Sesame Seed Benefits – Should You Be Eating Sesame Seeds
Seeds of many varieties have become the belles of the ball recently. With the rise in popularity of ancient grains, natural oil, herbal therapies and other healthy living options, using seeds in your diet has a host of advantageous effects. The benefits of sesame seeds, for instance, seem to go beyond adding fiber and nutrition with a tasty crunch. Sesame seed benefits also encourage higher levels of HDL, fight free radicals, boost metabolism, increase antioxidants, increase bone health and many other possible uses. Read on to lean more.
Are Sesame Seeds Good for You?
What would many of our favorite Asian food dishes be without sesame seeds? These simple seeds have been used in cooking and medicinally for thousands of years – Egyptians, Babylonians, Ancient Asia, Greeks, and Mesopotamians. Signs of their use in the Bronze Age as flour and oil and in the Iron Age for incense lamps have been also found recently. So it’s clear that sesame seed plants have been in use for some time and must have potent benefits as more than just a food.
Sesame seeds are nearly half fat by weight, which isn’t exactly good news in today’s fat conscious diets. However, the fat is mostly unsaturated and the seed also contains protein, iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, manganese, thiamin, copper and Vitamin E. To break it down, 3 tablespoons contain 160 calories with 5 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber.
All in all, sesame seeds seem to have many necessary vitamins and minerals as well as building blocks for cells and “keep you full” fiber. Add up these valuable components and it seems that eating sesame seeds is at least an occasional beneficial treat.
External Sesame Seed Benefits
The tiny seeds are often pressed into an aromatic and tasty oil. This oil has also been traditionally used to soothe skin conditions. It is purported to be an excellent preventative for diaper rash. when used on babies. In adults, the smoothing properties may help delay wrinkles and other signs of age.
Some experts suggest the oil is also an antibacterial and can be used to fight acne and other common blemishes. Sufferers of eczema and psoriasis may want to take note. There are indications that sesame oil can help alleviate the painful itching associated with both of these skin disorders.
Internal Benefits of Sesame Seeds
Eating sesame seeds daily is not recommended because they have high levels of lectin, which can stimulate an autoimmune response that irritates the gut lining. Of course, you would really have to eat a lot of the seeds and oil to have such a response. Instead, let’s focus on the constructive use of the seeds and oil for internal ailments.
Studies have shown the seeds can lower blood pressure by 8 points on average. There are also several studies about the effect the seeds have on cholesterol. One says the seeds can lower it by 10% while another was inconclusive.
Using sesame seeds in food can increase antioxidants and enzymes that protect against oxidative damage. They are also used to treat osteoarthritis, fight diabetes and may enhance bone health and protect against some cancers. That’s quite a list for a tiny little seed.
Sesame Seed (Til) Benefits: 10 Reasons To Include Til In Your Daily Diet And How To Do So
Sesame seeds are loaded with nutrition that makes it a must-have in your winter diet
Winters are here and so are the winter special foods. Sesame seeds or til are an indispensable part of Indian winters since time immemorial. From til ke ladoo to til ki gajak, it is difficult to imagine winters in India, without taking sesame into account. And if you thought that it was just another ingredient in your kitchen pantry. Think again! Prized in Ayurveda for its ability to generate heat and energy in the body and its numerous beauty and hair benefits, sesame seeds are loaded with nutrition that makes it a must-have in your winter diet. Here are some more health and beauty benefits of sesame seeds that will help you uncover all the hype around the superfood.
1. Triggers Hair Growth
Losing hair? Load up on sesame seeds. Sesame seeds strengthen the roots.The rich omega fatty acids content present in the seeds help promote hair growth and also repairs hair damage. They also help in moisturising the scalp and improve blood circulation to rejuvenate hair follicles.
2. Anti-ageing properties
Sesame seeds are packed with antioxidants that reverse signs of ageing and give you a youthful skin.
3. Boosts Skin Health
The oil present in sesame seeds can do wonders for your skin. They help the skin remain soft and supple. They are rich in anti-inflammatory properties that are vital in healing redness, sores and other facial skin issues from within. You can mix one tablespoon olive oil and two tablespoons of powdered sesame seeds. Apply this mixture on your face after dampening it. Do it once or twice a week for best results.
4. Boosts Dental Health
The oil present in the seeds help removing dental plaque and boosts oral health.
5. Boosts Digestion
The black sesame seed can help in curing constipation due to the high fiber content and unsaturated fatty acid content. The oil found in the seed can lubricate your intestines, while the fiber in the seed helps in smooth bowel movements.The black sesame seed can help in curing constipation
6. Good Source of Energy
According to consultant nutritionist Dr. Rupali Dutta, "sesame seeds are a good source of energy due to the high fat content. They contain healthy fats like polyunsaturated fatty acids and Omega-6. They also contain fiber, iron, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus that helps boost energy levels."
7. Stabilizes your blood pressure
Sesame seeds are rich in magnesium that helps prevent hypertension. Polyunsaturated fats and the compound sesamin present in sesame oil are known to keep blood pressure levels in check.
8. Boosts bone health
According to Dr. Gargi Sharma, Nutritionist at Aayna Clinic in Delhi, "Osteoporosis is a condition of fragile bones with an increased susceptibility to fracture. Bone mass tends to decrease after the age of 35, and bone loss occurs more rapidly in women after menopause. Black sesame seeds are abundant in calcium and zinc that your bones strong."Bone loss occurs more rapidly in women after menopause
9. Helps Fight Stress and Depression
Trying to cope with stress at work? Or is your personal luife giving you sleepless nights? Try sesame seeds. Sesame oil contains an amino acid known as tyrosine, which is directly connected to serotonin activity. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter which impacts our mood. An imbalance of it could lead to depression and stress. According to experts, consuming foods that help in the production of serotonin helps in feeling positive, keeping chronic stress at bay. Sesame oil is a good example of that.
10. High Source of Unsaturated Fats
Unlike butter and desi ghee which come loaded with harmful saturated fat, sesame oil primarily contains unsaturated fats. According to the nutritional value chart of sesame oil, per 100 grams contain 40 grams monounsaturated fats, 42 grams polyunsaturated fats and about 14 grams saturated fats. All cooking oils contain a mix of all the three types of fats, the varying amounts of which determine how healthy or harmful it is for us.
Photo by: Antonis Achilleos Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin 917 751 2855
Antonis Achilleos Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin 917 751 2855
Although small, sesame seeds are packed with nutrients such as healthy fats, protein, calcium, antioxidants and dietary fiber. The primary fats in the seeds are monounsaturated fatty acids called oleic acid. Oleic acid has been shown to lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol and increase the HDL ("good") cholesterol.
The nutrients in sesame seeds are better absorbed if they are pulverized, but eating them whole is by no means unhealthy.
- Tahini, one of the main ingredients of hummus, is made from roasted sesame seeds and vegetable oil ground into a thin paste. You can also make a light salad dressing out of tahini.
- Sesame seeds can also be roasted, crushed and then sprinkled over salads. This will give you more variety and flavor than your typical salad.
- Add raw sesame seeds to any side dish to add crunch and flavor. For instance, you can add to vegetable or bean dishes.
- Sesame oil is a great option to try to incorporate in your cooking.
- Like almond milk and hemp milk, you can make your own sesame milk.
- Soak 1 cup of sesame seeds in 2 cups of water overnight
- In the morning, blend the water and seeds until smooth
- Chill and drink (to retain the fiber) or
- Strain the mixture using a cheesecloth then serve
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
Whisk together and serve with greens or drizzle over cooked or raw vegetables like green beans and broccoli.
Hulled Sesame Seeds Vs. Unhulled Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds have an outer cover, also known as the hull or husk. The outer cover or coat can be removed before these seeds are consumed.
When the outer cover of sesame seeds is removed, they are known as hulled sesame seeds. The ones with the cover are the unhulled or natural variety of sesame seeds.
Taste, Color, & Texture
Hulled sesame seeds are white in color and have a milder and nuttier taste, compared to the unhulled variety. The difference in taste between these two comes from the processing that the hulled variety goes through. The hulls of these seeds contain oxalates , which are bitter-tasting compounds (giving the unhulled variety their bitter taste), also present in kale, rhubarb, and a number of other vegetables .
Sprinkle sesame seeds on your salads and sandwiches . Photo Credit: Shutterstock
You can use sesame seeds for making tahini paste, sprinkling on top of burgers , bread, and baked goods, and as a garnish for salads, stir-fries and more. They are also used to make sesame milk and sesame oil. You can use any of the two variants of these seeds, depending on the kind of bitterness you want in your dish.
You may try adding sesame seeds over the following too.
- Steamed vegetables like broccoli
- Granola bars
- Fish batter
There is not much of a difference in nutrition between the hulled and unhulled variety of sesame seeds. Both are rich in protein, carbohydrates, fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and more. They also make for a good source of energy and help you keep hydrated as per the USDA’s Nutrition Database. Given their interesting nutrition profile, sesame seeds are also good for the heart, digestion , bones, and inflammation. 
Both the hulled and unhulled variety of these seeds are safe for consumption. Just make sure you are not allergic to them.
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Ever have one of those mornings when you just know you’ll be eating pizza for the rest of the day? Or made a smoothie and needed a little more sustenance? Made a salad and realized it’s kind of lame? There are some great and easy additions you can make to your food that will go a long way.
Enter these seven tiny wonders into your next meal and taste the magic.
Chia seeds are all the rage right now, and rightly so. These tiny super-foods are a great addition to your diet, as part of baked goods, smoothies and salads. You can even mix them with liquid and they expand and transform into a jam or pudding-like substance.
Like many others on this list, chia seeds are sources of fiber, Omega-3 fatty acids, protein and antioxidants. However, they also make great pre-workout fuel.
Time to top off your stir-fry. These seeds are rich in many minerals, such as copper, magnesium and zinc. Why do we care? Because just these three minerals help provide relief for rheumatoid arthritis and support vascular, respiratory and bone health, on top of other health benefits.
#SpoonTip: You can also find sesame seeds in hummus or other dips where tahini is the fundamental ingredient.
Sunflower seeds are great due in part to their nutrition, but also their versatility. You can take your time cracking them out of their shells (slower eating = less calories), buy them shelled to sprinkle on salads, or even buy sunflower seed butter which is akin to any nut butter (did someone say a SSB&J sandwich?). Oh, and they are a great source of vitamin E, selenium, magnesium and can help lower cholesterol.
Hemp hearts (also referred as shelled hemp seeds) are easy to digest, and don’t they just look so healthy? And good thing they are too they contain protein, Omega-3s and omega-6s as well as helping with metabolism.
People often top their acai bowls or homemade granola bars with them. However, if you are not a fan of their taste, try putting a spoonful or so in your smoothie or milkshake. Boom, their taste is gone and yet the nutrients remain intact.
This super food, dare I say it, is perhaps better for you than kale. It contains Omega-3s, lignans and fiber among other benefits. Although not especially tasty by itself, you can buy ground flaxseed (perfect to add to a smoothie) or buy one of the many flax-hiding crackers, muffins or other baked good.
There are both unshelled pumpkin seeds (the small green ones aka pepitas), as well as shelled (what you find while carving pumpkins). Both are good for you, so why not eat both, right?
The shelled version has slightly higher amounts of zinc, yet also more carbohydrates (which are not always a bad thing). However, both have lots of antioxidants and antimicrobial benefits. Translation: eat pumpkin seeds when everyone around you is starting to get sick.
Photo courtesy of Mattie Hagedorn on flickr.com
Okay so even though we are not all grandmas, wheat germ is not a thing of the past anymore and we should all start eating it more. Wheat germ is the seed from wheat, but it has more vitamins and minerals and fewer carbs, making it a win-win. Mix it with oatmeal or muffin mix for a boost in B1, B6, fiber and even some protein.
Hopefully now you are a bit more wise, a bit more hungry, and ready to add a bit more nutrients to your day without having to chop up any vegetables.