Sesame seeds may be tiny, but they have huge health benefits. They were worth their weight in gold during the Middle Ages, and for many good reasons.
The more I learn about this precious seed, the more I want to share it with other people. I’m an enthusiastic eater of all sorts of seeds, but sesame seeds in the form of tahini and oil are favorites of mine.
20 Health Benefits of Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds are full of high quality protein making up 20 percent of the seed with 4.7 grams of protein per ounce.
2. Helps Prevent Diabetes
Sesame seeds contain magnesium and other nutrients. Sesame oil has been shown to prevent diabetes, and it can also improve plasma glucose in hypersensitive diabetics.
3. Reduces Blood Pressure
The same study above reveals how sesame oil lowers blood pressure in diabetics. Sesame seeds are full of magnesium – a key nutrient known to help lower blood pressure.
We’re used to seeing white sesame seeds used in baking, but black sesame seeds are richer in certain nutrients.4. Lowers Cholesterol
Sesame helps lower cholesterol levels, because it contains phytosterols that block cholesterol production. Black sesame seeds are especially high in phytosterols.
5. Good for Digestion
The high fiber content of sesame seeds helps the intestines with elimination.
6. For Healthy Skin
The high zinc content helps produce collagen, giving skin more elasticity and helping repair damaged body tissues. Regular use of sesame oil can reduce skin cancer. Learn more about Sesame Benefits For Your Skin.
7. Boosts Heart Health
Sesame seed oil can help heart health by preventing atherosclerotic lesions with the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound known as sesamol.
|Sesame is good for the skin both topically and internally.|
8. Prevents Cancer
Sesame seeds contain anti-cancer compounds including phytic acid, magnesium and phytosterols. Sesame seeds have the highest phytosterol content of all seeds and nuts.
9. Helps Lessen Anxiety
Sesame seeds contain the stress-relieving minerals magnesium and calcium. Sesame also contains the calming vitamins thiamin and tryptophan that help produce serotonin, which reduces pain, assists moods and helps you sleep deeply.
10. Alleviates Anemia
Black sesame seeds are particularly rich in iron, so they’re highly recommended for those with anemia and weakness.
11. Protects from Radiation Damage to DNA
Sesamol in sesame seeds and sesame oil, has been shown to protect against DNA damage caused by radiation.
12. Relieves Arthritis
The high copper content in sesame seeds prevents and relieves arthritis, and strengthens bones, joints and blood vessels.
13. Protects Your Liver from Alcohol
Sesame helps protect you from alcohol’s impact on your liver, helping you maintain healthy liver function.
|Depending on what flours were used, the sesame seed topping might be healthiest part of this bagel.|
14. Prevents Wrinkles
Sesame seed oil prevents harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun from damaging your skin, thus preventing the appearance of wrinkles and pigmentation.
15. Encourages Bone Health and Prevents Osteoporosis
A handful of sesame seeds contains more calcium than a glass of milk. Also the high zinc content of sesame boosts bone mineral density.
16. Help Your Baby’s Health
A sesame oil massage improves growth and improves sleep. Rashes on a baby’s skin — especially where the diaper is — can be protected with sesame seed oil by rubbing it in. As a bonus, sesame also helps reverse dry skin.
17. Good for Eye Health
In traditional Chinese medicine there is a relationship between the liver and eyes. The liver sends blood to the eyes to support functioning. Black sesame seeds are the best for this.
|Oil pulling with sesame is an ancient technique to improve teeth and gums.|
18. Good for Oral Health
Oil pulling, has been used for oral health for thousands of years in Ayurveda to reduce dental plaque, whiten your teeth and boost overall health. Learn How To Do Oil Pulling.
19. Good for Respiratory Health
The magnesium in sesame seeds helps prevent respiratory disorders by preventing airway spasm and asthma.
20. Hair Benefits
Sesame seed oil is full of nutrients which are needed for a healthy scalp and hair. See how to use sesame oil in the hair here.
Sesame seeds deserve to be highly honored as an affordable food that deeply nourishes the body on many levels. With sesame’s many health benefits I consider it a PowerFood along with green tea, lemons, garlic, honey and turmeric.
|Creamy Tahini Sauce|
Diana Herrington turned a debilitating health crisis into a passion for helping others with healthy, sugar-free, gluten-free, eating and cooking. After testing and researching every possible healthy therapy on her delicate system she has developed simple, powerful principles which she shares in her recent book Eating Green and Lean, and as host to Care2 groups: Healthy Living Network and Healthy Cooking. She is the head chef at Real Food for Life, where she shares recipes and tips. Sign up for the Real Food for Life weekly newsletter or catch her on Facebook or Twitter (@DancinginLife).