The world is currently obsessed with chia seeds and sabja (or basil seeds), and with very good reason!
When included in a healthy, balanced diet, both act as brilliant weight-loss aids. However, most of us still go ahead and make the mistake of thinking them to be one and the same.
The fact is, there are plenty of key differences between chia and sabja seeds, and it’s a good thing to get the low-down on both these foods before you commit to incorporate them into your diet.
Chia Vs Sabja – The Key Differences
Chia seeds and sabja seeds both originate from the Lamiaceae or the mint family, which explains why they look so similar to each other. They are, however, from two different parts of the world.
- Chia Seeds – Native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala
- Sabja Seeds – Possibly native to India. The plant of origin is popularly called Genovese basil or sweet basil.
2. Color And Appearance
One quick aromatic scrutiny is enough to tell the difference between these two.
- Chia Seeds – Oval-shaped and come in shades of dark brown, gray, white and even black.
- Sabja Seeds – Tiny, round and are evenly black in color.
3. Liquid Absorption
Try this experiment with a teaspoon each of chia seeds and sabja seeds. Soak each variety separately in three tablespoons of water.
- Chia Seeds – Take their time to absorb water and you will see the seeds swelling up only after a while.
- Sabja Seeds – Swell up the moment they come in contact with water. You will find a translucent pale white film coating each seed on swelling. Sabja seeds also grow larger in volume on swelling as compared to chia seeds.
Chia and basil seeds demand different methods of consumption.
- Chia Seeds – Neutral in taste, which means they can take on the flavor of anything they are eaten with. This is why they are easier to incorporate into your diet than sabja seeds. An increasingly popular way of eating chia seeds is by mixing them into puddings with either almond or coconut milk to add texture. Chopped fruits and nuts can be added as extra toppings. Chia seeds can also be sprinkled directly over salads and yogurt and can even be eaten raw.
- Sabja Seeds – More fragrant. They can be added to lemonades, sherberts, desserts, and milkshakes and enhance the flavor of the dish by imparting their own basil-like taste.
Once soaked, chia and sabja seeds form their own distinct identities which you can tell the moment you put them in your mouth.
- Chia Seeds – Soft to bite after being soaked.
- Sabja Seeds – More gummy-textured and sticky.
6. Seed Oil Benefits
- Chia Seeds – The oil can be used for cooking, but you can reap the benefits of the oil by eating the seeds directly too. Chia seed oil that is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. While the human body is not designed to synthesize these oils, they are still very essential for metabolism.
- Sabja Seeds – The oil is popularly used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines to cure headaches, reduce joint pains caused by gout, and to relieve stress. It is also considered to be a potent treatment for nervous system disorders. The oil is very useful for the food industry as well as for manufacturing varnishes, ink, and paint.
7. Cholesterol Benefits
- Chia Seeds – Help in lowering high triglyceride levels, assist in maintaining overall heart health, and promote healthy cholesterol levels.
- Sabja Seeds – Help make sure the arteries and clean and unclogged by preventing cholesterol from sticking to the walls. In this way, they help lower the chances of heart attack and stroke.
8. Weight Loss Benefits
When soaked in water, both chia and sabja seeds absorb the liquid to make a thick drink which keeps you satisfied, reduces the unnecessary food cravings, and prevents you from putting on extra weight around your waistline. There are, however, a few functions specific to each seed.
- Chia Seeds – Mainly consumed for a boost of stamina and energy. Chia seeds are a rich source of potassium, phosphorous, calcium, and magnesium. They are full of protein and good fat and are loaded with antioxidants and fiber.
- Sabja Seeds – Are known for their cooling effect. When consumed, they help bring down body heat and reduce symptoms of heartburn. They act as a good diuretic and induce easy bowel movement for good digestion. Sabja seeds are a rich source of iron, hence help improve the quality of your blood and boost your immunity.
Include both chia and sabja seeds in your diet today for a natural boost of energy. Both are wholesome, and 100% natural and unlike very few other foods, these have the ability to give your body maximum nutrients without the extra calories! No wonder these tiny seeds are known as “wonder foods”!