Sabudana is a starchy grain extracted from the cassava plant. The health benefits of sabudana (sago) are mainly in the carbohydrates it provides. Also known as tapioca, it is made from the starch extracted from the center of the sago palm stems. Sabudana is full of starch or carbohydrates and is great for a quick boost of energy, and hence often served in India for breaking fasts during religious festivals. Sago gruel is also great for sick people because it gives them quick energy and is easy to digest. According to Indian medicine, sago and rice have a cooling effect hence sago gruel is given if you have excess bile (caused by excess body heat). The commercial production of sago is in the shape of small globules or pearls.
110 g (one serving) of sabudana contains 143 calories, 24 grams carbohydrates,4.27 grams of fat (out of which 3 grams exist in healthy unsaturated form), 2.15 grams of proteins. It also contains minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, magnesium and selenium and vitamins like B vitamin C, E and K.
1. Beneficial for patients:
It is a good source of carbohydrates and starch which are considered healthy because they are low in cholesterol and unhealthy fats. Sabudana can be included in dietary plans to promote healthy weight gain for very sick and weak people.
People suffering with Celiac disease or other conditions that restrict the use of gluten-based foods can use sabudana as an alternative to recipes that use wheat flour. Sabudana flour, which does not contain any gluten, is a healthy alternative to wheat flour. Both sabudana flour and starch can be used as a thickening agent in cream-based sauces and gravies. Sago can be made into vadas and boiled and sun-dried and made into pappads. Sabudana kheer and khichdi are the 2 dishes commonly prepared in every household.
Calcium, phosphorous, potassium and magnesium can be found in sabudana in varying amounts. It also contains iron, B vitamins including folic acid in particular which are extremely vital for pregnant women and anemic patients.
4. Dietary Fiber:
It has a significant amount of dietary fiber in its natural form. Foods high in dietary fiber can help lower cholesterol, decrease the rate of colon cancer, and lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
5. Easy to digest:
Pearl sabudana may be used as nutritious, easily digestible and non-irritating baby-food, boiled in either water or milk and then flavored with sugar.
6. Weight Gain
Being high in calories and sodium it should be eaten in moderation by weight watchers as it may lead to weight gain
1 serving size of sabudana khichdi i.e. 1 bowl  provides 486 Calories, 20 g fat ( 6.3 grams is PUFA, 10.9 grams is MUFA and 2.2 grams is saturated fat). It also gives you 4.5 grams of dietary fiber, 1171mg of sodium and a small amount of protein.
Tip - If stored in a cool and dry place, sabudana does not attract any insects and can last for years.