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Sesame Seeds

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Sesame seeds are commonly used as toppings for bagels, buns, sesame chicken and sushi rolls. Not only do they add flavor but they also boost the nutritional value of anything they are added to. The sesame seed contains various healthy minerals and is a good source of B vitamins.

The sesame seed flavor consists of a light nutty taste with a slight crunch. Not only are they enjoyed whole but the sesame seed is also made into a healthy sesame oil as well as being ground into a paste, known as tahini, which is very popular in the Middle East.

Health Benefits

Sesame seeds provide an excellent source of B vitamins as well as zinc, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, and fiber. This assortment of vitamins and minerals offer health benefits in the following ways:

  • Improves Vascular and Respiratory Health: The magnesium found in the sesame seed helps to improve respiratory health in individuals who suffer from asthma. It also assists in restoring blood pressure to healthy levels and opens the blood vessels up. When blood vessels are constricted, it not only contributes to the onset of migraine headaches, but also increases the risk of heart attacks, heart disease, and stroke. However, magnesium helps restore both respiratory and vascular health.
  • Lowers Cholesterol: Due to the presence of lignans and phytosterols found in sesame seeds, they are considered a healthy choice in reducing cholesterol. These sources of lignans and phytosterols help to rid the body of unhealthy cholesterols that are found in the blood and liver. Healthy cholesterol levels also reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
  • Balance Hormones: Among other beneficial aspects of lignans, they also help restore hormone levels. Because of this, sesame seeds are often recommended to pregnant and post-menopausal women to regulate estrogen levels while also providing healthy fatty acids.
  • Boost Fat Burning: With the fiber content found in sesame seeds, they are great for weight loss and fat burning. A single tablespoon of sesame seeds supplies 1.1 grams of fiber, which can provide a feeling of fullness, thus reducing food cravings and the tendency to overeat. Fiber also helps the body boost fat burning and reduce the waistline.

Sesame seeds, being native to India are often used in Ayurveda medicine to enhance stamina, energy, and fertility and provide a feeling of satiety.

About the Sesame

The sesame seed originated in India and ancient tales indicate that the sesame seed was considered to provide immortality. Use of the sesame seed in medicinal purposes is found recorded as far back as 2000 BC.

The sesame seed can withstand drought and be favored by many due to its ability to be grown in climates that other crops did not flourish due to lack of water and soil nutrients.

Africa introduced the sesame seed to the United States during the 17th century as a food source. Japan is largely the most prominent supplier of sesame seeds but they are also produced in China, India, and Mexico.

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