Sago, sago flour and its properties

The sago is a starchy substance that is derived from the center of several species of palms . It is mainly extracted from the palm of the sago or Metroxylon sagu. 

What is sago?

This food that is classified as a semi-acid fruit . It has starch that we can use in various ways, depending on the use we want to give it.

The most popular being in the form of pearls , they are small balls that can be easily added to water, milk or other sauces to thicken the mixture, forming everything from puddings to stews and curries. You’ll also find sago pearls at the bottom of bubble tea, a popular drink in many Asian countries.

When the fine sago powder is kneaded with water, it releases the starch, which can be allowed to settle and harden. From there, it can be formed into any shape and used in various culinary applications.

Despite not having significant nutritional value, it is still a very important staple in certain parts of the world.

Sago plant

From the center of the palm tree trunk, the pith is removed and dried to make sago granules or ground into a fine powder. It is also the most used in New Guinea, where it receives other names, such as sago and rabies.

It is native to many parts of the world, especially used in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Papua New Guinea

The sago plant has had a reference to the consumption of the fruit for more than 7000 years.

From these plants it is extracted from the fibers of the heart of the plant, it is filtered and through a suspension process, it gives us the product, which can be kneaded and cooked or subjected to grinding or pearling processes.

It is in this process where the best known form of human consumption is extracted, which is flour.

What is sago flour used for?

Sago flour is a starch and is much more beneficial than almond and coconut flour.


The sago plant is a kind of palm tree with large leaves, with ovoid fruits, with a trunk that is very similar in shape to that of a tuber.

The fruit

From this fruit a starch is extracted in the form of flour, pearls or starch balls, which can be used for cooking or accompanying foods such as soups, purees or some puddings.

Why is sago flour used?

Looking for healthy alternatives that improve the quality of life will always be one of the best decisions. This semi-acidic fruit in the form of a tuber is not widely consumed in Europe but it does not lack followers in other continents.

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The sago is a kind of palm tree with large leaves. You may have never heard of sago but it is a plant with ovoid fruits, whose trunk is shaped like a tuber from which a starch is extracted in the form of flour, pearls or starch balls that are used to cook, accompany or thicken foods, especially soups, purees, porridge, or puddings.

It is known that he began to consume more than 7000 years ago. In its origins it was first consumed in New Guinea but now it is also obtained in Melanesia. Micronesia and Polynesia. It is also produced in Southeast Asia and in some places in South America.

The sago plant is recommended for the whole family , children and adults, due to its high iron content among other nutrients. In addition, sago flours are perfect to help relieve fever in adults and children and many mothers today use this starch to replace the consumption of milk in children.

Tasting different types of fruits is interesting but changing habits is not an easy task, however it is something that we always have to keep in mind.

How is sago flour made?

Sago powder or flour is extracted from the plant through a process of soaking in hot water. The tuber is usually peeled to remove the fiber covers, macerating the tubers in a pulp and then washing the pulp itself to extract the starch.

Once the starch is obtained, it is filtered and crushed to turn it into a powder. Sago flours are a much healthier alternative to cornstarch.

Sago properties

Sago is a starch that is almost entirely carbohydrate. However, it does contain some other nutrients such as protein, fat, and fiber. However, it does not provide us with vitamins or minerals.

Average nutritional value per 100 grams of sago

Calories332 kcal
Proteinless than 1 gram
Fatless than 1 gram
Carbohydrates83 grams
Fiberless than 1 gram
Zinc11% of the recommended daily amount

Nutritional benefits of sago

Sago is its ability to help gain weight, control blood pressure, and improve blood circulation. In addition, it does not contain gluten and is an ideal flour for coeliacs.

Among its benefits we can highlight the following:

1. Favorable for weight gain

Unfortunately there are areas of the planet that are known for their scarcity of food in which sago can be an excellent form of nutrition for the population. Thanks to the benefits of sago, this fruit can be a great and inexpensive way to gain weight quickly.

There are about 350 calories in every 100 grams of serving; This starchy substance can be turned into calorie dense puddings and smoothies and can provide the energy you need for your day to day life and rapid weight gain.

It is also used to recover from certain diseases that require weight gain. Thanks to its nutritious and healthy components, sago is served as a breakfast for many children in parts of India and Pakistan.

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2. A flour with antioxidants

Extensive analysis of sago has found that it is made up of different polyphenols such as tannins and flavonoids. They are substances of plant origin that work as antioxidants. [1]

3. Lowers blood pressure

In sago there is a small amount of potassium that can help us solve blood pressure problems . It can help lower blood pressure and lower overall stress on the cardiovascular system .

Consuming potassium helps stimulate healthy blood flow which lowers stress on the cardiovascular system.

4. Helps lower cholesterol

The consumption of sago flour has been associated with low levels of cholesterol and triglycerides . A study that bought rodents that were fed sago had lower blood cholesterol. [2]

5. Improves digestion

In terms of digestive problems or inflammation in the stomach, the benefits of sago are often recommended as it is easy to digest . Since it has a small amount of fiber, it can further speed up the digestive process and help rebalance the bacterial environment in the gut .

Pearl sago is used as an easily digestible non-irritating baby food, as well as food in inflammatory cases. In such cases, the sabudana is boiled with milk or water and then sugar or spices are added to enhance the taste.

6. Increases body energy

Obviously, calories are the main source of energy for humans, they help drive all the processes that we take for granted on a daily basis. A solid dose of calories in the form of easily digested sago is a great way to keep your energy levels high and regulated throughout the day.

As a result of what is explained in this article, sago is a food with many properties and easy to produce. On the other hand, it is not a food widely consumed in countries like Spain.

7. Ideal for athletes

Being a food very rich in carbohydrates, sago is an ideal food for athletes. Also, carbohydrates consumed before or during exercise can prolong endurance activity. [3]

Also, consuming them after exercise can improve your body’s ability to recover.


Sago gives us a resistant starch with healthy carbohydrates. In addition, it provides us with vegetable antioxidants. It is an ideal ingredient and closely related to sports nutrition , among other benefits.

Ellie Lauderdale

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

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