Fitness

Sesame Seeds – Benefits, Nutrition, & Recipes

‘Til’ or sesame seeds have been a kitchen commodity in every Indian household for generations. Sesame seeds are a powerhouse of minerals and have been popular for thousands of years. As a result, they have earned a special place in Ayurveda and other traditional medicinal forms. From maintaining beauty and youth to providing sufficient dietary fibre, sesame seeds, or til are valued by many holistic and alternative medicines for their therapeutic properties. They can fight several health conditions too.

While you may not be using it a lot, your ancestors sure used it in various dishes. It was to prolong their life by building up good immunity along with fibre and protein content. These tiny nutty-flavoured seeds undoubtedly offer an excellent alternative to processed foods.

Nutritional Facts of Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds grow in the pods of Sesamum Indicum, a flowering plant found mainly in the tropical regions of India and Africa. Sesame seeds are rich in essential minerals, such as zinc, copper, magnesium, and calcium. It also contains several vitamin B complexes and a high number of antioxidants, fibre, and protein.

Given below is the nutritional information of 100 g sesame seeds-

  • Energy – 563 kcal
  • Carbohydrates – 25 g
  • Dietary Fiber – 16.8 g
  • Fats – 43.3 g
  • Protein – 18.3 g
  • Calcium – 1450 mg
  • Iron – 9.3 mg
  • Phosphorous – 570 mg
  • Copper – 2.29 mg
  • Zinc – 12.20 mg

Besides their nutritional value, sesame seeds have many health benefits. After knowing these benefits, they will make you want to include them in your diet right away.

Top Health Benefits of Sesame Seeds

Sesame Seeds Help Get Healthy Skin and Hair

Are you losing hair in a lump or feel like your skin glow is diminishing? Then, turn to sesame seeds before you pick up any other skin and hair product. The seeds and their oil contain superb organic properties that restore the skin’s glow and hair’s strength. In addition, they are rich in vitamin B complexes, such as thiamine, niacin, folic acid, pyridoxine, and riboflavin.

Along with their consumption regularly, you can massage your scalp with sesame oil weekly and even go for body massages. A lot of massage therapists also use sesame oil to provide nourishment to your hair.

Sesame Seeds Build Stronger Bones

Til contains a considerable amount of calcium. And calcium is an essential nutrient that helps keep the bones and teeth strong. In addition, the presence of zinc also acts as a vital mineral for strengthening the bone structure. 

As per a study, regularly eating calcium-rich sesame seeds can help prevent osteoporosis later in life.

Sesame Seeds Control Blood Sugar Levels

Multiple studies suggest that eating sesame seeds or sesame oil may help regulate blood sugar. Sesame oil is a highly unsaturated oil. Thus the very nature of the oil itself may regulate glucose levels.

In addition, sesame seeds are perfect for diabetic people. In the long run, it acts as an organic blood sugar regulator. It is due to its low carbohydrates, high protein, and healthy fat content. Additionally, pinoresinol, a plant-derived lignan, plays an essential role in maintaining and regulating blood sugar levels.

Sesame Seeds Keep Blood Pressure in Check

You already know that sesame seeds are rich in calcium. But did you know they help prevent hypertension and blood pressure? Polyunsaturated fats and the compound present in sesame oil are known to keep blood pressure levels in check.

According to research, edible sesame oil lowers blood pressure and related health problems in hypertensive patients.

Sesame Seeds Make You Highly Energetic

Along with numerous vitamins and minerals, sesame seeds are also a good source of energy. It is due to the high-fat content, mainly omega-3 fats in sesame seeds. They also contain elevated amounts of fibre, iron, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. As a result, they boost the energy requirements of the body. In addition, a study explains sesame as one of the most critical natural foods having high food value.

Sesame Seeds Relieve Pain and Allergy

Til is rich in essential minerals and provides your body with a much-needed dose of copper, magnesium, and calcium. While copper is suitable for people with rheumatoid arthritis, magnesium is ideal for people with respiratory problems.

Most patients with trauma experience different levels of pain. To combat the pain, they have to use Non-Steroid Anti Inflammatory Drugs. However, the drug is expensive, and at times, it causes some side effects. As per a study, topical application of sesame oil could reduce pain severity and the frequency of NSAIDs in such patients. Therefore, it is suitable to use this oil as complementary medicine for pain relief.

Sesame Seeds are Good for Your Thyroid Health

Our thyroid gland contains the highest concentration of selenium. Therefore, selenium plays a critical role in making thyroid hormones.

According to research, sesame seeds supply almost 18% of the selenium reference daily intake (RDI) from unhulled and hulled seeds. Therefore, It makes them the right dietary choice to combat thyroid. Additionally, the presence of iron, copper, zinc, and vitamin B6 in these seeds support the creation of thyroid hormones and aid thyroid health.

Sesame Seeds Improve Immunity

With all the coronavirus talks going around the world, immunity has become a trending topic. Sesame seeds help you in building your immunity with their power-packed minerals and vitamins.

For instance, zinc intake helps develop and activate T-lymphocytes, part of the body’s immune system. They recognise and attack invading microbes. As per a study, sesame seeds fulfil 20% of the RDI for zinc.

Sesame Seeds Help Maintain Mental Well-being

Sesame oil contains an amino acid, tyrosine, which impacts serotonin activity. It is a neurotransmitter that affects our mood. An imbalance of serotonin could lead to depression or stress. Sesame seed oil helps produce serotonin, lowers the chances of anxiety and improves feelings of positivity.

Sesame Seed Improves Digestion

Constipation is a common digestive issue faced by multiple people. If you’re also struggling to maintain a clear digestive tract, turn towards black sesame seeds.

They help in curing constipation with their high fibre and unsaturated fatty acid content. While the oil found in these seeds can work as a lubricant for your intestines, the fibre helps to keep smooth bowel movements. It also protects the colon and reduces the risk of contracting gastrointestinal diseases.

Contain Antioxidants and Have Anti-inflammatory Properties

Sesame oil has sesamol and sesaminol. They are two antioxidants that have positive effects on your health. They reduce cell damage caused by free radicals. Moreover, sesame oils also have anti-inflammatory properties which treat joint inflammation, toothaches, and scrapes.

Research reveals the antioxidant components and capability of different extracts of sesame seeds in various solvents. Therefore, SSE(sesame seeds extract) can be considered a potent source of natural antioxidants. Moreover, it stabilises food and food products, especially edible vegetable oils rich in unsaturated fatty acids.

Sesame Seeds Lower Your Cholesterol

Sesame seeds are rich in lignans, a plant compound that lowers cholesterol. They also contain phytosterols. Phytosterols are known to enhance your immune response and reduce the risk of certain cancers.

Research reveals that these seeds block the absorption of cholesterol from the small intestine. They also lower the activities of the enzymes which produce it.

Sesame Seeds Prevent Liver Disease

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the accumulation of liver fat. It happens to those who drink little or no alcohol. It also includes other external factors like drugs, environmental pollutants and irradiation.

Sesame Seeds help prevent it as they increase resistance to oxidative stress. They have anti-inflammatory properties too. Furthermore, it protects against multiple organ injuries.

Prevents and Treats Cancer

As we discussed, sesame seeds have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, chemopreventive, antihepatotoxic properties. These properties help prevent cancer. In addition, research suggests that sesame seeds have anti-cancer properties, which makes them beneficial in preventing and treating cancer. 

Healthy Recipes Using Sesame Seeds

Sesame Seeds Ladoo or Til Ladoo

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • 0.75 cup peanuts
  • 0.75 cup shredded coconut
  • 1.75 cups powdered/grated jaggery
  • chopped dates/ dry figs
  • Water (as needed)
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • Oil for greasing the palm

Preparation

  • Heat a pan and lightly dry roast sesame seeds for a couple of minutes. Remove on a plate and set aside.
  • In the same pan, dry roast peanuts and coconut one after another and remove them on a plate. Once it cools down, crush or grind to coarse and set aside.
  • In the same pan, add the shredded coconut and roast on low flame until light brown. Remove the coconut to a plate and keep it aside.
  • Now, take the powdered jaggery in a pan and add 3 tsp water to it. Keep it on a low flame and let it simmer.
  • Continue boiling the mixture until it becomes soft enough to be moulded into a ball.
  • Now, mix the roasted peanut mixture with the jaggery solution well.
  • Pulse dates/Dry figs, crushed peanuts, roasted coconut, sesame seeds, and cardamom powder until well combined. Grease palms and roll out small laddoos.

Keep the ladoos in an airtight container.

Sesame Seeds Smoothie

Ingredients

  • Two small bananas, Diced
  • One apple, Diced
  • 0.25 cup oats
  • 0.25 cup almonds and cashew
  • 1 tsp honey
  • One glass of cold milk
  • 1 tbsp of sesame seeds
  • Ice (as per choice)

Preparation

  • Put the diced fruits, oats, honey, dry fruits, half tbsp of sesame seeds and milk in the grinder and mix it well. You can also put the ice in it if you want.
  • Make sure the resultant mixture is thick.
  • Pour it out in a glass and top it with remaining sesame seeds for a crunchy and nutty flavour.

Enjoy your healthy smoothie.

Sesame Seeds: Possible Side Effects

  • Sesame is likely safe when applied to the skin, taken by mouth or sprayed in the nose. However, the possibility of allergies rises in some people if it is misused or consumed excessively.
  • Since sesame seeds are rich in fibre, consuming them in higher amounts may cause bowel irritation or obstructions. It occurs in people with large strictures or narrowing of the bowel. In simple words, it causes blockage of large or small intestines.
  • There is also a possibility of ischemia when your body doesn’t get enough blood. It may also cause perforation or a small hole in the body.
  • Do not have milk after having any food containing sesame. It is because milk takes longer to digest. In addition, after having sesame, if you drink milk, the milk coagulates. Therefore, it can lead to gas or heartburn. 

Hence consuming the right amount of sesame seeds is vital to understand.

As we know, sesame seeds are so dense in nutrients, consuming the right amount goes a long way. However, there’s no exact serving size as it depends on the kind of seed you are having. But a general calculated guideline is to aim for a 200-calorie serving, around one tablespoon per day. 

Summary

Til or sesame seeds are a powerhouse of energy and heat. They contain zinc, copper, iron, magnesium, and fluoride. They are the best organic source for multivitamins, Vitamin B and D. Sesame seeds contain numerous elements essential to the human body.

All of these minerals and vitamins help you in becoming healthier. They also assist in building up your immunity to fight diseases and illnesses. Additionally, sesame seeds provide healthy fat to the body, which does not add to your obesity. It further maintains a balanced acid level for your organs to function correctly.

If you want to know more about how sesame seeds or any other nuts provide fantastic health benefits, then talk to experts at HealthifyMe. Our team will help you with a diet plan as per your preferences and help you stay healthy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Is it safe to eat sesame seeds daily?

A. Yes. It is safe to have 1 tbsp sesame seeds daily if there is no related allergy.

Q. Can you eat sesame seeds raw?

A. Yes. The taw form of sesame seeds gives significant benefits of stored nutrients in them. But one with disturbed digestion can opt for soaked seeds for easy digestion

Q. Should we eat these seeds on an empty stomach or a full stomach?

A. Few Ayurveda remedies suggest a medicinal combination of these seeds on an empty stomach. But in general, sesame seeds can be added along with meals or as a mouth freshener.

Q. Should sesame seeds be soaked overnight before eating them the next day?

A. People who face poor digestion issues and do not go well with raw seeds can soak overnight or for 4-5 hours before consuming.

Q. What is the healthiest way to consume sesame seeds?

A. Chewing raw seeds give the most benefits, but people with sensitive stomachs can chew soaked seeds. Lightly roasting or pounding is also acceptable.

Q. Why are sesame seeds bad for you?

A. Sesame seeds are a good form of nutrition, and there are very little to no side effects. However,  consuming too much and misusing them may cause related allergies and bowel irritation or gas.

Q. How do you eat sesame seeds daily?

A. There are many ways to have sesame seeds daily. You can include them in your diet by adding them to your salads, ice cream, soups, using them for seasoning or even having them raw.

Q. Will sesame seeds cause weight gain?

A. No. Sesame seeds are an excellent source of protein and increase your metabolic rate. Therefore, it results in curbing your hunger and avoiding excessive calorie gain. Hence, no chance of weight gain.

Q. Is sesame good for skin?

A. Yes. Sesame seeds have anti-inflammatory properties that are known for healing redness and other skin problems. In addition, it helps get rid of pathogens and similar agents causing skin damage. Thus, it is excellent for glowing skin.

Q. Are black sesame seeds better than white?

A. White sesame seeds have a subtle flavour, whereas black sesame seeds are stronger and crunchier. Black sesame seeds also protect your digestive system. But there’s no study proving any seed is better than the other as they more or else provide the same benefits. 

Q. Can sesame seeds be taken with milk?

A. Sesame with milk can prove dangerous for health. Wait at least for 2 hours after having it as it can cause gas or heartburn.

Q. Can sesame seeds be boiled?

A. Yes, you can boil and have sesame seeds.

Q. How much calcium is in sesame seeds per 100g?

A. There is approximately 975 mg of calcium in 100g of sesame seeds.

Q. Is sesame seeds a carb or protein?

A. Sesame seeds are carbs.

Q. Do sesame seeds have omega 3?

A. Yes. Sesame seeds contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Q. Does roasting sesame seeds destroy nutrients?

A. Natural sesame seeds are more nutritious than roasted sesame seeds as they are slightly high in protein. However, the nutrients in these seeds do not destroy if we roast them. 

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