Sesame: 8 benefits and 3 easy and healthy recipes

Sesame, also called sesame , is a commonly used ingredient in hamburger buns. But did you know that using it at home you can prepare a multitude of recipes that are delicious and good for your health at the same time?

Among the good reasons to enjoy this food of African origin and rich in various nutrients is to help control high blood pressure and reduce bad cholesterol. 1 )

It doesn’t stop there, the moderate consumption of the seed also slims down and regulates the intestine , since it is a great source of dietary fiber.

8 main benefits of sesame

According to nutritionist Jéssika Gracielly, sesame is a very nutritious food , having several B vitamins, fatty acids, high quality proteins, essential minerals such as iron, manganese, magnesium, calcium, copper and zinc , and especially dietary fiber in its composition. 

The seed is still a source of carbohydrates and vitamins A and E. Because it has a composition of almost 50% of lipids, sesame can be a food with a high caloric value, with each serving of 100 grams presenting 601 calories. ( 1 , 2 )

There is not such a significant difference between black and white sesame as the two types have a very similar nutritional composition 

“The main difference is that black has a greater amount of vitamin A, calcium and oil compared to white. This makes the health benefits to be enhanced. However, both types are healthy options”, informed the nutritionist.

1. Favors intestinal functioning 

“Among the main benefits of sesame is the fact that it is powerful in combating constipation ”, he explains. That’s because more than 10% of its total composition is fiber. 

They have the characteristic of increasing the size of the stool, encouraging trips to the bathroom, while keeping the stool with a soft consistency as they carry water to the intestine. ( 3 )

2. Helps with weight maintenance 

Despite being a food with high fat content, sesame can be of great help in the treatment of obesity . 

This is because of the fibers in its composition, which take up a lot of space in the stomach. It makes the person feel satisfied with a smaller portion of food. 

Furthermore, dietary fiber takes longer to be sent to the intestine, delaying gastric emptying. In this way, it is possible to be satiated with less and for a longer period of time. 

Fiber even decreases fat absorption. ( 3 ) However, it is necessary to comply with the recommended amount, which is approximately 1 tablespoon.

3. Strengthens bones and muscles  

“Due to the high nutritional value of calcium, sesame is of great importance for bone health, as calcium helps in the regeneration of bone tissue , which prevents the development of osteoporosis”, teaches the professional. 

It also favors muscle health because “20% of its composition consists of high quality proteins and has methionine (an amino acid that helps in muscle synthesis”, he reveals. 

Curiosity! According to Jéssika, each serving of sesame has more calcium than a glass of milk . Making it an interesting option for those who have any lactose allergy or follow a vegetarian diet.

4. Lowers cholesterol and protects the heart

Jéssika Gracielly presented another benefit of sesame: the reduction of LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol, which is known as bad cholesterol, as its excess brings a series of health complications. 

It also has components that have in common the ability to prevent the oxidation of this fat , which damages heart function. And dietary fiber reduces the absorption of part of it by the intestine. ( 4 )

5. Acts against free radicals 

Several of the compounds found inside this seed act against free radicals, which are a type of unstable molecule produced by degradation (oxidation) and that cause damage to the body . 

The mechanism of preventing the action of these molecules, the so-called antioxidant factor , happens due to the compounds that act to protect the body against damage caused by radicals.

These radicals increase the risk of developing chronic problems caused by cell death or mutation. ( 5 ) 

6. Controls hypertension 

Sesame oil has the potential to keep blood pressure levels within the normal range. The compounds found in it amplifies the production of enzymes important for the control of hypertension . ( 6 ) 

However, this does not mean that only the seeds are used as a treatment, therefore, never abandon the use of medication and always follow the medical guidelines to avoid complications to the health condition. 

7. Stimulates liver function 

Do you know methionine? The nutritionist reports that it also works by improving liver metabolism. That is, it helps the liver to work properly. 

In addition to this, the food is rich in another amino acid that is good for the organ, lignin. Together, they prevent the oxidation of lipids and the damage that this process can cause to the region. As a result, it can prevent the accumulation of fat in the area. ( 6 )

8. Fights inflammation naturally 

The last benefit on our list is anti-inflammatory potential. This is derived from sesaminol and sesamine, the main active compounds in sesame oil. 

Both substances prevent the spread of cytokines and other mediators of inflammation , which are a kind of trigger for the body to start the process.

Yes, inflammation is a natural and an important form of defense. However, when it gets out of control or is exaggerated, the reaction can lead to failure of the affected organs, autoimmune diseases (when the defense cells attack the body itself) and chronic diseases, as is the case with rheumatism. 

What sesame does is alleviate this, reducing redness and pain , the most common symptoms of the problem. ( 7 )

How to consume: 3 easy and tasty recipes with sesame

1. Sesame milk 

Ingredients 

  • ⅓ cup of sesame 
  • 1 cup of filtered water.

Preparation mode

The first step is to leave the sesame, which can be white or black, to soak for at least 8 hours to remove the phytates, a type of antinutrient that prevents the absorption of minerals. 

Change the water and blend in a blender until you get a smooth mixture. You can strain to remove the “bagasse”. This vegetable milk is super nutritious and can be drunk straight or used in recipes. 

2. Tahini 

This is a very popular paste in Arab cuisine, it is an essential part of many recipes and is very easy to prepare. All you need is 200 grams of sesame seeds and a food processor, or blender. 

Roast the seeds in the oven at 180º C for 10 minutes or until browned. Then place them still hot in the food processor and beat until it turns into a very creamy paste.

It is not necessary to add any oil, just be patient and the sesame releases its own fat while being crushed. Store the tahini in the refrigerator.

With it you can make hummus and falafel, with chickpeas or babaganuche, a paste made with grilled eggplant .

3. Furikake 

Ingredients 

  • 1 nori seaweed leaf 
  • 4 teaspoons of sesame. 

Preparation mode

Heat the sesame in a pan for 1 minute, stirring constantly to prevent one side from burning. Then place in a bowl and add the seaweed cut into very small pieces and mix everything. 

Store in a glass jar with a lid. This is a Japanese seasoning often used in rice, but you can season salads and whatever else you like. 

Tip: You can exchange the nori for roasted and salted cabbage leaves, which is also delicious.

Are there any contraindications?

The only contraindication is for those who are allergic to the seed. Sensitivity to the compounds found in it can cause hives, rhinitis, and even anaphylactic shock. ( 8 )

Ellie Lauderdale

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.