Sabudana is one of the purest forms of starch. This gluten and grain-free snack is a must for Indian households on fasting time. Traditionally, sago is chosen as a fasting food because of its purity. However, there are several sabudana health benefits. Someone who has an empty stomach for a long day must eat a healthy meal, full of nutrients and vital food energy. Sabudana checks out all the boxes when it comes to carbs, B vitamins, minerals, and calories.
Sago, otherwise known as sabudana in India, is extracted from the spongy core of tropical palm trees. It is high in calories and carbohydrates which are necessary energy sources. Sago has a gelatinous texture and absorbs the taste of the ingredients with which it is cooked. During religious fasts, people like to prepare kheer with sweetened milk and serve it as a dessert in most parts of the country. So if you want to know about sabudana health benefits keep reading this blog.
Nutritional Level in Sago Pearls
Sago or Sabudana is usually extracted from Metroxylon sagu, a palm tree found in tropical forests in southeast Asia and Oceania. In India, Tamil Nadu is the highest producer of Sabudana apart from Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. Sabudana is a traditionally accepted superfood for fasting. It has a lot of energy and is low on fats which allows consumers to be relieved of gaining unhealthy weight. If you are curious about the nutritional value of sago, do take a look at this table:
|Quantity per 100 gm of sago
|< 1 gm
|< 1 gm
|< 1 gm
14 Amazing Sabudana Health Benefits
Indian fasts are incomplete without the sabudana kheer/ Khichdi. Apart from the ritualistic point of view, gym enthusiasts often like to add sago to their pre-workout diet. It is good for the heart, gut, and bones to a lot more extent than we already know. So, here we have discussed 14 unknown sabudana benefits.
1. Controls Blood Pressure
Sabudana contains potassium which aids in lowering blood pressure. So, if you are suffering from hypertension, sabudana can actually ease your day. Potassium helps in the removal of excess sodium from the body through urination. Urine removal releases tension from the blood vessels, in turn lowering the BP. One cup of sabudana contains 16.7 milligrams of potassium. Therefore, BP patients should consider Sabudana health benefits for their diet plan.
2. Improves Digestion
There is a healthy amount of fibre in sabudana which is good for the gut and relieves indigestion. It has lots of resistant starch which ferments in the intestine to be fed by the good “gut” bacteria. Therefore, it helps in the digestion of the food in the intestine. Problems like constipation and bloating are eradicated due to the healthy bulk of stool and smooth pass on to the colon. Eating sabudana regularly in moderate amounts results in a healthy gut.
3. Provides Energy
Sabudana is known for its feature as a fast energy booster due to the presence of high carbs and calories. So if you are a gym enthusiast or like working out, Sabudana health benefits will be a good motivator. It delays fatigue and increases endurance for physical activities. It is a perfect fuel for the athletes and gymnasts. Furthermore, after a long day of fasting, the body might feel weak, eating sabudana can recover all the lost energy in just minutes.
4. Helps in Gaining Weight
Let’s admit that not everybody wants to lose weight. Some of us really want to gain some and attain the perfect weight that passes out the BMI. Sabudana contains high amounts of carbohydrates yet it is low in fat and protein. This is an ideal food item for those who are looking for healthy weight gain. Sabudana health benefits save us from heart-related diseases that are caused due to fat consumption while gaining weight.
5. Good for the Nervous System
Poor nervous response can be treated by eating sabudana. The presence of tryptophan amino acid increases serotonin levels in the central nervous system to promote composure and relaxation. Sabudana has potassium which improves nerve impulse conduction and helps the brain cells to communicate easily. Eating sago benefits the CNS in ways more than we can imagine; considering one takes it in moderation.
6. Prevents Mental Health Issues
If you suffer from troubled sleeping, anxiety, and depression, consider sabudana in your diet. Compounds like amylose and amylopectin have a relaxing effect on the body, helping with insomnia. Eating sabudana khichdi before bed helps in improving the sleeping schedule. It is even known to improve the symptoms of depression. Sabudana benefits by reducing stress and hormonal imbalance too.
7. Takes Care of the Cardiovascular Diseases
Sabudana health benefits include its ability to prevent heart diseases like arrhythmia and angina. Arrhythmia is a condition in which the rhythm of the heart is abnormal, whereas angina is caused due to the lack of oxygen-rich blood. Sabudana contains carbs that control cholesterol and triglyceride levels to reduce the risk of stroke, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Potassium in sago also helps in the better functioning of the heart.
8. Assists in Pregnancy
Sabudana health benefits include its assistance in a healthy pregnancy. Vitamin B and folate in sago prevent birth defects and improve the cholesterol level of the expecting woman. Hormonal imbalance causes problems like BP fluctuation, constipation, and blood clotting during pregnancy. Sabudana allows a risk-free gestation period. Regular consumption of sago is also beneficial for milk production post-delivery.
9. Boosts Immunity
Polyphenols like tannins and flavonoids are the main components of sabudana. These antioxidants are known for neutralizing the free molecules that can cause harmful heart diseases, inflammation, and cancer. Cellular damage is the first stage of degradation of the health of the human body. Sago benefits by preventing diseases by getting rid of them even before it start. If you are looking for an immunity-boosting tasty snack, do not hesitate to choose sabudana.
10. Strengthens Bones
If you struggle with issues of osteoporosis or arthritis, then there are several sabudana health benefits related to your bone. Enriched with calcium and magnesium, sago can be extremely beneficial for your bone health. It even helps with the muscular system by providing necessary nutrients to the muscles. Gym freaks should eat sabudana as their pre and post-workout meal. It provides energy to push through the workout and prepares muscles by energizing them.
11. As a Mood Booster
As far as you have come to know about the fact that tryptophan increases the level of serotonin in the CNS. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that elevates your mood and increases happiness. It promotes sexual drive, relieves stress, and decreases the chances of depression. Furthermore, as an energy booster, sago motivates you to take a step out and work on a gloomy day. As sabudana health benefits include a better sleep schedule, it ultimately guarantees a good mood after waking up.
12. Restores Iron in the Blood
A 100-gram of sabudana contains 1.2 milligrams of iron content, which can be quite useful for anemic patients. Eating sago can lift up the iron density of the blood, resulting in better hemoglobin production. Once oxygen-rich blood starts flowing through the vessels, the body functions properly. Symptoms like exhaustion and low productivity levels of iron deficiency anemia are cured once the oxygen flow improves.
13. Reduces Hair Fall
Sabudana health benefits are not only restricted to the body but also to hair and skin. Thinning hair can really cause a lot of stress, to overcome this serious problem, you can try this sabudana hair mask. Coconut oil plus sabudana hair mask can work wonders when applied properly twice a week. Sago is filled with amino acids which are good for keratin. It not only aids hair growth and nourishment but even prevents premature greying and balding.
14. Prevents Dandruff
The main reason for dandruff is a fungal infection in the scalp. Dryness in the scalp causes flaky skin to fall off as dandruff. Now, since sago has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, it has become a powerful tool against dandruff. Applying sabudana herbal pastes relieves the damaged itchy scalp and repairs the hair follicles. Regular application of this paste can prevent dandruff from occurring altogether.
Side Effects of Sabudana
One must not be too delighted by the Sabudana health benefits because like every coin has two sides so does this gluten-free food. So, before you decide on adding it to your diet plan consider these side effects as well. Listed below are the drawbacks of eating sago.
1. High on Sugar
Sabudana has a high glycemic index which often causes a rise in the blood sugar level. It is not as harmful when taken in moderation but eating too much sago can cause problems for a diabetic patient. Therefore, it is recommended to eat sabudana with vegetables and fiber-rich food. Taking sabudana health benefits into account, one must only take it after consulting their doctor.
2. Overeating can Cause Indigestion
Eating too many sago dishes can cause gut-related problems like gas, constipation, and nausea. This is mainly due to the body’s inability to digest too much carbohydrate content present in sabudana. However, eating in a regular amount is not that harmful to a healthy person. If you have a sensitive stomach do not eat excess sabudana.
3. Nutritional Deficiency
Even though sabudana health benefits are known worldwide because of its high calorie and carbohydrate content. Yet, it lacks the basic nutrition required for the day. Sago is deficient in protein, vitamins, and minerals. Moreover, it has toxic compounds which cause neurological disorders in children. People wanting to lose weight should definitely consult their nutritionist first.
4. Causes Hypothyroidism
Being derived from cassava, sabudana sometimes contains cyanogenic glycosides which are severely harmful to the thyroid. It interferes with the utilization of iodine in the body which leads to hypothyroidism. Goitre is also one of the side effects of eating sago. These might actually be the most harmful effect of eating sabudana uncontrollably.
Sabudana health benefits are enough to convince you to try it out at least once in a while. Sago has a unique taste which makes it an interesting food item. So, here are a few ways in which you can try out this starch-rich food.
1. Sabudana Vada
A well-known Maharashtrian dish, Sabu vada is a deep-fried fitter with a mouth-watering flavor. It is amongst the very common fasting meals and is often served with green chutney. Sabudana is a healthy item, and in this way, you can enjoy the tasty flavors of peanuts and coriander absorbed by it. Check out the ingredients you need to make this appetizer.
|Sabudana soaked overnight
|Potatoes (boiled and mashed)
|Chopped green chillies
- Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and create a smooth dough.
- Apply some oil to your palms and make little balls.
- Put some oil in the non-stick pan and heat it.
- Lower the flame once the oil is hot and drop each vada one by one.
- Cook 4-6 vada at a time till they are golden brown from both sides.
- Take out the hot vada and dry the excess oil by putting them in a paper napkin.
- Serve it hot with garnished coriander and red chili & tamarind chutney.
2. Sabudana Kheer
We all love Kheer; but wouldn’t it be amazing if it was as good for health as it tasted? This is absolutely possible with Sabudana Kheer. Sabudana kheer recipe is almost the same as that of a normal rice kheer with only a few key differences. If you run out of rice or simply want to try Sabudana health benefits, try this dish. Collect the following ingredients and run to the kitchen.
|Sabudana soaked overnight
- Heat the full cream milk in a pan with a thick bottom.
- Keep stirring the milk at medium heat.
- When the milk is about to boil, add sabudana and saffron to it.
- Simmer the heat to low and keep stirring.
- Cook the ingredients for about 40-60 minutes until the kheer is thick.
- After cooking, the consistency of the kheer should be like that of a custard.
- Add sugar and cardamom powder and cook for another few minutes.
- Serve it hot/cold by garnishing it with dried fruits.
3. Sabudana Papad
Like a normal papad, sabudana papad is also a snack that is great for guests. It is healthy and pure for the vrat season. It is often found readymade in the normal grocery store but if you wish, you can make it from scratch at home. For our foodies and cooking lovers Sabudana health benefits are waiting at your doorstep. We have shared its recipe below.
|Salt/rock salt (for vrat)
- Sabudana should be soaked for 2 hours in water, double its quantity.
- Add this soaked sabudana in boiling water.
- Add salt and stir continuously for about half an hour until it is translucent.
- Now take out the batter and prepare a dish to make chapatis.
- Make three-inch papads each and place them at regular distances in a steel plate to dry up.
- Let them dry in the sun for two days and keep turning them for both sides to harden equally.
- Once they are dry, keep them in an airtight container.
- Fry the namkeen snack in oil whenever needed for a six-month duration.
- Serve the crispy sabudana papad with masala tea.
4. Sabudana Khichdi
In a single serving, sabudana khichdi calories are almost double of a normal khichdi. Sabudana has almost 650 calories in a single serving of 260 grams. It is a low-fat dish, and good for dieting. Sabudana khichdi helps in digestion. However, it is recommended not to eat it on a daily basis due to a lack of enough nutrients.
|Sabudana soaked overnight
|Potatoes cut in ¼ cubes
|Roasted and crushed peanut
|Chopped green chillies
|Salt/rock salt (for fast)
|As per taste
|As per requirement
- Set a non-stick pan on the stove and pour ghee.
- Add cumin seeds once the ghee is hot enough.
- Add potatoes and green chilies to saute for one minute.
- Simmer down the gas and cover the potatoes to cook for about 8-10 minutes.
- Add peanut, soaked sabudana, and coriander.
- Add rock salt (on fasting) or normal salt according to taste.
- Keep cooking for 4-6 minutes while stirring from time to time.
- Once sabudana turns translucent, add some lime juice.
- Serve it hot by garnishing it with coriander.
5. Sabudana Thalipeeth
This delicious flatbread is usually served with red or green chutney. Sabudana health benefits make your normal fasting a lot more bearable and exciting. It has a soft and crispy texture and the namkeen flavour lifts up the spirit. Cumin and peanuts add more flavors to the delight. You can try this Maharashtrian dish at home with the following recipe.
|Chopped green chillies
|Roasted Peanut (powdered)
- Add all the ingredients in a bowl and knead the dough.
- If the Pliability of the dough is not satisfactory, sprinkle a few water droplets to make it soft.
- Set oil on a non-stick frying pan on the stove at low flame.
- Take a parchment sheet and spread some oil on it.
- Make round doughs of 5 inches each on the paper and create a hole in between.
- Slide down the Thalipeeth from the paper to the pan.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes or until it is golden brown from each side.
- Repeat the same process for each piece.
- Serve hot with green chutney or yogurt and enjoy the sabudana health benefits at home.
So far we know that sabudana is a starch product with lots of calories and carbs to offer. It revives our mood, strengthens bones, and avoids cardiovascular diseases. Despite all the sabudana health benefits, it is tastier than most dietary foods. Moderate consumption of sago helps in the overall development of an individual. Sabudana is a perfect fasting food for all Indians during Navratri.
Frequently Asked Questions
Sabudana contains more than double the amount of calories than rice. Now, depending on your choice and purpose you can eat rice or sabudana.
No. It actually helps gain weight because it is rich in calories.
Yes. Sabudana prevents the body from cardiovascular diseases, indigestion, and mental health issues as it is high in carbs for energy and low in fats.
No. It actually helps against constipation and gas-related digestion issues.
Yes. Sabudana is a gluten and grain-free food.