Sabudana – Health benefits, Controversies, Side effects, Precautions


Sabudana also known as sago, is a type of edible starch made from tapioca root milk. It is generally white in color and looks precisely like small bead-like balls. It is prevalent in Asian countries as it is used in the preparation of numerous recipes and is extremely nutritive in nature. Sabudana is the core ingredient in the preparation of Sabudana Khichdi, Sabudana Vada, Sabudana Tikki and Sabudana Papad. 

So today in this article we will be looking at the nutritive value, health benefits, and side effects of Sabudana and will be clarifying the controversies related to Sabudana. Let’s begin. 

How is Sabudana made?

Sabudana is made from the root of the cassava shrub also known as the tapioca tree. The roots of the plant are washed properly, peeled and then crushed to extract the starch. The white-like milk that comes out of it after crushing is allowed to settle down in big tanks for 4 hours to overnight. The impurities float up in the mixture and the solid starch remains at the bottom.

The impurities are removed and the water is later evaporated. The solid starch that remains finally is then processed further to give it a bead-like appearance. The starch is passed through sieves to get the desired shape. The globules are then roasted to make them completely dry. They are sometimes sundried and polished further before packaging. 

Nutritional Information of Sabudana 

Sabudana is basically made up of starch as a result it is high in calories. The starch is a complex carbohydrate. Sabudana is entirely gluten-free in nature. 100grams of Sabudana consists of the following nutritional value. 

  • Calories 332Kcal
  • Protein 1g
  • Fat 1g
  • Carbohydrate 83g
  • Fiber 1g
  • Zinc 11% of RDI

Sabudana is basically a carb-based food. So it should be combined with fiber-rich fruits and vegetables to maintain the balance. Apart from this, Sabudana is also rich in Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium and Vitamin K. 

Amazing health benefits of Sabudana

A terrific source of energy

Sabudana is an extreme source of energy. That is the sole reason why Indians generally tend to consume Sabudana as a breakfast option. Sabudana provides you with instant energy and the best part is that it is very easy to digest. People who are sick or do not want to have a heavy meal in the morning should definitely consume Sabudana Khichdi. 

Great for your digestive system 

Sabudana is a low-fat food and supports your digestive system. The starch present in Sabudana is resistant starch. Resistant starch is considered extremely beneficial for your digestive system and helps in improving healthy gut bacteria. This maintains good stomach health, ultimately improving your overall digestive system. People with weak digestive systems or who are sick should definitely consume Sabudana as it is very light and improves your overall digestive system. 

Keeps your stomach cool

Sabudana is considered one of the best summer coolants. Sabudana keeps your stomach cool which is especially required during the summer season. Your stomach tends to get heated up way too much during the summer season and this results in indigestion, stomach problems and metabolism problems. Under such scenarios, Sabudana acts as a boon to keep your stomach cool and prevents your body from developing such conditions. 

Considered great for pregnant women 

Sabudana is actually considered great for pregnant women. Pregnant women generally need high amounts of Folate and Iron that help in the proper development of the fetus. Sabudana is rich in both Folate and Iron and serves as a great addition to the diet of a pregnant woman. Moreover, Sabudana is an extremely light food and again becomes very suitable for a pregnant woman’s diet. 

Also, Sabudana being rich in Iron also prevents the risks of developing Anemia. 

Considered great for your bones

Sabudana is also rich in Calcium and Magnesium which increases the density and maintains the overall growth of your bones. 

May regulate blood pressure

Sabudana also may help in regulating your blood pressure levels. Although, there is no proven research supporting this statement, but certain Ayurvedic medications include the usage of Sabudana as an ingredient to treat fluctuations in blood pressure levels. 

Good for your heart health 

Because Sabudana is fully cholesterol-free, persons suffering from heart disease can safely consume dishes including tapioca pearls. Furthermore, a high intake of dietary fiber and B vitamins helps to raise good HDL levels while decreasing dangerous LDL levels. This prevents plaque and fatty deposits in heart arteries, hence increasing cardiac muscle performance and heart health.

Considered good for your skin and hair

Sabudana or Sagi is considered an excellent organic beauty ingredient. People with skin problems such as acne, pimple or blemishes can definitely consume or apply a paste of Sabudana topically to get rid of these problems. Sabudana is rich in various types of antioxidants, flavonoids and tannins which makes it a great ingredient for improving your overall skin health. Sabudana also possesses great moisturizing properties which further work for the betterment of your skin. Phenolic acid and flavonoids present in Sabudana have anti-aging properties which prevent wrinkles and keep your skin smooth. 

Being rich in several antioxidants Sabudana is considered great for your hair. Applying a hair mask made out of Sabudana prevents hair fall. Sabudana also possesses antifungal and antimicrobial that help in preventing dandruff and premature balding. 

Safe for diabetes patients

Although Sabudana is a high-carb food, but it has a low glycemic index. Sabudana does not spike up your blood sugar levels almost immediately. As a result, people with diabetes can consume Sabudana in moderate quantities. 

May boost your overall nervous system

Due to high quantities of the amino acid tryptophan, eating Sabudana in moderate portions on a regular basis helps to improve nerve impulse transmission, activate memory centers in the brain, and soothe the mind. Because tryptophan balances the levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter, Sabudana aids in the treatment of anxiety and insomnia by maintaining pleasant moods and supporting sound sleep.

Improves your overall protein profile

Sabudana also contains good amounts of amino acids such as methionine, valine and isoleucine. Sabudana is actually considered a great protein food for vegetarians. Methionine is a type of essential amino acid that is absent in most vegetarian foods. But Sabudana contains methionine in good amounts and improves your overall protein profile especially if you are a vegetarian.  

Are there any side effects of Sabudana?

Presently, there are no such reports regarding the side effects of Sabudana. It is advisable to consume Sabudana in moderate quantities. Also, if you are trying to lose weight, you should never consume Sabudana as it is filled up with starch and calories. Also, consuming too much Sabudana on a regular basis can lead to gas, bloating and constipation on rare occasions. 


  • You should buy Sabudana from original vendors or trusted stores. 
  • Sabudana should be properly soaked in water and gently cooked in boiling water before eating.
  • We should have a well-balanced diet to avoid protein, vitamin, and mineral deficiencies, as well as to lessen the influence of toxic substances while eating a limited variety of foods.

FAQ’s About Sabudana

Is Sabudana non-vegetarian?

Sabudana is completely vegetarian food. There are certain rumors related to Sabudana that it is fermented with pork meat, pork oil and so on. But these are entirely fake rumors as we have already mentioned the exact process of how Sabudana is prepared by companies and it does not include any non-vegetarian items. 

Does Sabudana help in weight loss?

Sabudana can never help you with weight loss as it is high in calories and starch. Rather, Sabudana can only help you, if you are trying to gain weight. It is a very lightweight food that is easily digested by the body but it can never help you in your weight loss journey. Any foods that help in weight loss need to be low in calories, but Sabudana is very high in calories. 

Is Sabudana safe?

Sabudana is considered safe for people who are not allergic to Sabudana. Also, it is advisable for pregnant women and lactating moms to consult their doctors before introducing Sabudana recipes into their diet. Also, it should be noted that consuming too much of Sabudana can lead to the formation of gas and bloating. So make sure to not consume too much Sabudana in a day. 


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