Sesame seeds or ‘Til’ are tiny and rich in oil. These seeds grow in pods on the Sesamum indicum plant. Sesame seeds are packed with many potential health benefits and have been used in Ayurveda and other traditional forms of medicine for thousands of years. They have been in the Indian kitchen for generations. They also have an important place in specific festivals and occasions like Makarsankranti. They can help to prevent or cure many health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis. However, it is important to incorporate this superfood into your meals in a balanced and sustainable way.
15 Health Benefits of Sesame Seeds
1. Nourishes skin and hair
The oil-rich seeds serve as a potent nourishment for skin and hair. The consumption of these super seeds provides vitamin B complexes, such as thiamine, niacin, folic acid, pyridoxine, and riboflavin. You can massage your scalp with sesame oil to prevent drying or graying of hair. It will strengthen hair and reduce breakage. Sesame oils also have an SPF function to help protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun’s rays.
2. Controls blood glucose levels
Cold-pressed sesame oil is rich in healthy unsaturated fats and free from saturated or trans fats. So, it lowers the glycemic index of the food consumed. It has a low percentage of carbohydrates and a high percentage of protein. It also has an essential component called pinoresinol. Due to these factors, it is an organic ingredient that helps to regulate blood sugar levels. This has been proven by multiple studies.
3. Plant-based source of Protein
Sesame seeds give 5 grams of protein in a serving of 30 grams. It is advisable to use hulled and roasted sesame seeds because they aid in your digestion and absorption of protein. Protein is the essential building block for your health, as it helps to maintain everything from muscles to hormones. They have the essential amino acids which are not found in other plant-based protein-rich foods such as legumes and pulses.
4. Strengthens Bones
Til contains a significant amount of calcium along with magnesium and zinc. Calcium is the fuel that makes the bones and teeth strong. A regular intake of til will help to prevent osteoporosis. It is important to roast or soak the sesame seeds before consumption to aid in the smooth absorption and assimilation of its power nutrients.
5. Keep Blood Pressure levels in check
High blood pressure is connected to risk of heart disease and stroke. The nutrition card of sesame seeds boasts of high levels of magnesium, lignans, and vitamin E which help to maintain healthy blood pressure. They prevent the build-up of plaque in your arteries with other antioxidants present in them. You can consume til in the form of chutney, ladoo, gajag or add small amounts to chivda or sabji.
6. Boosts energy
Sugar cravings or tea/coffee cravings are a sign that your body is not getting the required supply of energy at the right time. The next time you feel an energy slump at 4 pm, pop in a til ladoo. Because til is great to give a much-needed energy boost. It has healthy polyunsaturated fat and omega 3 fat which are good sources of energy. Along with multiple vitamins and minerals, sesame seeds are also rich in good fat content, primarily omega-3 fats, which are good sources of energy. It also contains fiber, iron, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
7. Sesame Seeds Relieve Pain and Allergy
Cold pressed Til oil is rich in essential minerals and provides your body with a dose of copper, magnesium, and calcium. Copper is therapeutic for people with rheumatoid arthritis and magnesium is ideal for people with respiratory problems. It can be used for topical application as a pain relief oil. Rubbing the base of the foot with this oil at night has a healing effect on the body pains.
8. Good for Thyroid Health
Our thyroid gland has the highest amount of selenium. Therefore, selenium is a key mineral in the generation of thyroid hormones. According to research, sesame seeds can supply as much as 18% of the selenium reference daily intake (RDI) from unhulled and hulled seeds. Therefore, it is advisable for thyroid patients to include til in their diet. The presence of iron, copper, zinc, and vitamin B6 in these seeds is a bonus for the creation of thyroid hormones and supports thyroid health.
9. Improves Immunity
Immunity is dependent on a number of factors including sleep, diet, exercise, and stress. A sufficient intake of vitamins and minerals along with a balanced diet builds and maintains good immunity. Sesame seeds are packed with nutrients including zinc, selenium, copper, iron, vitamin B6, and vitamin E. One such example is that sesame seeds have an excellent amount of zinc, and their consumption can help develop and activate certain white blood cells that recognize and attack invading microbes. According to studies, sesame seeds supply 20% of the RDI for zinc in a 3tbsp serving.
10. Contributes to Mental Well-being
Sesame oil contains an amino acid, tyrosine, which influences serotonin regulation. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that gives a sense of calmness. It is a relaxing hormone. The irregular flow of serotonin could lead to depression or stress. Sesame seed oil helps in the production and regulation of serotonin; Thus, it helps to lower the chances of anxiety and stress. It improves feelings of positivity and grounding.
11. Sesame Seed Improves Digestion
Many people suffer from constipation and other common digestive issues on a regular basis. Digestion problem is an indication that you need to make a few changes in your diet. You can increase the intake of sesame seeds to improve the health of digestive organs. 30 grams of sesame seeds supply 3.5 grams of fiber, which is 12% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI). The oil or fat content will act as a lubricant for the intestines. The high fibre content will circulate smooth bowel movements. It will protect the colon and reduce the risk of contracting gastrointestinal diseases.
12. Anti-inflammatory Properties
Long-term, low-level inflammation is being studied as a key factor in the prevention of many chronic conditions, including obesity and cancer, as well as heart and kidney disease. Research reveals that sesame seeds may reduce inflammation due to sesamin, a compound found in sesame seeds. Additionally, sesame oils also have anti-inflammatory effects which treat joint inflammation, toothaches, and scrapes.
13. Lower Cholesterol and Triglycerides
Research has come around to suggest that eating more polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat relative to saturated fat helps to improve the cholesterol profile and reduce heart disease risk. Sesame seeds consist of 41% polyunsaturated fat, 39% monounsaturated fat, and only 15% saturated fat. Thus, they are amongst the list of ingredients that will help to decrease “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Sesame seeds have lignans, a plant compound that lowers cholesterol. They are also rich in phytosterols. Phytosterols have shown the ability to enhance your immune response and reduce the risk of certain cancers.
14. Help to maintain a healthy Liver
Fatty liver disease is the deposition of liver fat despite no alcohol consumption. It can be caused due to other external factors like drugs, environmental pollutants, and irradiation. Sesame seeds help to increase resistance to oxidative stress and thus aid in preventing fatty liver and other related issues. They have a soothing and anti-inflammatory effect on the liver. Sesame seeds contribute to maintaining a healthy liver.
15. Prevents and Treats Cancer
Sesame oil contains sesamol and sesaminol. These are antioxidants that are good for your health. Anti-oxidants are compounds that prevent the production and regulation of free radicals that cause cell damage. The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory qualities of sesame make them beneficial in preventing and treating cancer. Moreover, continued evidence suggests that fiber may play a role in reducing your risk of heart disease, certain cancers, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Thus, the all-around effect of sesame on your health is good for long-term health.
Many products are marketed as a boon for health. But nature has stores of magical food items that are not only good for health but are also affordable, sustainable, ecologically wholesome, and tasty! Sesame is a superfood rich in potent nutrients like fiber, vitamins, minerals, good fats, and antioxidants. It can be easily incorporated into your diet through chutneys, sabjis, laddoos, gajag, parathas, and rice. It is important to roast and cook them properly before consumption to ensure smooth and easy assimilation in the system. It has a long list of benefits from anti-inflammation to improving internal organ health. Be sure to add sesame seeds, sesame oil, and products to your grocery list this winter.
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