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Actor Karishma Tanna says drinking sabja water has health benefits

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Summer is making a comeback in a big way in the city. While everyone around us is reaching out for freshly squeezed juices and chilled beverages, actor Karishma Tanna Bangera is opting for a crisp glass of water with sabja seeds mixed into it. Touting its health benefits, the –year-old took to Instagram to share that she regularly drinks this infused water “throughout the day” as it is high in fibre and for “better gut, hydration”.

Sabja seeds are considered to be a superfood as it is more nutritionally dense. Similar to chia seeds, the main differentiating factor is the time it takes to soak up the water and swell up. Vidhi Chawla, Dietician explains the differences between the seeds: Unlike chia seeds, which take time to absorb water, sabja seeds expand immediately after being soaked. Chia seeds generally sink to the bottom of the glass, producing a gel-like appearance. Sabja seeds are round, whereas Chia seeds are more oval-shaped, and somewhat larger than Sabja.

Calling it a powerhouse, Malika Singh, Certified Integrative Nutritionist & Health Coach says, “They can pack a punch when added to your diet.” Low in calories, high in fibre, sabja seeds are a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids. They contain minerals like potassium, manganese, copper, calcium, and magnesium, vitamins C and folates making them nothing short of wonder seeds.

To gain the maximum benefits of this nutritious drink, you should consume this drink first thing in the morning. They are also a perfect coolant for the summer heat. Chawla explains that while it is beneficial to drink this concoction daily, one should add some variety to the mix after a while. “Take a break from sabja water and try adding different seeds to your water as well.”

How to make this drink

Soak two teaspoons of sabja seeds in a glass of water for anywhere between 20 minutes to an hour. Let the seeds swell in size. You can add some lemon juice and sugar to the water or add the soaked seeds to smoothies. Alternatively, you can sip on this drink throughout the day.

Hair and skin

Chawla says that sabja seeds are a natural source of protein and helps with the building of bones and muscles. Beneficial for the skin, these seeds can stimulate the synthesis of enzymes, hormones, and other bodily chemicals for improved body functioning,” she explains.

Along with the benefits to your overall health, Singh says these tiny seeds are good for hair, when consumed regularly. Adding, she shares, “They can help reduce hair fall, improve its volume and growth. When ground into a powder, these seeds can be mixed into any oil and applied on your hair for lustrous long locks.”

For weight loss

Sabja seeds are high in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is derived from the seeds’ high quantities of Omega-3 fatty acids, says Chawla, adding, “These acids assist to increase the body’s fat-burning metabolism. When soaked in water, sabja seeds expand and release digestive enzymes. When consumed, these digestive enzymes lower your appetite and aid in the reduction of unpleasant cravings. It is also high in fibre, which keeps your stomach fuller for longer and avoids cravings.”

Drinking a glass of this water will satiate hunger pangs and the protein content of the seeds keeps you fuller for a long time. Sabja seeds are often been used as an effective weight loss tool.

Side effects

Anything in excess is harmful and even though drinking sabja infused water has many benefit, it can has negative side effects as well. Singh says, “Excessive use of sabja seeds has been known to lead to diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, and reduced appetite.”

When had in excess, Sabja water can also induce vomiting, nausea, acne, acid reflux, and headaches for certain people. “It can also cause low blood sugar in rare circumstances. Therefore, it is recommended not to add more than two tablespoon of sabja seeds soaked in water, says Chawla.

How to drink sabja water

Sabja seeds are most commonly drunk with falooda, a popular dessert that includes rose milk, fresh fruits such as apple, grapes, chikoo, banana, mango and dry fruits.

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