The tiny powerhouse, sesame, has huge health benefits. Here are fifteen healthy reasons to add sesame seeds and sesame oil into your diet.
1. Excellent Source of Vitamins and Minerals
Sesame seeds have an extensive nutrient profile ( iron, zinc, copper, vitamin B6, and calcium to name a few). Lack of such nutrients in the body can lead to deficiency diseases (for example, iron deficiency leads to anemia) and each of them plays a unique and essential role in maintaining human health.
2. High Protein Content
Protein makes up almost 20% of the mass of sesame seeds. Just 100g of seeds contains 18g of protein–that’s more than 30% of the recommended daily value for protein intake.
3. Reduced Risk of Cancer
Several nutrients present in sesame seeds serve to protect the body from cancer, particularly leukemia, breast, colon, lung, and prostate cancer. Sesame seeds include magnesium, a nutrient that is well known for its anticancer effects and phytate, which is a rare and extremely powerful antioxidant.
4. Reduced Risk of Diabetes
Magnesium, along with other nutrients present in sesame seeds have been proven to reduce the risk and severity of diabetes. It has also been proven to increase the efficacy of Type 2 diabetes medication, lower blood pressure and enhance plasma glucose regulation.
5. Sesame Lowers Cholesterol
In addition to fighting cancer, the phytoesterols (plant based compounds that have a very similar chemical structure to cholesterol) found in sesame helps lower cholesterol levels in the blood. Sesame seeds have a higher phytoesterol content than most other commonly consumed nuts and seeds.
6. Radiation Protection
The compound sesamol, found in sesame is known to protect DNA from the harmful effects of radiation. This too, contributes to sesame’s ability to prevent the development of cancer.
7. Sesame Seeds Aid Digestion
The large quantities of fiber found in sesame clean out the gastrointestinal tract and allow for smooth bowel movements.
8. Normalizes Blood Pressure
Several studies, including one conducted by Yale University, have shown a clear correlation between sesame consumption and lowered blood pressure levels in hypertensive patients.
9. Stress Relief with Sesame Seeds
100g of sesame contains 30% of the recommended daily intake of niacin, a vitamin with the ability to increase blood flow, reduce blood pressure, and balance the action of the stress hormone adrenaline. It also contains the stress relieving minerals; calcium and magnesium and vitamins; tryptophan and thiamine.
10. Enhanced Oral Hygiene
When swished around the mouth, sesame seed oil cleans the mouth through a process called oil pulling. Its strong antibacterial and astringent properties make it ideal for cavity prevention, plaque removal, and tooth whitening.
11. Enhanced Bone Health and Osteoporosis Prevention
Sesame contains the minerals zinc, vitamin and phosphorus, all of which are essential for the creation and repair of bone matter, thereby boosting bone mineral density. This decreases the risk of bone fracture and diseases like osteoporosis.
12. Sesame Promotes Respiratory Health
The magnesium found in sesame seeds is associated with the prevention of asthmatic spasms in the airways.
13. Beautiful Hair and Skin
Many nutrients found in sesame seeds are crucial for the maintenance of healthy scalp, skin and hair when applied externally and when consumed. Healthy fats in sesame are needed for skin health. Zinc is also used in the creation of a protein called collagen, an essential component of skin and hair. Sesame contains vitamin E and antioxidants to slow the development of wrinkles and skin cancer.
14. Helps Burn Fat
Sesame seeds contain phytochemicals that can boost your body’s metabolism and fat burning ability. They do so by increasing the activity of enzymes in the liver which break down fatty acids.
15. Relief from Rheumatoid Arthritis
The mineral, copper, found in large quantities in sesame seeds, is an anti-inflammatory agent that is effective at reducing joint pain and swelling associated with arthritis. Copper is also important for providing elasticity and strength to the walls of blood vessels and bones.
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