Reasons to Include Sesame in your Regular Diet
SESAME SEEDS: A NUTRITIONAL POWERHOUSE
Gone are the days when sesame seeds were used as food for birds. Today, these tiny seeds have quickly earned a reputation for being a nutritional powerhouse. The adage ‘good things come in small packages’ holds good for these oil-rich seeds. Don’t go by its size, it’s come to be known as an incredibly versatile ingredient and is thus used across numerous cuisines. While they’re largely added to breads and buns, they also taste good when sprinkled on sushi, ground into a paste to make tahini or simply munched in their roasted or toasted form.
Is there any other seed that wears so many different hats? Exuding a nutty flavour and mouth-watering fragrance, sesame seeds have for years disguised a bevy of health benefits that are still unknown to many.
Did you know? Just consuming a handful of them a day can work wonders for your hair, skin and health. Also, in India, they are literally an indispensable part of the winter season. With ‘til ke ladoos’ and ‘til ke gajak’ everywhere, let’s uncover the hype around this super-food.
Health Benefits of Adding Sesame Seeds to Your Diet
- Boosts skin health: The oil present in sesame seeds can do wonders for your skin. Women of ancient Babylon often mixed honey with sesame seeds to prolong their youth and beauty. If you’re looking to tackle dry skin during winters, sesame seeds are a sure shot cure. The healing properties present in the seeds help in keeping the skin moist and warm. It is also high in anti-inflammatory properties thus reducing redness and keeping other skin problems at bay.
- Triggers hair growth: If you’ve been losing hair off late, it’s time to add sesame seeds to your diet. Owing to the rich, omega fatty acids present in seeds, it not just triggers hair growth but also nourishes the roots and keeps the scalp moist. Since it boosts blood circulation, it plays a crucial role in rejuvenating hair follicles. For those suffering from early greying, incorporate black sesame seeds into your diet or massage sesame soil into your scalp.
- Aids in digestion: Despite being tiny in stature, the benefits are big when it comes to providing your body with protein and fibre. The oil found in the seeds can lubricate your intestines and the fibre in the seeds can regulate bowel movements. Thus, consuming sesame seeds every day can shape a healthy digestive system for you.
- Stabilizes blood pressure: Sesame seeds are rich in magnesium that prevents hypertension. It also helps in maintaining a healthy blood pressure. Additionally, their antioxidants may help prevent plaque build-up.
- Supports healthy bone health: A lot of doctors agree that bone mass tends to decrease after the age of 35. Also, it is noticed that it occurs more rapidly in women after menopause. Since black sesame seeds are rich in calcium and zinc, they make your bones stronger. Consuming one tablespoon of un-hulled sesame seeds a day from a reputed sesame seeds supplier can result in better bone health.
- Improves dental health: If you’ve been a victim of dental plaque, sesame seeds can help. Since they’re rich in oil content, they can help whiten your teeth. It is also known to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Many nutritionists believe that sesame works as an antiseptic thus reducing the amount of harmful bacteria around the teeth and saliva.
- Helps fight anxiety and depression: If you are unable to cope with the stress at work, try sesame seeds. The oil in the seed contains tyrosine, which is directly connected to serotonin activity. According to experts, consuming foods that help in the production of serotonin can induce positive feelings and keep chronic stress at bay.
- Burns fat: The phytochemicals present in sesame seeds boost the metabolism and helps the body burn fat faster. It also boosts liver function so that several enzymes break down fatty acids faster.
- Cures anaemia: Since black sesame seeds are high in iron, it helps curing anaemia. One cup of sesame seeds contains about 20 mg or about 115% of your daily recommended iron intake.
- Boosts immune system: Sesame seeds are not simply referred to as the powerhouse of nutrients. They’re rich in zinc, magnesium, copper, iron, vitamin B6 and vitamin E. All these nutrients are vital to attack invading microbes.