Sago: Health Benefits, Uses, and Nutrition Facts (Sabudana Tapioca)

All Indian fasting and its diet seem to be incomplete without sago. It is also known as Sabudana Tapioca. We know that you could be familiar with this stuff. You can cook it in many ways. Sago comes from the root extracts that offer many health benefits. They are high in calories so it is very healthy.

Sago, also known as javvarisi in Tamil and Sabudana in Hindi, is a staple of carbohydrate and is a staple food of Southeast Asia and Oceania. As per the January 2018 article on Sago Palm, it is one of the region’s oldest crops, along with taro and yam, all of which were later eclipsed as primary starch by rice.

Other Names

Botanical Name : Cycas revoluta English Name : saksak, rabia, sago and sagu Tamil Name : ஜவ்வரசி / Javvarisi Hindi Name : साबूदाना / saaboodaana Malayalam Name : സാഗോ / sāgēā Telugu Name : సగ్గుబియ్యం / Saggubiyyaṁ

What is Sago (Tapioca Pearls)?

Sago or Sabudana or Tapioca Pearl is made from tapioca sago. It is a starchy substance derived from the cassava root. Since it is mostly in the form of starch, it contains a very less amount of nutrients. The starchy liquid is squeezed from the cassava root and the liquid evaporates. When the water has dried, the powder is processed into flakes, pearls, and white flour. Tapioca sago often comes in pearl form, so you can easily add it to milk, water, or rice to thicken the mixture.

For example, it can be used as dextrose, gelling agent, and thickener. It is commonly used in vermicelli and some types of bread, biscuits, and crackers in Western products. In Southeast Asia, it can be used to make sago jelly – in the form of pudding, porridge, or dumplings – or baked into a cake.

Health Benefits of (Sabutana Tapioca) Sago

1. Supports Weight Gain

If you want to gain weight, tapioca pearls are the perfect food because they have the right amount of carbohydrates and calories. Within a week, you can gain weight with the help of sago. People who are struggling with loss of appetite can increase their weight with the help of rich calories in cassava root.

Approximately 100 grams of sago provides 88.69 grams of carbohydrates and 358 calories. Consuming more calories than your body needs will increase your body weight. Since sago is a starchy food you will gain weight quickly.

Sago is also recommended for cancer and tuberculosis patients as it can help them regain the weight lost by these diseases. Sago, which is nutritious and healthy, is served as breakfast for children in India and Pakistan.

It helps to build essential adipose tissue to protect the internal organs and ensures a uniform lipid distribution throughout the body so that it is very useful for low weight people.

Also Read: Foods to Gain Weight In a Healthy Way

2. Works As An Energy Booster

Calories are one of the essential sources of energy for humans. Calories provide all the processes we take on a daily basis. Substantial amounts of calories in the form of sago is a great way to maintain your energy levels high and control during your day.

Sago has full energy so that it can serve as a meal for breakfast. As an adjunct drug that provides enough energy to combat weakness and disease, it has more benefits for sick people.

Why is Sabudana or sago essential during Navratri fasting? One of the reasons is that it gives energy to the body. To get instant energy, most of the people break their fasting with sabudana khichdi. Also, sago porridge is known to treat excess bile effectively. Since it has a cooling effect, that decreases body heat during the fasting.

Store the sago in a dry and airtight container. Moisture should be kept away for long storage. When soaked in the water, the white pearls of sago turn white and translucent when cooked. Fermentation can increase the nutritional value of sago.

Sago paste is fermented somewhat by mixing it with palm leaves, in Papua New Guinea.

As it is a high source of starch, the sago powder is used in many curries or soups. During digestion, starch is converted into glucose, which is then easily absorbed by the bloodstream.

3. Promotes Muscle Growth

If you’re vegetarian and loving to grow muscle, sago is an excellent source. Sago is rich in essential amino acids and is the best source of vegetarian protein. It can repair damaged cells and tissue on your body and improves cell growth. In addition to muscle growth, this comfort diet also helps to gain physical strength. Also, sago would be a great meal to have as a pre and post-workout snack if you want to build muscle.

This starch produces a large amount of energy for a workout and contains some compounds that help to recover the muscle. Importantly, consuming sago every day can help the muscles to work longer and control their repair and growth.

4. Helps with Digestion

Enzymes from the digestive system work with sago starch that can aid digestion. Make lettuce from sago is one of the best ways to consume it. You can also add sugar to the mixture and it will be delicious. You can’t feel weird or overwhelmed when you eat it.

Tapioca can help to stop stomach related problems such as bloating, indigestion, and constipation. As it has fiber, protein, fats, and carbohydrates, it can boost your metabolism and keep good digestive health. In addition, its dietary fiber speeds up the digestive process and can rearrange healthy intestinal bacteria.

Sago is one of the easily digestible foods which is best for babies. It works well in inflammatory cases. Boil the sago with water and milk then add the sugar if required, or spices to enhance the flavor. Consume it.

Also Read: 10 Herbs Naturally Boost Digestion

5. Provides Nutrition to Your Body

The globule of sago comes with 2 mm in size; It builds a sponge. Sago has a perfect amount of carbohydrates which can give the extra strength you need.

One hundred grams of sago has 350 calories. However, calories come from carbohydrates, so don’t intervene with your weight loss chart. Sago gives you a satisfying meal throughout the day, so this is a favorite breakfast.

6. Improves Bone Density

Although cassava pearls are low in minerals, they are high in calcium, magnesium, and iron. They build bone tissue, strengthen bone mineral density and protect you from arthritis and osteoporosis. Consuming sago khichdi every day can keep your bone healthy and increase bone flexibility.

Glucosamine production mainly affects bone density, flexibility, and mobility of joints. It improves the amount of synovial fluid found between the joints and the ligaments and contributes to the smooth movement of the joints.

7. Helps to Reduce the Blood Pressure Level

Consumption of Sago controls blood pressure. Potassium acts as a vasodilator, which means it relaxes the blood vessels and opens them. Moreover, it can promote healthy blood flow, which reduces the stress on the cardiovascular system.

Having sago as the form of porridge every day can help to improve the blood circulation of the body. Blood pressure may lead to heart disease and heart attacks.

Also Read: 10 Best Herbal Remedies For Blood Pressure

8. Supports Heart Health

Sago doesn’t have any fat so that it is really good for your health and you don’t have to worry about excess fat. The high level of cholesterol may lead to the arteries, known as atherosclerosis, heart attack, stroke, and angina. Keep your heart healthy by consuming sago every day.

9. Can Fight Against Congenital Disabilities

Its Folic acid and vitamin B helps in the proper development of the fetus. Consuming sago every day can prevent birth defects and neural tube defects. It can have a devastating effect on the newborn. Folate is one of the essential nutrients for pregnant women during the first few months of pregnancy.

10. Very Good Alternative Medicine for High Blood Pressure

One hundred grams of sago has 5 mg of potassium. We know that potassium helps to increase blood circulation and the whole cardiovascular system.

Sago is one of the primary cures for high blood pressure. Cassava root has been used as a treatment for depression and high blood pressure since ancient times and it played an essential role in Ayurvedic treatment for problems related to the cardiovascular system.

11. Supports Nerve Function

Sago has the ability to increase the nervous function by changing the electrolyte balance in your body. Electrolytes require to be in balance for your nervous system to efficiently deliver messages from the brain to all other parts of the body, including the muscles.

12. Naturally Nonallergic

Naturally, sago is non-allergenic or gluten-free, nuts and grains, so people with gluten sensitivity, celiac disease, and nut allergies will have no problem consuming this diet. Instead of refined white flour, you can use tapioca flour because the latter is gluten-free. It is the best alternative to white flour.

13. Improves Intestinal Health

Sago is a great source of anti-starch that passes through the digestive tract. When it reaches the colon, it feeds on healthy intestinal bacteria, thus keeping your gut healthy.

14. Improves Exercise Performance

Studies found that beverages containing sago and soy protein during exercise can delay fatigue during high-intensity cycling training. Sago is an excellent source of carbohydrates that provide energy to your body.

Culinary Uses of Sabudana

There are many recipes you can make by using sago.

  • It is used as a thickening agent in a curry and can also be used to make desserts.
  • The sago should be soaked into water for a while before you use it.
  • As it is low in vitamins, protein, and minerals, sago is one of the best nutritional supplements for improving the nutrition value.
  • Most of the people use this sago to make khichdi or pilaf.
  • You can also soak this sago with fried potatoes and vegetables.
  • In addition, sago is also used to make a pancake or baking bread.
  • You can make delicious dishes like kheer, khichdi, vada, etc. by using sabudana. When you cook the sago, it may change from white color into translucent.
  • Each pearl of sago should be separated, when preparing most recipes.
  • Sago is heat sensitive. If you try to fry the soaking pearls in hot spice oil or ghee, it will become a sticky, glue mass that is inseparable.
  • Instead of this, carefully fold the sago into the hot, processed oil after the pan has cooled slightly.
  • If you need to reheat the dish, stirring constantly, do so on a very low setting.
  • In Indian cooking, sago is a light meal choice for Ekadasi and other fasting days.
  • It is used as a fasting dish in the north and western India.
  • In South India, people used to make sun-dried scales like papad and to make a sweet semi-liquid dessert called javvarisi payasam.

Sago Advantages

  • Sago is one of the famous staple foods in Southeast Asia and around the world. It is often mixed with warm water to form a gum-like mass, usually eaten by the carbs with fish or vegetables. 
  • Sago is commonly used in the preparation of bread, biscuits, and crackers. Alternatively, it can be used to make the famous Malaysian bread,  Lembung-like pancakes.
  • Pearls are small clusters of starch that look like cassava pearls. They are often boiled with water or milk and sugar to make desserts like sago pudding.

Nutritional Values of Sago (Tapioca Pearls) 

One hundred grams of tapioca pearls contain 10.99 g water and 358 kcal. They also include the following:

Total Fat0.02 g
Carbohydrates88.69 g
Protein0.19 g
Dietary fiber0.9 g
Manganese0.3 mg
Calcium20 mg
Iron1.58 mg
Phosphorous7 mg
Potassium11 mg
Sodium1 g
Zinc0.32 g
Sodium1 g
Vitamin B60.008 g

Sago Harm

  • Compared to many carb sources such as brown rice, quinoa, oats, buckwheat, and whole wheat, sago is low in protein, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Moreover, it doesn’t have gluten and grains; it is not one of the most nutritious carb sources.
  • Consuming sago before processing can lead to vomiting, liver damage, and even death.
  • The starch coming from the palm is used to remove toxins, making it safer to eat.

Final words

Sago is a type of starch derived from a Metroxylon sagu. It contains low protein, fat, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It doesn’t have grain- and gluten so that it is perfect to balance your diet.

Moreover it’s antioxidant and resistant starch contents offer many health benefits, such as reducing cholesterol, as well as increasing exercise performance.

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