Are Sesame Seeds Good for You?
Well, of course they are!
In this post you will learn about 6 major health benefits of sesame seeds.
Sesame or Benne seeds might not be a regular part of the Western diet, but its use is extremely common in Indian and most subcontinental households.
However, this article is not about culinary applications of sesame seeds. Here, we will be discussing various health benefits offered by the ingredient.
Ayurveda rates the healing properties of sesame seeds pretty highly.
According to theories of Ayurveda, these seeds possess amazing heat and energy generating ability. In addition, they are also filled with a range of essential nutrients.
You will see significant improvement in your skin and hair health after making the seeds a part of your daily diet.
You will even experience reduction in the intensity of various ailments you have.
Topical application of the ingredient is also extremely beneficial in enhancing our appearance.
The section below would educate you about those qualities of sesame seeds and more.
- 1 Are Sesame Seeds Good for You: 6 Health Benefits
- 1.1 1) You Will Have Healthier Skin and Hair
- 1.2 2) Your Digestive System Would Function More Efficiently
- 1.3 3) You Will Feel More Energetic
- 1.4 4) Your Triglyceride and Cholesterol Level Would Become Normal
- 1.5 5) You Will Be Able to Manage Your Blood Pressure More Efficiently
- 1.6 6) You Will Have Stronger Bones
- 2 Best Ways to Eat Sesame Seeds
Are Sesame Seeds Good for You: 6 Health Benefits
1) You Will Have Healthier Skin and Hair
The quantity of antioxidants present in these seeds is pretty high. These antioxidants fight the harmful free radicals and delay skin aging.
The oil content of the seeds can improve our skin’s appearance significantly when applied topically. After a few weeks of use, you will see your skin become softer and more supple than ever before.
The anti-inflammatory properties of the seeds, on the other hand, heal skin issues like sores, redness, and tenderness quite effectively.
When using sesame seed for skin care, you can follow the steps below:
How to Use Sesame Seeds for Skin Care?
- In a small bowl mix two tablespoons of sesame seed powder and a tablespoon of olive oil. You will get a thick paste.
- Wash your face with plain water and apply the paste sesame seed paste all over your damp face.
- Wait for 20 minutes and wash your face using lukewarm water.
Repeat this remedy twice every week to see your skin become brighter and more youthful.
Sesame seeds are also known to strengthen our hair roots.
The omega-3 fatty acids present in these seeds not only repair damaged hair but also stop hair loss. In addition, those fatty acids play major role in promoting hair growth.
Regular application of a hair mask prepared using castor oil and sesame seed paste is instrumental in improving blood circulation to our hair follicles. This, in turn, rejuvenates the hair follicles and reverse the damages caused to them. Sesame seeds also moisturizes our scalp and prevent formation of dandruff.
2) Your Digestive System Would Function More Efficiently
Black sesame seeds are rich sources of unsaturated fatty acids and fiber and are thus known for treating constipation effectively.
The oil present in these seeds work by lubricating our intestines. The seeds’ fiber content, on the other hand, enables smoother bowel movement.
3) You Will Feel More Energetic
We have already talked about the high fatty acid content of sesame seeds. This feature of the ingredient makes it a great source of energy.
Sesame seeds are rich in healthy fats such as polyunsaturated and Omega-6 fatty acids. In addition, they are also rich sources of iron, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, and fiber. All these nutrients work together to boost our energy levels.
4) Your Triglyceride and Cholesterol Level Would Become Normal
Sesame seeds are consisted of 39% monounsaturated fats, 41% polyunsaturated fats, and 15% saturated fats.
According to expert nutritionists, consuming more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats than saturated fats might help in reducing levels of bad cholesterol. This, in turn, will decrease our chances of developing heart diseases.
In addition, these seeds also contain phytosterols and lignans. These are plant compounds known for their ability to reduce cholesterol levels.
5) You Will Be Able to Manage Your Blood Pressure More Efficiently
The high magnesium content of sesame seeds makes them ideal for managing blood pressure in patients with hypertension.
Presence of antioxidants like lignans, on the other hand, prevents plaque formation in the arteries and thereby reduces chances of blood pressure spikes.
A study was conducted recently to test the above qualities of sesame seeds.
During the study, a group of people suffering from hypertension were given 2.5 g black sesame seed powder every day for a month. The study also had a placebo group.
At the end of the study, researchers found that on average the participants experienced a 6% reduction in their systolic blood pressure.
People in the placebo group, however, didn’t experience any such drastic change in their blood pressure levels.
6) You Will Have Stronger Bones
Irrespective of the fact whether you are consuming hulled or un-hulled sesame seeds, you will get nutrients known for boosting bone health. However, we cannot deny that the hull of these seeds contains maximum amount of calcium.
Three tablespoons or 30 g sesame seeds offers the following:
- Calcium: 22% of our RDI when un-hulled and 1% of our RDI when hulled
- Manganese: 32% of our RDI when un-hulled and 19% of our RDI when hulled
- Magnesium: 25% of our RDI when un-hulled and 25% of our RDI when hulled
- Zinc:21% of our RDI when un-hulled and 18% of our RDI when hulled
So, for enjoying maximum benefits of consuming these seeds for bone health, try to consume them un-hulled.
Best Ways to Eat Sesame Seeds
Here, you must note that the effects of these minerals can reduce if you don’t know the right way of consuming sesame seeds.
The seeds contain high levels of plant compounds like phytates and oxalates. These are antinutrients known for reducing our ability to absorb minerals present in our food.
The only way you can diminish the effects of these plant compounds is by making the sesame seeds undergo various treatments before consuming them.
Here are a few options you may try:
- You can soak the seeds overnight and consume them in the morning.
- Roast the seeds for a minute, allow them to cool down, and then eat.
- Sprout the seeds before eating them
According to experts, the third option is the most effective one.
Sprouting can reduce the oxalate and phytate concentration in sesame seeds by more than 50%. The effects of sprouting are similar both on un-hulled and hulled sesame seeds.
To conclude, we would like to offer you some interesting tips.
While reading through the pointers above, you must have come across a few suggestions pertaining to the right way of consuming benne seeds.
If you want to add some taste to the seeds, you can use them as condiments while having your salads.
You can also mix roasted sesame seeds with palm sugar, sugar, or jaggery over low to medium heat and prepare sweet balls (or til ka laddu).
Some Indian foods also involve use of sesame seed paste for thickening the gravy.