually lack.

Basil seeds: 12 amazing health benefits

10. Source of Omega-3

Basil seeds contain an average of 2.5 grams of fat per 1 tablespoon (13 grams or 0.5 ounce) serving. It depends on the growing conditions. Of these fats, about half – 1240 mg per tablespoon – is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is omega-3 fats.

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There is no RDA for ALA, but 1100 mg or 1600 mg per day for women and men, respectively, is considered adequate intake of this essential fatty acid.

Thus, just one tablespoon of basil seeds can meet most or even all of our daily ALA needs.

Our body primarily uses ALA for energy, and may also have anti-inflammatory effects and reduce the risk of certain conditions, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

11. Great Alternative to Chia Seeds

Basil seeds are slightly larger than chia seeds, but have a similar nutritional profile.

Here’s how you compare 1 tablespoon (13 g or 0.5 oz) of seeds:

Index Basil seeds Chia seeds
Calories 60 60
Total fat 2.5 grams 3 grams
Omega-3 fats 1240 mg 2880 mg
Total Carbohydrates 7 grams 5 grams
Alimentary fiber 7 grams 5 grams
Protein 2 g 3 g
Calcium 15% DV 8% DV
Iron ten% nine%
Magnesium ten%


The most notable differences in nutritional value are that chia seeds contain more than twice the omega-3 fat, but slightly less fiber compared to basil seeds.

Chia seeds and basil seeds will swell and form a gel when soaked. However, basil seeds swell faster and grow larger than chia seeds.

Both seeds have a mild flavor, so they can be used in many recipes such as smoothies and baked goods.

Chia seeds can also be eaten dry – for example, sprinkled on a salad – while basil seeds are usually not eaten dry, as they are difficult to chew.

12. Easy to use

You can buy basil seeds from Asian grocery stores or online. Seeds packaged for planting tend to be more expensive and can be treated with pesticides.

Basil seeds are usually pre-soaked in water to eat.

How to properly soak basil seeds for oral use

  • To soak basil seeds, add 1 tablespoon of seed to 237 ml or 1 cup of water.
  • Use more water if desired, as the seeds absorb as much as needed. Using too little water can cause seed clumping.
  • Let the seeds soak for about 15 minutes. When the seeds swell, they are about three times larger. In addition, the gel-like outer part turns gray.
  • The center of the soaked basil remains black. This part is slightly crunchy when you chew it – similar to tapioca.
  • Then strain the soaked basil seeds and add them to your recipe. If the recipe contains a lot of liquid, such as soup, no presoak is required.
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How to use

You can find recipes online that include basil seeds. Their mild flavor blends easily with food.

Basil seeds: 12 amazing health benefits

For example, you can use basil seeds in:

  • smoothies
  • lemonade and other drinks
  • soups
  • salad dressings
  • yoghurt
  • puddings
  • hot porridge like oatmeal
  • whole grain pancakes
  • whole grain pasta dishes
  • bread and muffins

When using basil seeds in baked goods, you can grind them and use them in place of flour instead of adding soaked flour.

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Alternatively, you can use soaked basil seeds aschanging eggs in baked goods… Use 1 tablespoon (13 g or 0.5 oz) of basil seeds soaked in 3 tablespoons (1.5 oz or 45 ml) of water to replace 1 egg.

Possible side effects

The high fiber content of basil can cause digestive side effects such as bloating. It is generally best to gradually increase your fiber intake so that you have time to adapt.

In addition, one supplier of basil seeds claims that the seeds provide 185% of the daily value of vitamin K per tablespoon (0.5 ounce or 13 grams). Vitamin K promotes blood clotting. So eating basil seeds can interfere with warfarin and similar blood thinners.

Increase your intake of basil seeds slowly so that you have time to get used to the fiber. Note that the high vitamin K content of the seeds can affect blood-thinning medications.


Basil seeds are rich in fiber, they are a good source of minerals, rich in vegetable omega-3 fats and beneficial plant compounds.

You can eat them after soaking in liquid. Basil seed drinks have long been popular in India and Southeast Asia, and are now gaining popularity in the United States.

If you like trying new healthy eating trends, visit Asian grocery stores or online stores to find edible basil seeds.published

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PS And remember, just by changing your consumption – together we are changing the world! © econet

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