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    • cal28-October-2022 adminShubhi Sidnis

      Sabudana: Nutritional Benefits And Recipes

    • Tapioca pearls are tiny, translucent white pearls of tapioca extracted from the cassava plant's roots. Sabudana, or Indian sago, is high in calories and carbohydrates-simple sugars and starch. 

      It is a staple food consumed widely in India to break a prolonged fast as khichdi, dosa, thalipeeth, vada, and kheer. 

      Furthermore, sabudana porridge is commonly fed to babies of age 1 year and older to aid in their physical development and ensure the optimal height, weight, and growth of tissues and organs in the body.

      Despite its high starch content, sabudana as food provides a plethora of health benefits, including improved digestion, muscle strengthening, improved heart function, and prevention of congenital disabilities. It is ideal for gluten-free diets. 

      In addition, this nutritious food derived from the roots of cassava is also an excellent organic beauty ingredient, containing a wealth of tannin, flavonoid antioxidants, and moisturising properties, making it an effective home remedy for skin and hair problems such as acne, dandruff, and dark spots.

      Table Of Contents

      1. The Nutritional Content Of Sabudana 

      2. Health Benefits Of Sabudana

      3. Sabudana Side Effects 

      4 . Sabudana Recipes

      5. Dietician Recommendation

      6. The Final Say

      7. FAQs

      The Nutritional Content Of Sabudana

      Sabudana is primarily composed of carbohydrates but contains trace amounts of iron and calcium. As per NIN (National Institute Of Nutrition), approximately 100 g of dry sabudana holds:

      • Energy- 351 Kcal
      • Carbohydrates- 87.1 g
      • Water- 12.2 g
      • Fats- 0.2 g
      • Proteins- 0.2 g
      • Iron- 1.3 g
      • Calcium- 20 g
      • Potassium- 11 g
      • Phosphorus- 10 g
      • Sodium- 1 g

      Health Benefits Of Sabudana 

      Sabudana has ample health benefits, especially for women. It is a superfood which improves fertility and is excellent to have during menopause. 

      1. Provides Energy

      Sabudana contains a high concentration of starches and simple sugars, quickly metabolised in the body to produce glucose for energy needs and biochemical functions of cells and tissues. 

      Therefore, it is an excellent food to consume after fasting for an extended period or after a strenuous workout because it replenishes the body with energy and prevents fatigue, dizziness, and headache.

      2. Supports Gluten-Free Diet

      Many young adults and older people are intolerant to the gluten proteins found in cereals, such as wheat, a common ingredient in Indian dishes. 

      Sabudana, organically gluten-free, can easily be substituted for wheat in preparing chapatis, dosa, and sweets or mithai and is recommended for celiac disease patients.

      3. Increases Bone Density

      Growing children's bones are strengthened by sabudana, as it is an excellent natural calcium source. It also helps to restore optimal bone density in older people, which aids in the relief of osteoporosis symptoms. 

      While young people can consume sabudana daily, middle-aged and older adults must eat measured servings to improve bone health while avoiding gastrointestinal and kidney disorders.

      4. It Provides Essential Amino Acids

      Sabudana contains specific amino acids, making it a one-of-a-kind plant-based source of high-quality proteins. For example, it contains methionine, a sulphur-based amino acid that promotes skin and hair health; valine and isoleucine, which repair damaged muscle tissues; and threonine, which supports proper tooth and enamel formation.

      5. Maintains Blood Sugar Levels

      Although sabudana contains many calories and carbohydrates for quick energy, it also has a lot of phytates, tannins, and polyphenols- these are the plant chemicals that slow down the digestion process. 

      This lowers high blood sugar levels in diabetes. Furthermore, because of its ease of digestion and high fibre content, sabudana, if consumed in small amounts regularly, aids in managing lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and obesity.

      6. Treats Anaemia

      Every year, countless Indian men, women, and children suffer from iron deficiency (anaemia), which causes excessive fatigue and low productivity levels. Sabudana is an iron-rich plant that can help people with low haemoglobin levels in their blood, effectively treating anaemia.

      7. Improves The Nervous System

      Due to high levels of the amino acid tryptophan, eating sabudana in controlled portions helps to improve nerve impulse conduction, activate memory centres in the brain, and relax the mind. 

      In addition, because tryptophan balances the serotonin levels, a neurotransmitter, sabudana aids in treating anxiety and insomnia by maintaining mood and promoting sound sleep.

      8. Improves Heart Health

      Because sabudana is completely cholesterol-free, those suffering from heart disease can safely consume recipes containing tapioca pearls. Furthermore, it also contains a minimal amount of fibre. Intake of dietary fibre and B vitamins helps to raise good HDL levels while decreasing harmful LDL levels. This prevents plaque and fatty deposits in heart vessels, improving cardiac muscle and heart health.

      9. Maintaining A Healthy Pregnancy

      A healthy diet during pregnancy is a must. Soaking sabudana overnight and consuming it the following day has numerous health benefits for pregnant and lactating women. Because of its calcium and high iron content, sabudana is ideal for stimulating milk production and balancing hormonal activities in pregnant women and young mothers.

      10. Nutrition For Babies

      Sabudana's comprehensive nutritional content makes it an ideal food for meeting a growing child's ever-increasing nutrient requirements. In addition, because of its starchy content, sabudana promotes healthy weight gain in young children, assisting in their physical development, and is a nutritious food option as a weaning food for babies over the age of one year.

      11. Treats Diarrhoea

      Sabudana contains a high concentration of dietary fibre. Eating fibre-rich foods improves bowel movement by regulating faecal bulk and promoting optimal passage of food and other material through the intestines. In this way, eating sabudana for breakfast stimulates healthy metabolism, treats diarrhoea, and even helps reduce colon cancer risk.

      Sabudana Side Effects

      In most healthy people, sabudana has no adverse side effects. However, Sabudana is not recommended for those on a weight-loss diet because it is high in calories and starches. In addition, excessive sabudana consumption can cause digestive problems such as bloating and constipation, especially in people with diabetes or heart disease.

      Sabudana Recipes 

      Cooking sabudana or sago requires some practice and precise timing. ToneOp brings you a few simple, easy steps to take when cooking Tapioca pearls to keep them from becoming sticky and starchy.

      Sabudana Khichdi 

      Sabudana khichdi is a star food during fasts, an easy and healthy Navratri recipe, and can be prepared during many festivals. Because it is prepared without onion and garlic, this is a popular breakfast in many parts of India. It is suitable Satvik food to consume after fasting.


      • Sabudana- 1 cup 
      • Ghee- 2 tbsp 
      • Jeera- 1 tsp 
      • Green chillies- 2 vertically slit  
      • Boiled potato- 1 cut into small pieces
      • Roasted peanuts- 3 tbsp
      • Sugar- 1 tsp 
      • Salt- as per taste
      • Coriander leaves- 2 tbsp finely chopped 
      • Lemon- ½ portion

      Preparation Method

      1. Soak the sabudana in water for 3 hours in a large mixing bowl so it can be thoroughly mashed.

      2. Heat some ghee in a pan, then add the jeera and sauté until they emit a pleasant aroma.

      3. Cook for another 3 minutes on medium heat with the chopped green chillies and boiled potatoes.

      4. Combine the soaked sabudana, roasted peanuts, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl.

      5. Stir well, cover the pan, and cook for 2 minutes or until the sabudana is completely cooked.

      6. Combine the chopped coriander leaves with the juice of half a lemon.

      7. Turn off the heat and serve the sabudana khichdi hot as a nutritious breakfast.

      Sabudana Kheer

      A sweetened dish prepared on festive occasions in India, sabudana kheer is an irresistible desi sweet delicacy seasoned with nuts and can be relished warm or chilled.


      • Sabudana- 1 cup 
      • Water- 2 cups
      • Milk- 3 cups 
      • Sugar- ½ cup 
      • Cashews- 10 halved
      • Raisins- 2 tbsp 
      • Cardamom powder- ½ tsp 

      Preparation Method

      1. Allow the sabudana to soak properly in water for 2 hours.

      2. In a vessel, boil milk on medium flame and put sabudana; stir continuously so it does not stick to the bottom.

      3. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes so the sabudana becomes soft; add sugar, cashews, raisins, and cardamom powder next.

      4. Stir well so the flavours mix in and leave it on simmer for 15 minutes on low flame; slowly mix the contents of the vessel, so the milk's texture becomes a little thick.

      5. Switch off the stove, serve the mouth-watering sabudana kheer hot or refrigerate for 30 minutes.

      Sabudana Vada

      Coming from the lands of Maharashtra, Sabudana vada is also known as sabu vada. This traditional deep-fried fritter is served with spicy green chutney and hot tea.

      Sabudana tastes delicious when eaten fresh as it is crispy and becomes soggy after some time.


      • Sabudana- 1 cup
      • Paneer- 12 cups
      • Boiled potatoes- 2 mashed
      • Roasted peanuts- 1tsp 
      • Chopped green chillies- 1tsp 
      • Coriander- 1 tsp 
      • Sendha namak- as per taste 
      • Grated ginger- as per preference 

      Preparation Method

      1. Soak sabudana in water for 5-6 hours. Drain and squeeze the water. 

      2. Combine all the ingredients and shape them into a tikki. 

      3. Deep fry on a high flame for 5 to 7 minutes and serve hot.

      Dietician Recommendation

      Even though sabudana is an excellent energy source but for weight loss, there are certain things to keep in mind. The key here is moderation. If you are trying to lose weight, eat it only a few times a week. You could limit yourself to only ½ to 1 cup per serving. It is also essential to increase physical activity and burn calories if you have eaten sabudana.                -Dietitian Lavina Chauhan


      The Final Say

      Sabudana or tapioca pearls are well-known for their high calorie and starch content. Still, they are also a nutritious food containing B vitamins, calcium, iron, and other minerals and flavonoid and tannin antioxidants. These tiny white spheres aid digestion, provide instant energy, improve heart health, and help to prevent neural tube defects in pregnancy while also improving nervous system operations. Add sabudana to your regular diet and consume it in measured portions to reap its incredible health benefits.


      1. How long do you need to soak Sabudana?

      The soaking time of Sabudana depends on its size. 2 to 3 hours of soaking is required if the size of the pearl is small, while big pearls require 5-6 hours of soaking.

      2. Does Sabudana cause constipation?

      No, Sabudana is light to digest. It helps reduce the symptoms of weak digestion and prevents constipation or bloating.

      3. Is it safe for diabetics to have Sabudana?

      Sabudana is packed with starch and carbohydrates and is an excellent energy source. But its high glycemic index (the rate at which food increases blood glucose level) may be detrimental to diabetic patients if taken in large portions. It may cause blood glucose levels to strike up. So it should be used in moderate quantities and with a doctor’s consultation.

      4. Can I eat Sabudana khichdi during pregnancy?

      Yes, Sabudana khichdi can be eaten during pregnancy as it is rich in dietary fibre, easy to digest, and prevents constipation. It cools down the body and has vitamin B and folate, which helps in preventing birth defects. The high carbohydrate content in sabudana makes it an excellent energy source for pregnant women.

      5. Can we eat sabudana while fasting? 

      Yes, sabudana can be eaten while fasting, as it is a non-grain food rich in carbohydrates. It may also break the fast during festivals. Sabudana is the preferred food choice for dieting since it gives energy and lacks synthetic sweeteners or chemicals.

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