Who doesn’t love sesame seeds? Raw or toasted, on their own or tossed on top of a main course or side dish, sesame seeds make for a great addition to your diet – and offer a plethora of health benefits! Here are just a few:
1. B Vitamin Boost
Adding sesame seeds to your diet helps to ensure that your body gets adequate nutrition, specifically B-complex vitamins including niacin, folic acid, riboflavin and thiamin. Just 100g of sesame seeds can provide you with 25% of your daily recommended intake of folic acid, a key component in the gestation of healthy fetuses. Additionally, the same amount of sesame seeds contains 28% of your daily niacin intake to help with cholesterol levels and to reduce anxiety.
2. Mighty Minerals
Minerals found in sesame seeds include iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium, selenium, and copper. Ensuring an adequate daily intake of these minerals helps to ensure healthy bones, good blood cell production as well as optimizing muscle activity. High antioxidant levels in these little seeds can help reduce your risk of certain cancers as well as helping to strengthen your immune system.
3. Diabetes Management
A surprising side-effect of sesame seeds is its ability to help manage Type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that sesame oil can help increase the effectiveness of oral anti-diabetic drugs. Additionally, replacing other oils with sesame oil can help to lower glucose levels.
4. Lower Blood Pressure & Cholesterol
Sesame seeds are high in mono-unsaturated fatty acid (in this case, oleic acid), which helps to lower LDL – reducing bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol. Adding sesame oil to foods can also help to reduce blood pressure.
5. A Clean and Healthy Mouth
Before there was toothpaste ancient cultures used sesame oil to keep their gums healthy and their breath fresh. Today you can use sesame oil to help reduce gingivitis and bleeding gums, as well as to keep your teeth healthy. Simply swish for a few minutes and rinse with water.
6. Sexy Little Seeds
In case you are not already convinced, the zinc content found in sesame seeds has been linked to an increase in sexual health, by helping to increase testosterone and sperm production.
Eating Sesame Seeds
Raw or toasted sesame seeds can be added to anything from soups and salads to baked goods, or can be eaten alone as a snack. Sesame oil can be substituted for most other types of oil, or used in conjunction to add a shot of flavor. For an amazing, healthy snack option make some hummus with chickpeas, tahini (sesame paste), lemon juice and garlic – blend with a food processor until smooth and use it to dip your veggies. Delicious!