Tukh Malanga is also known as basil seeds in Urdu. This is because these seeds come from the sweet basil plant. They are not to be confused with Chia Seeds (Tukhm-e-Sharbati). Basil seeds are power-packed with loads of nutrition and immunity-boosting properties. They are low in calories and contain 42% carbohydrates, 20% proteins and 25% good fats. They are high in fibre and a very good source of Omega-3 fatty acids. They also contain good amounts of minerals like potassium, manganese, copper, calcium and magnesium, and vitamins C and folates. So, they can be rightly called wonder seeds.
The Health Benefits of Basil Seeds are:
1. Acts as a Natural Body Coolant
Drinks including Basil seeds provide great relief from the scorching heat of summers. Basil seeds are known to reduce body heat and have a soothing effect on the stomach. These seeds can be part of a variety of drinks like lemonades, coconut water, coconut milk, milkshakes, smoothies, yoghurt etc.
2. Reduces Blood Sugar Levels
Basil seeds were proven to have eminent anti-diabetic potential. Basil seeds are high in fibre. When Basil seeds were regularly given to diabetics just prior to meals, it prevented the spike in blood glucose levels. Thus, Basil seeds were found to be useful in maintaining blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 Diabetes.
3. Good for Diabetes Management
People who have been diagnosed with diabetes need to be very particular about what they eat in order to keep their blood sugar levels steady. Basil seeds have been found to possess anti-diabetes properties. In several studies, it was observed that if people consume Basil seeds just before a meal, their blood sugar level does not shoot up after the meal. By keeping blood sugar levels steady after a meal, Basil seeds can help manage diabetes better.
4. Relieves Constipation & Acidity
Basil seeds are rich in soluble fiber. When these seeds are added to our diet with a good quantity of water, they absorb water and thus help in drawing water to our gut. This results in the softening of faeces and promotes daily bowel movement. Thus, people suffering from constipation get tremendous relief by making Basil a part of their daily diet.Basil seeds contain pectin among many other soluble fibres. Pectin is proved to have prebiotic benefits. It is thus important in modulating the composition and metabolism of the complex gut microbiota and thereby increasing the number of good bacteria in the gut. This also helps in relieving acidity to a great extent.
5. Useful in Weight Loss
Basil seeds are high in soluble dietary fibre and help a person feel full and satisfied. They also regulate our bowel movement and thus help in cleansing our body from accumulated toxins.The soluble fermentable fibre pectin is helpful in increasing satiety and decreasing caloric intake and adiposity while on a high-fat diet. It also produces a fermentation environment more likely to promote hindgut health. Reduction in calorie intake thus leads to weight loss.
6. Aids in Weight Loss
Basil seeds contain protein and soluble fiber. Both these nutrients stay in your digestive system for a long time. This means that when you consume Basil seeds, you won’t feel hungry for a long period of time. No appetite means no cravings for unhealthy snacks. This helps you stay in shape or lose weight.
7. Regularizes bowel movement
High fiber content also ensures that the bowel movement is regularized. Constipation happens when you don’t drink enough water and the large intestine is forced to suck water out of the faeces. But when you consume fibers and lots of water, soluble fibers draw water to the large intestines and this softens the stool.People with heart conditions are especially recommended to consume high-fiber foods because straining while clearing their bowels puts pressure on the heart.
8. A Powerhouse of Minerals
Basil seeds are a rich source of iron, calcium and magnesium. Calcium and magnesium are required for the optimal functioning of muscles and bone. Iron is needed to maintain hemoglobin levels, which is the protein required to transport oxygen in the blood. Basil seeds are the best source to increase iron and calcium levels in case of deficiency.
9. May Prevent the Risk of Heart Diseases
Basil seeds contain an average of 2.5 grams of fat per 1-tablespoon. Of this fat, about half — 1,240 mg per tablespoon — is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fat.
The beneficial effects of omega-3 fatty acids include effects on lipids, blood pressure, cardiac and vascular function, eicosanoids, coagulation, and immunological responses. They thus decrease the risk of coronary heart disease, hypertension and stroke, and their complications.
10. Basil seeds are a good source of plant chemicals like flavonoids and polyphenols. Flavonoids are the largest group of phytonutrients, known for their anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic and anti-carcinogenic properties coupled with their capacity to modulate key cellular enzyme function. Having a diet rich in flavonoids may reduce the risk of cancer and heart diseases.
11. Oral Health Benefits
Basil seeds have proven anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. They are helpful in curing mouth ulcers. They can be used as a mouth freshener. These seeds also help to combat various dental issues like bad breath, plaque and cavities.
12. May Reduce Cholesterol Levels
Pectin, a type of soluble fibre present in Basil seeds may lower the cholesterol levels in our body. It prevents the absorption of cholesterol in our gut.
Basil seeds have a calming effect on the body as well as the mind. They reduce stress, tension, and anxiety, leaving us to feel happier. Basil seeds are rich in flavonoids, tannins and terpenoids. Their anti-oxidant activity is also shown to have memory-enhancing effects in some.
Good for Hair
• Basil seeds are rich in protein. This protein helps in reducing hair fall, better hair growth, and improved hair volume. You can also get rid of dandruff with Basil seed hair oil. Combine the oil you use with Basil seed powder, massage your scalp with it and leave overnight for beautiful and strong hair.
Good for the Skin
• Basil seeds naturally detoxify the body and clear our internal system. This keeps our skin looking flawless keeping acne or any kind of breakouts away. Basil seeds have anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties which protect us from skin infections. They are also used in the treatment of eczema and psoriasis. Also, since Basil seeds are rich in vitamins and minerals, they give a natural glow to our skin.
How to consume Basil seeds?
• Soak around 2 teaspoons of Basil seeds in a cup of warm water for around 15 minutes. They swell and a translucent grey film coating develops around each black seed, as they increase in size. You can now make these seeds a part of a variety of drinks like lemonade, milkshakes, coconut water, smoothies, buttermilk, soups and so on. You can also add them to ice creams, pasta and salads for a nice crunchy taste.
Daily Dosage of Basil Seeds:
• Ideally, you should not consume more than 2 teaspoons of Basil seeds every day.