The Battle of Superfoods: Chia Seeds vs. Sabja Seeds for Summer Survival

In the scorching heat of summer, keeping cool and hydrated becomes paramount. Fortunately, nature offers us an array of superfoods to help combat the summer heat. Among these, chia seeds and sabja seeds (also known as basil seeds) stand out, each offering distinct advantages tailored for the summer season. Let’s delve into the comparison to discern which one deserves a spot in your summer diet plan.

Origins and Physical Characteristics

Chia seeds originate from the Salvia hispanica plant, indigenous to Central and Southern Mexico as well as Guatemala. These tiny, elliptical seeds come in a variety of hues, including black, white, and grey. In contrast, sabja seeds are derived from the sweet basil plant (Ocimum basilicum) and are uniformly black and spherical. They are primarily cultivated in regions spanning from India to Southeast Asia.

Nutritional Profiles

Both chia and sabja seeds boast impressive nutritional profiles, albeit with some disparities.

Chia Seeds:

  • Calories: 58 kcal per tablespoon
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 5 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Fat: 3.8 g (including omega-3 fatty acids)
  • Minerals: Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus
  • Additionally, chia seeds are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and other essential minerals.

Sabja Seeds:

  • Calories: 57 kcal per tablespoon (13 grams)
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 7 g
  • Fat: 2.5 g (including omega-3 fatty acids)
  • Minerals: Calcium, Iron, Magnesium
  • Sabja seeds are abundant in polyphenols and flavonoids, enhancing their antioxidant properties.

Health Benefits

Chia Seeds:

  • Hydration: With the capacity to absorb up to 12 times their weight in water, chia seeds aid in hydration.
  • Digestion: Their high fiber content promotes gut health and aids in weight management.
  • Heart Health: Omega-3 fatty acids present in chia seeds reduce inflammation and support cardiovascular health.
  • Blood Sugar Control: Chia seeds assist in stabilizing blood sugar levels, providing sustained energy.

Sabja Seeds:

  • Cooling Effect: Renowned for their ability to reduce body heat, sabja seeds are particularly beneficial during summer.
  • Digestive Health: They help alleviate constipation and acidity.
  • Diabetes Management: Sabja seeds aid in lowering blood sugar levels, beneficial for diabetic individuals.
  • Weight Management: By inducing a feeling of fullness, they curb appetite and facilitate weight loss.
  • Hydration: Similar to chia seeds, sabja seeds absorb water, aiding in hydration.

Methods of Consumption

Chia Seeds:

Chia seeds can be consumed raw, added to beverages, or soaked to attain a gel-like consistency. They are commonly blended into smoothies or used to prepare chia pudding with milk. Additionally, they can be incorporated into baked goods or utilized as an egg substitute in vegan recipes.

Sabja Seeds:

Typically, sabja seeds are soaked before consumption. They are frequently added to lemonades, juices, and smoothies for a refreshing beverage. In traditional cuisine, they are used in desserts like falooda or sprinkled atop salads or yogurt for added texture.

The Ideal Choice for Summer

While both chia and sabja seeds offer numerous health benefits, sabja seeds hold a slight advantage during the summer months due to their cooling properties and hydration capabilities. Their ability to lower body temperature and provide rapid hydration makes them particularly appealing when temperatures soar.

However, chia seeds remain highly versatile and beneficial year-round, offering a plethora of nutrients and ease of incorporation into various dishes. Incorporating both chia and sabja seeds into your diet can provide a well-rounded array of nutrients and health advantages.

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