Sesame seeds are often characterized as tiny size, flat oval shape and nutty taste.
There is a variety of kinds of sesame seeds which differ from each other in their color.
In spite of their tiny size, the high appreciation for sesame seeds has been recorded since ancient times.
With an over-3,500-year history of cultivation, sesame seeds might be the oldest crop which grows in many parts of the world.
Assyrian legend even claimed that sesame seeds were the main ingredient of wine gods drank when they created the world.
Some evidence suggested that sesame seeds might originate from India.
There, there is a widespread belief that sesame seeds are related to immortality.
In ancient Egyptian civilizations, people used sesame seeds as an addition to baked goods.
Nowadays, the use of the seeds is not limited to bread only.
They appear in the making of sushi, soups or other grain products.
What is really outstanding is that the tiny seeds contain such a great number of nutrients beneficial for our health.
Do not surprise! Everything will be clear after you have a quick review of sesame seeds nutrition facts.
Sesame seeds are extremely high in energy, protein, healthy fat and carbs (1).
Besides, they contain a relatively remarkable amount of dietary fiber which will make up many amazing sesame seeds health benefits.
Regarding the number of minerals, sesame seeds are truly special.
Calcium, manganese, copper, iron or phosphorus all exist in sesame seeds with large amounts.
On the other hand, sesame seeds are a wonderful source of vitamins, though their amounts are not as impressive as those of minerals.
Folate and other types of vitamins-B are striking features in sesame seeds nutrition.
Last but not least, two important nutrients that we cannot skip among sesame seeds nutrition facts are sesamin and sesamolin.
They are kinds of lignans which have powerful anti-cancer effects.
Health Benefits of Sesame Seeds
The culinary applications of sesame seeds have existed for ages, so have their medicinal uses.
Here are top 6 health benefits of sesame seeds which have both scientific and traditional underground.
1. Rheumatoid Arthritis
One of the first health benefits of sesame seeds is to support the fight against rheumatoid arthritis.
This is a common problem happening mainly in Western countries.
This quality of sesame seeds comes directly from their richness of copper which is effective to reduce pain and swelling (2, 3).
Furthermore, copper is necessary for the lysyl oxidase which plays a vital part in your body’s production of collagen and elastin (4).
As a result, the elasticity and strength of your joints and bones are partly dependent on the intake of copper (5).
Bottom Line: Sesame seeds, a rich source of copper, can be beneficial for patients with rheumatoid arthritis by controlling the pain and strengthening the elasticity of joints.
2. Bone Health
We can infer from the advantage of copper that sesame seeds might be good for the bones as well.
And this is true! In fact, thanks to many minerals in their content, one of top benefits of sesame seeds is to maintain good bone health.
Osteoporosis commonly occurs to elderly population and even postmenopausal women.
However, the prevention against this problem can start from simple ingredients, like sesame seeds.
Phosphorus also works as an active agent to prevent this problem (9).
Besides, it is undeniable that our bones can profit from calcium in sesame seeds nutrition (10).
Bottom Line: Containing many important minerals, like phosphorus, copper or calcium, sesame seeds can make great improvements in your bone health, preventing osteoporosis.
3. Oral Health
Benefits of sesame seeds on the oral health have been practised for years.
People often use the oil made from sesame seeds to apply a method oil pulling.
4. Reduce Cholesterol
Sesame seeds are among the foods with the highest amount of phytosteols.
Therefore, it is possible that one of top health benefits of sesame seeds is to balance your cholesterol levels.
Phytosterols exist in different types of plants. Their chemical structure is similar to that of cholesterol.
According to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, you can find other excellent sources of phytosterols from seeds or nuts.
Bottom Line: Sesame seeds contain many phytosterols which have positive effects on maintaining healthy cholesterol levels.
5. Radiation Damage
Sesamol, one of the key points in sesame seeds nutrition, is responsible for benefits of sesame seeds against bad effects of radiation.
Additionally, some research on mice suggested that sesamol is associated with the prevention against damage to your intestines.
This might help lengthen your lifespan.
However, there has not been a conclusion about this effect yet.
There is a likelihood that cancer prevention is among top health benefits of sesame seeds.
Most minerals and vitamins present in sesame seeds contribute to this quality.
For example, with anti-carcinogenic property, magnesium is effective to fight against the growth of cancerous cells (19, 20).
There are some types of cancer associated with the use of sesame seeds, such as prostate, breast, colon or lung cancer.
Bottom Line: With antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic qualities, sesame seeds are a great addition to the cancer prevention.
No matter how nutritious and beneficial sesame seeds are, you should never consume them excessively.
Otherwise, you might experience a series of problems related to your colon and stomach, such as irritations.
With laxative effect, too many sesame seeds in the diet might lead to diarrhea in some circumstances.
Besides, sesame seeds do not seem to be a wise choice if you want to control a healthy weight.
Their high amount of calories and fat might make you unable to regulate your weight.
More importantly, allergy to sesame seeds is not rare. The common symptoms of this type of allergy are runny nose or digestive problems.
Last but not least, sesame seeds are hazardous for pregnant women, especially in the first months.
Miscarriage is a possible consequence of using sesame seeds during pregnancy.
Disclaim: The effectiveness from using these foods on certain problems and diseases will be depended on the body condition of the applicant.