Sesame seeds have a nutty taste and for years, have been used to add flavor to many Asian and Middle Eastern dishes. They are especially popular for their oil and a wide range of health benefits.
Health Benefits of Sesame Seeds
Let’s take a closer look at the health benefits of sesame seeds.
Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Sesame seeds contain two substances known as sesamin and sesamolin, which belong to a group of fibers called lignans. Lignans help in lowering cholesterol levels as they are rich in dietary fiber.
The seeds also contain plant compounds known as phytosterols which have a structure similar to that of cholesterol. When consumed, sesame seeds not only lower blood cholesterol levels, they also reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer. In fact, sesame seeds have the richest phytosterol content of all nuts and seeds.
Sesame seeds are rich in copper, a mineral that is essential for reducing the pain and swelling linked with arthritis. In addition, this mineral strengthens the joints, bones, and blood vessels.
Rich in Dietary Protein
Possess Anti-Inflammatory Effects
Sesame seed oil, when consumed or used topically, can help reduce the risk of health conditions caused by inflammation. The rich amount of copper in this oil helps treat joint-related inflammation.
Supports Bone Health
The zinc in sesame seeds helps to boost bone health, including the mineral density of bones. A deficiency in zinc can result in osteoporosis in the spine and hip area of the body. Sesame seeds are also an excellent source of calcium, a mineral that is beneficial for bone health.
Sesame seeds are made of nutrients like magnesium that can fight off diabetes. In fact, sesame seed oil has been found to be potent in lowering blood pressure and plasma glucose in hypersensitive diabetic patients.
Sesame seeds possess various nutrients that contain stress-relieving properties. Calcium and magnesium are some of the minerals in sesame seeds that are antispasmodic, thus regulating the contraction and relaxation of muscles.
In addition, sesame seeds contain tryptophan, an essential amino acid that stimulates serotonin production. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that alleviates pain, treats insomnia, and improves mood. When there is insufficient serotonin production or transmission in the brain, it can lead to anxiety and depression.
Sesame seeds, especially the black ones, are rich sources of iron. This is why they are commonly recommended for treating anemia.
Reduces the Risk of High Blood Pressure
These days, high blood pressure has become a common health problem among people from diverse age groups. However, studies have found that sesame seed oil can help lower blood pressure. This benefit is attributed to the presence of magnesium in the seeds.
The vitamins and minerals in sesame seeds help boost the immune system. The antioxidants in them also help the body combat cancer-causing free radicals. The phytates in these seeds contain cancer-preventing properties as well.
Sesame seeds contain magnesium which has anti-cancer properties. They also contain an anti-cancer compound called phytate, which has proven to be effective in reducing the risk of colorectal tumors.
Contains Healing Properties
Sesame seed oil contains anti-inflammatory effects and has great healing properties. Its antibacterial properties eliminate skin pathogens such as athlete’s foot fungus, streptococcus, and Staphylococcus. When mixed with warm water, the oil is effective for the treatment of vaginal yeast infections too.
Boosts Cardiovascular Health
Sesame seed oil supports heart health and prevents atherosclerotic lesions. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compound called sesamol also contain anti-atherogenic properties, making it effective for improving cardiovascular health.
Sesame seeds are also a rich source of oleic acid and monounsaturated fatty acid, which both help in reducing the bad cholesterol in the body. This lowers the risk of coronary artery disease and even strokes.
Improves Eye Health
In traditional medicine, black sesame seeds are used to increase blood in the liver, thereby fortifying the eyes. The liver stores blood and can transmit blood to the eyes to support their proper functioning. Due to their therapeutic properties, these seeds help in treating dry, tired eyes as well as blurred vision.
Aids in Digestion
Sesame seeds are beneficial for a healthy colon and digestive system as they are a rich source of fiber. The high fiber content helps in proper functioning of the intestine, thus relieving constipation and easing bowel movements.
Prevents Respiratory Disorders
Magnesium found in sesame seeds prevents asthma and other respiratory disorders by inhibiting spasms in the airways.
Protects Against Radiation Damage
Sesamol, present in sesame seeds and sesame oil, can prevent the DNA from being damaged by radiation. It also averts damage to the spleen and the intestines.
Boosts Oral Health
Eliminates the Effects of Alcohol
Sesame seeds help the liver to destroy the harmful effects of alcohol as well as other substances that cause toxicity in the body.
Nourishes the Organs of the Body
Sesame seeds, particularly the black ones, have been found to boost energy levels, improve brain function, and prevent premature aging. When consumed on a regular basis, black sesame seeds can reduce the symptoms of shoulder pain, backache, and painful joints.
Good for Babies
It is fairly common to have the area covered with diapers in babies get rashes. This is largely attributed to the acidity of body wastes. However, sesame seed oil can protect the skin from these rashes. To protect against common skin pathogens in babies, simply apply the oil to their nose or ears.
Treats Cracked Heels
People with sore feet or cracked heels can apply sesame seed oil before bedtime. Cover your feet with cotton socks to get soft feet.
Good for the Hair
Sesame seeds are loaded with nutrients and minerals that are essential for the facilitating of a healthy scalp and hair. Sesame seed oil can have powerful effects on the hair as it contains essential fatty acids like omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9. These fatty acids help promote hair growth by nourishing and promoting a healthy scalp. The regular use of warm sesame oil on the scalp can increase blood circulation and nourish the hair roots.
When massaged into the scalp, sesame seed oil combats dryness and open clogged pores, thus preventing hair thinning and loss. Also, its anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antibacterial abilities help in the treatment of dandruff and other scalp infections.
Sesame seed oil also protects the hair from the damaging effects of pollution and the ultraviolet rays of the sun. This oil acts as a deep conditioning treatment for chemically-damaged hair, dry hair, and split ends. It moisturizes and strengthens the hair roots as well.
Beneficial for the Skin
Sesame seed is packed with antiviral, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties that are beneficial for the skin. Besides, sesame seed oil is rich in vitamin B, vitamin E, iron, omega-6, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium, making them effective ingredients in beauty products.
Sesame seed oil can treat suntans and prevent the harmful effects of the sun’s ultraviolet rays on the skin. This oil will help prevent the appearance of wrinkles and reduce the risk of skin cancer. It also protects the skin against the effects of chlorine in swimming pool water.
The antioxidants present in this oil help in detoxifying the skin. Simply mix half a cup of apple cider vinegar with the same quantity of sesame seed oil and a quarter cup of water. Apply the mixture at bedtime after washing your face.