By: Amanda Froelich,
On a salad, in a tahini hummus, or spread throughout a delicious roasted vegetable meal, sesame seeds offer a nutty depth that contrasts with other types of seeds. Not only do they taste great and are easily found for an affordable price, but these tiny seeds are also incredible for supporting bone health, longevity, and overall happiness.
In ancient Babylonian times, women believed that mixing raw honey with sesame seeds would promote youth and longevity, and Roman soldiers often ate the mixture for strength and energy. Whatever one’s motivation to consume sesame seeds (and there are many that follow), they are a super food that has endured for over 3,600 years and will continue to nourish humankind long in the future.
1. Abundant in Minerals
Sesame seeds are incredibly rich in life-promoting minerals, such as Phosophorous, Lecithin, Magnesium, Potassium, and Iron. These are all anti-inflammatory and enriching minerals which have been shown to strengthen one’s body and regenerative capabilities. Many studies currently indicate that consuming Sesame seeds on a regular basis can be beneficial for preventing Diabetes, Dental Plaque, High Blood Pressure, Infant Mortality, Multiple Sclerosis, and Atherosclerosis.
2. Reduce Risk for Cancer & Aid Detoxification
Being a great source of Methionine, sesame seeds have been shown to improve liver detoxification, reduce radiation-induced DNA damage, and even safe-guard against certain cancers because of their fat-soluble lignin properties.
3. Rich in Vitamin E
Vitamin E is essential for the growth and maintenance of glowing skin, hair, and nails. Consuming the anti-oxidant also reduces the risk of developing preventable diseases (heart disease, atherosclerosis, stroke, and many more), and it is potent in sesame seeds!
4. B-Vitamin Powerhouse
Many plant foods lack B vitamins, making a vegetarian or vegan diet a concern for the health-oriented. But sesame seeds (and many leafy greens, legumes, and other nuts/seeds) are rich in B vitamins. Sesame seeds especially contain higher amounts of B1, B2, B3, B5, and B15. For brain health and nerve function, these vitamins, along with healthy fats, are essential.
5. Prevents Anemia
Just ¼ a cup of sesame seeds provides almost 30% of one’s daily need for Iron. This mineral is essential for oxygen transport and energy production. Found also in leafy greens, these two plant sources ensure those abstaining from meat experience vibrant health.
6. Great source of Protein
The flat, oval seeds give a mighty boost for their tiny size. In that same ¼ cup of sesame seeds, about 5 ½ grams of protein are delivered. They are rich in amino acids (the building blocks of protein), therefore support the vital growth and maintenance of a healthy body and balanced mind.
7. Treats Arthritis pain better than Tylenol
According to this recent and incredible study, the regular consumption of sesame seeds reduces the pain of Knee Arthritis better than Tylenol. Conducted by medical researchers working out of Tabriz University, it was discovered even a small amount (a little over one and a half ounces) helped subjects greatly reduce their pain.
8. High in Good Fats!
Sesame seeds are abundant in monosaturated and polyunsatured fats (good fats) which support a balanced weight, help lower bad cholesterol, and improve blood flow. While too much fat can be an issue, it is not one of huge concern because these tiny seeds offer a plethora of benefits with moderate consumption.
9. Incredible Source of Calcium
Contrary to popular belief, those whom experience osteoporosis may indeed consume enough calcium, but just not in the right source. In order to buffer the acidic ash produced from breaking down dairy and meat (dairy being a commonly promoted ‘source’ of calcium), the bone-building mineral must be removed from the bones to neutralize the blood pH. This can tax organ systems and, in the long-term, contribute to bone brittleness.
By consuming plant-based sources that are high in Calcium (leafy greens, chia seeds, sesame seeds, and others), a balanced pH is ensured and bones can remain strong.
Per tablespoon, whole sesame seeds contain about 88 mg of Calcium. Compared to a whole cup of milk, one only needs a quarter of a cup to gain the same amount of Calcium, and this is without the added mucus and cholesterol that results from consuming pasteurized dairy products.
10. High in Fiber
Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers to debilitate and contribute to early death in the United States. By consuming more fiber-filled foods (all fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds), one’s gastrointestinal tract will expel digested foods more often, and in effect, a healthier colon will result.
The incredible and long-cultivated seed offers many benefits. One can easily include more of this super food into their diet in the following ways:
*Sprinkling them on a salad
*Mixing them into a stir-fry
*Mashing them up with an avocado, lime juice, tomato, and served in lettuce leaves!
*Blended in some tahini with roasted garlic, chickpeas, lemon juice, and spices (like in this recipe here) to make a delicious hummus!
*Used in desserts to create raw energy balls or cacao balls.
The ways to work sesame seeds into family meals are endless! Let nature be your medicine by enjoying those foods which promote longevity and optimal health!