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.
I’m an enthusiastic eater of all sorts of seeds, but sesame seeds in the form of tahini and sesame oil are some of my favorite.
1. FULL OF PROTEIN
Sesame seeds are full of high quality protein. Protein makes 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.
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. 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.
14. PREVENTS WRINKLES
Sesame seed oil prevents harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun from damaging your skin, preventing the appearance of wrinkles and pigmentation.
15. ENCOURAGES BONE HEALTH
A handful of sesame seeds contains more calcium than a glass of milk. The high zinc content of sesame seeds also boost bone mineral density.
16. HELP YOUR BABY’S HEALTH
A sesame oil massage improves growth in infants and improves sleep. Rashes on a baby’s skin—especially where the diaper is—can be protected by rubbing sesame oil on the skin. 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.
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 Practice Oil Pulling here.
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 the nutrients needed for a healthy scalp and hair. See how to use sesame oil in your hair here.
Sesame seeds deserve to be highly honored as an affordable food that deeply nourishes the body on many levels.