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Basil Seed Basics About Weight Loss
By Brad Frischkorn

Seed-based weight-loss schemes are all the rage these days. But which is the best?

Many kinds of seeds – as well as nuts – are good for health, but seeds are the more compelling category of nature’s portable edibles, as they generally have more fiber and minerals, while still sporting monounsaturated fats and protein -- the same nutrients that make nuts worth consuming.

For the purpose of losing weight, specifically, several kinds of seeds have proven to be good candidates. Pumpkin seeds, for example, are full of zinc, iron and magnesium, which is important for fat burning and keeping energy high. Hemp seeds contain fiber, omega 3 fats that help to burn fat in the body, and potassium, which staves off bloating.

Highly fibrous chia and basil seeds are now garnering the bulk of recent attention, however, mostly due to the claim that they both act as effective weight loss aids due their ability to expand in the stomach and prolong the sense of fullness, inducing people to eat less.

There is a good deal of confusion between the pair, however.

“Japanese people are at least as concerned as those in other countries about losing weight, and are quick to jump on the latest fad,” says Hideki “Jack” Uehara, salesman at Tokyo-based health food developer and marketer Graphico. “Still, too much information can lead to chaos, and what works for some people may not work for others.”

Graphico produces and retails a range of health and beauty care items, from skin emollients to detergents. Its newest product is Manpuku Sanjubai, a basil seed-imbedded candy, which has proved especially popular with ladies. The company launched the item in March.

The bite-sized candies contain alpha-linolenic acid and polyphenol. An essential omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic lowers blood pressure, cholesterol, and helps to arrest atherosclerosis. For its part, polyphenol has proved to be a good antioxidant.

Most important for the diet-conscious, however, are basil seeds’ ability to swell to 30 times their size by absorbing water. This compares with a multiple of 10 for chia.

“Without getting into a medical discussion about the fine points of nutrition and diet, what’s important generally for people who want to lose weight over time is reducing appetite,” says Mr. Uehara. “In this respect, basil seeds are more effective than chia seeds.”

He notes that while chia seeds are generally higher in nutritional value, basil seeds are more readily available.

A 42g bag of the candy retails for 290 yen, and comes in natural acai, strawberry milk, and kiwi flavors. The added sweetness is derived from simple sugar.

Controlling production costs was a major concern for the company, which produces Manpuku Sanjubai in Japan, but imports most of the ingredients from abroad, including the seeds, adds Mr. Uehara.

“The product was about 40% more expensive to produce until just recently,” he says. “The price points now appear to be good now. Basil seeds are not the last word in dieting, but it they are one convenient solution that can be effective.”

Read more:

http://www.graphico.jp/manpuku30/

http://www.thenaturalhealthmarket.co.uk/blog/basil-seeds-vs-chia-seeds-a-complete-comparison

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/81/1/215S.full

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1035-alpha-linolenic%20acid.aspx?activeingredientid=1035&activeingredientname=alpha-linolenic%20acid

http://www.thenaturalhealthmarket.co.uk/blog/basil-seeds-vs-chia-seeds-a-complete-comparison#sthash.VCN0vKLj.dpuf


Graphico Manpuku Sanjubai acai-flavored basil seed candy

"Basil seeds are not the last word in dieting, but it they are one convenient solution that can be effective.” -- Jack Uehara

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