Benefits of Sesame Seeds
Winters are in full swing and refusing to go, and so are sesame seeds. Sesame seeds popularly known as til in northern India are an essential part of winter food in India. They have been known as one of the first oil seeds to mankind. If you thought laddoos and gajak were just tasty, think again! Sesame seeds are tiny oval-shaped seeds, they have a nutty taste and add a delicate crunch to your food. Sesame seeds are loaded with minerals like calcium, phosphorus, iron, and magnesium, and vitamins like vitamin B-6, it provides much-needed heat and energy in the winters. Sesame seeds are an excellent source of copper and manganese as well.
Nutritional Value of Sesame Seeds
100 grams of sesame seeds provides 573 calories, it contains 12 grams of dietary fibers.
Following is the List of Health Benefits of Sesame Seeds
Good for Hair Health
Healthy hair is a sign of a healthy body and optimal nutrient is key for healthy hair. Sesame seeds are rich in complex B vitamins like – niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, and omega fatty acid helps in strengthening the hair roots and promotes hair growth. Vitamin A in sesame seeds moisturizes the scalp and facilitates blood circulation to the hair follicles. Sesame seeds are a good source of folic seeds, about 100 grams of sesame seeds contains 97 micrograms of folic acid which is 25% of recommended daily intake. Sesame seeds also help in preventing neural tube defects in newborns. They are recommended to women in the preconception phase.
Antioxidants present in sesame seeds are helpful in reversing the signs of aging. Research has proved that regular intake of sesame seeds results in a reduction in oxidative stress markers. Sesamin is one of the lignans present in sesame seeds, it helps in protecting the liver from the oxidative stress because of free radicals produced in the body.
Fiber is vital for healthy digestion, high dietary fiber in sesame seeds helps in constipation. It stimulates peristaltic movements in the small intestine and helps in creating bulk. It also reduces diarrhea and maintains a healthy colon.
Sesame seeds contain polyunsaturated fatty acids, it is healthy fat and provides energy. They also aid in promoting cellular growth and help in mobility and activity in extreme winter temperature. Minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus are vital for boosting energy. They are a good source of dietary protein (100 grams of sesame seeds provide 18 grams of protein), they help in growth.
Stabilizes Blood Pressure
Sesame seeds are a good source of magnesium, it helps in preventing hypertension. It contains a polyunsaturated fatty acid, fiber and phytosterol, and lignan. They help in reducing systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Sesamin and sesamolin are substances belonging to a group of fibers called lignans, they are loaded with anti-hypertensive properties and also show a cholesterol-lowering effect in humans. Likewise, the high fiber in sesame seeds helps in reducing the cholesterol levels in the body.
Sesame seeds are a good source of magnesium, which is believed to have a positive effect on maintaining diabetes. Moderate intake helps in maintaining a healthy weight and regulates insulin in the blood.
Maintains Healthy Bones
Sesame seeds are packed with calcium and zinc, they play a vital role in maintaining bone health. Eating sesame seeds helps in preventing osteoporosis. It is also beneficial in preventing bone loss associated with menopause. It prevents mineral deficiencies in the body and helps in maintaining healthy bones. Copper present in sesame seeds is beneficial in Rheumatoid arthritis, it helps in alleviating pain and swelling associated with it. Likewise, copper also plays a vital role in the activity of lysyl oxidase (it is an enzyme which plays important role in cross-linking of elastin and collagen), thus supporting strength and elasticity of blood vessels and bones.
Sesame seeds with hulls contain more (60%)calcium compared to sesame seeds without hulls.
Fights stress and Depression
Sesame seeds have been proven to aid in insomnia associated with menopause in women. Sesame seeds are rich in calcium and magnesium which helps in alleviating pain associated with migraines. Research has supported the role of sesame seeds in reducing symptoms of Pre Menstrual syndrome (PMS).
Phytosterols resemble cholesterol in chemical structure, it helps in reducing blood cholesterol level. Sesame seeds have the highest amount of total phytosterol as compared to walnuts, brazil nuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds.
Likewise, sesame seeds are also excellent source monosaturated fatty acid and oleic acid. Oleic acid lowers LDL also known as bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, it transport fat molecules in the body). It also helps in increasing HDL(high-density lipoprotein).
Allergies associated with sesame seeds
Excessive consumption of sesame seeds may irritate your bowel and colon. It is always recommended to consume sesame seeds in moderation.
Dr Reena Prajapat is a dentist, she post graduated in hospital management from Apollo Institute of hospital Administration, Hyderabad. Her strong belief in natural and home remedies lead her to Pursue bachelor in naturopathy.