Sesame seeds are extremely beneficial for health but are often overlooked. They have the ability to prevent diabetes, lower blood pressure, prevent a wide variety of cancers, build strong bones, protect against radiation, and improve the heart health. They also help cure sleep disorders, improve digestion, reduce inflammation, boost respiratory health, and aid in dental care. These powerful seeds improve blood circulation, detoxify the body, and eliminate depression and chronic stress.
What Are Sesame Seeds?
Sesame seeds are derived from a plant of the Sesamum genus and bear the scientific name of Sesamum indicum. These seeds are considered the oldest oilseed crop in the world and have been cultivated for more than 3,500 years. Evidence of their native forms in Africa and India. The sesame plant is extremely resilient and grows in places where many other crops fail, which is why it is heavily relied on for ages.
Although it is a seed plant, it can still bother people with allergies and has a distinctly nutty flavor. Many of the health benefits are derived from the oils, which are found in higher concentration in sesame seeds than in any other oilseed crop in the world. The sesame plant is not more than 3 feet tall and the seeds are released from small pods along the plants’ axes.
The seeds themselves are very small, only 3-4 mm long and 2 mm wide, yet 3.85 million metric tons are produced every year. They come in a wide variety of colors, depending on the variety or strain of the sesame plant. These seeds can be purchased either shelled or unshelled. They are commonly added to salads as an ingredient or topping for bread and grain products, crackers, sushi, cakes, soups, breading for fish and meat, and a wide variety of other applications.
Sesame Seeds Nutrition Facts
The health benefits of sesame seeds are due to their nutritional content, including vitamins, minerals, natural oils, and organic compounds which consist of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, copper, zinc, fiber, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, protein, and tryptophan.
Health Benefits Of Sesame Seeds
These seeds are widely spread around the globe due to their availability and pleasant flavor. The wide range of health benefits is explained in greater detail below.
The natural oils of sesame seeds have been connected to a reduction in hypertension in a number of research studies, which reduces the strain on your cardiovascular system and help prevent various cardiac conditions. Furthermore, magnesium has long been known as a vasodilator (an agent that reduces blood pressure) and these seeds are packed with this essential mineral, containing up to 25% of your daily requirement in a single serving.
With the wide range of essential vitamins and minerals in sesame seeds, it is no surprise that it has been linked to a reduction in the risk of cancer. Beyond the role of these common minerals, including the powerful anti-carcinogenic effects of magnesium, the seeds of sesame also contain phytate, an uncommon cancer-preventing compound that functions as an antioxidant and reduces the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are the dangerous byproducts of cellular metabolism that have been connected to many forms of cancer and various other conditions like heart diseases, premature aging, and cognitive malfunctions. Sesame seeds have also been linked to leukemia, breast, lung, pancreatic, colon, and prostate cancers for its positive effects.
The components of sesame seeds, like magnesium, have been connected to reducing the chances of diabetes and managing its symptoms in patients having already developed the condition. Furthermore, it has been shown that sesame seed oil can positively affect the impact of various medications like glibenclamide in patients suffering from type 2 diabetes. It improves this medication’s functionality and further regulates the insulin and glucose levels in the body, thereby helping to manage the symptoms of diabetes.
Boost Bone Health
The impressive levels of essential minerals like zinc, calcium, and phosphorus found in sesame seeds can be a major boost for your bone health. These minerals are integral parts in creating new bone matter, and strengthening/repairing bones that may be weakened by injury or the onset of debilitating bone conditions like osteoporosis.
These little seeds pack a significant amount of fiber. Fiber is an important element in healthy digestion, as it bulks up bowel movements and helps them move through the digestive tract, as well as stimulate peristaltic motion as foodmoves through the smooth intestine. This activity can reduce conditions like constipation and diarrhea, while simultaneously protecting the health of your colon and reducing the chances of gastrointestinal diseases and cancer. Fiber also works for your heart, by scraping out dangerous LDL cholesterol from arteries and blood vessels, thereby protecting against atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.
The high content of copper in sesame seeds has a number of valuable functions, including the reduction of inflammation in joints, bones, and muscles, thereby reducing the associated pain of arthritis. Furthermore, copper is an essential mineral for strengthening the blood vessels, bones, and joints. Finally, copper is necessary for the proper uptake of iron, a key component of hemoglobin. Therefore, proper copper content in the body maximizes circulation and ensures that the organ systems of the entire body receive enough oxygen to function properly.
Protect Against Radiation
One of the organic compounds in sesame seeds is called sesamol, and it has been associated with protecting DNA from the harmful effects of radiation. This radiation could come from accidental sources or from the treatment of cancer by chemotherapy and radiotherapy. By protecting the DNA from mutation due to radiation, these seeds can boost strength and reduce the chances of contracting other forms of cancer due to cellular mutation.
Improve Oral Health
Perhaps the most notable effects of sesame seeds are its powerful effects on oral health. The process called oil pulling, in which certain amounts of sesame seed oil is swished around the mouth can have a strong antibacterial and astringent effect on all aspects of oral health. It is also closely associated with reducing the presence of the Streptococcus bacteria, a common bacteria that can wreak havoc on your oral cavities and other parts of your body.