Benefits Of Sesame seeds

Sesame seeds

Sesame seeds are tiny, flat oval seeds with a nutty taste and a delicate, almost invisible crunch. They come in a host of different colors, depending upon the variety, including white, yellow, black and red.
Sesame seeds are highly valued for their high content of sesame oil, an oil that is very resistant to rancidity. Sesame seeds are the main ingredients in both tahini and the Middle Eastern sweet treat, halvah.
Open sesame the famous phrase from the Arabian Nights reflects the distinguishing feature of the sesame seed pod, which bursts open when it reaches maturity. The scientific name for sesame seeds is Sesamun indicum.

Nutritional Benefits

Sesame seeds are a very good source of the minerals copper and manganese. They are also a good source of magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, selenium, and zinc. In addition, sesame seeds are a good source of both dietary fiber and monounsaturated fats.

In-Depth Nutritional Profile
In addition to the nutrients highlighted in our ratings chart, an in-depth nutritional profile for Sesame seeds is also available. This profile includes information on a full array of nutrients, including carbohydrates, sugar, soluble and insoluble fiber, sodium, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and more.

Introduction to Food Rating System Chart
In order to better help you identify foods that feature a high concentration of nutrients for the calories they contain, we created a Food Rating System. This system allows us to highlight the foods that are especially rich in particular nutrients. The following chart shows the nutrients for which this food is either an excellent, very good, or good source (below the chart you will find a table that explains these qualifications). If a nutrient is not listed in the chart, it does not necessarily mean that the food doesn't contain it. It simply means that the nutrient is not provided in a sufficient amount or concentration to meet our rating criteria. To read this chart accurately, you'll need to glance up in the top left corner where you will find the name of the food and the serving size we used to calculate the food's nutrient composition.



This serving size will tell you how much of the food you need to eat to obtain the amount of nutrients found in the chart. Now, returning to the chart itself, you can look next to the nutrient name in order to find the nutrient amount it offers, the percent Daily Value (DV%) that this amount represents, the nutrient density that we calculated for this food and nutrient, and the rating we established in our rating system. For most of our nutrient ratings, we adopted the government standards for food labeling that are found in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's "Reference Values for Nutrition Labeling."

Sesame Seeds
0.25 cup
36.00 grams
206.28 calories
Nutrient Amount DV (%) Nutrient Density World's Healthiest
Foods Rating
copper 1.47 mg 73.5 6.4 very good
manganese 0.89 mg 44.5 3.9 very good
tryptophan 0.12 g 37.5 3.3 good
calcium 351.00 mg 37.5 3.1 good
magnesium 126.36 mg 35.1 2.8 good
iron 5.24 mg 31.6 2.5 good
phosphorus 226.44 mg 29.1 2.0 good
vitamin B1 0.28 mg 22.6 1.6 good
zinc 2.79 mg 18.7 1.6 good
selenium 12.38 mcg 18.6 1.5 good
fiber 4.25 g 17.7 1.5 good
World's Healthiest Foods Rating Rule
excellent DV>=75% OR Density>=7.6 AND DV>=10%
very good DV>=50% OR Density>=3.4 AND DV>=5%
good DV>=25% OR Density>=1.5 AND DV>=2.5%

Health Benefits

Not only are sesame seeds a very good source of manganese and copper, but they are also a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc and dietary fiber. In addition to these important nutrients, sesame seeds contain two unique substances: sesamin and sesamolin. Both of these substances belong to a group of special beneficial fibers called lignans, and have been shown to have a cholesterol-lowering effect in humans, and to prevent high blood pressure and increase vitamin E supplies in animals. Sesamin has also been found to protect the liver from oxidative damage.

Rich In Beneficial Minerals
Sesame seeds are a very good source of copper and a good source of magnesium and calcium. Just a quarter-cup of sesame seeds supplies 74.0% of the daily value for copper, 31.6% of the DV for magnesium, and 35.1% of the DV for calcium. This rich assortment of minerals translates into the following health benefits:

Copper Provides Relief for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Copper is known for its use in reducing some of the pain and swelling of rheumatoid arthritis. Copper's effectiveness is due to the fact that this trace mineral is important in a number of antiinflammatory and antioxidant enzyme systems. In addition, copper plays an important role in the activity of lysyl oxidase, an enzyme needed for the cross-linking of collagen and elastin--the ground substances that provide structure, strength and elasticity in blood vessels, bones and joints.
Magnesium Supports Vascular and Respiratory Health
Studies have supported magnesium's usefulness in:
  • Preventing the airway spasm in asthma
  • Lowering high blood pressure, a contributing factor in heart attack, stroke, and diabetic heart disease
  • Preventing the trigeminal blood vessel spasm that triggers migraine attacks
  • Restoring normal sleep patterns in women who are experiencing unpleasant symptoms associated with menopause
Calcium Helps Prevent Colon Cancer, Osteoporosis, Migraine and PMS
In recent studies, calcium has been shown to:
  • Help protect colon cells from cancer-causing chemicals
  • Help prevent the bone loss that can occur as a result of menopause or certain conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis
  • Help prevent migraine headaches in those who suffer from them
  • Reduce PMS symptoms during the luteal phase (the second half) of the menstrual cycle
There is a little bit of controversy about sesame seeds and calcium, because there is a substantial difference between the calcium content of hulled versus unhulled sesame seeds. When the hulls remain on the seeds, one tablespoon of sesame seeds will contains about 88 milligrams of calcium. When the hulls are removed, this same tablespoon will contain about 37 milligrams (about 60% less). Tahini a spreadable paste made from ground sesame seeds is usually made from hulled seeds (seeds with the hulls removed, called kernels), and so it will usually contain this lower amount of calcium.
The term "sesame butter" can sometimes refer to tahini made from sesame seed kernels, or it can also be used to mean a seed paste made from whole sesame seeds hull included.

Although the seed hulls provide an additional 51 milligrams of calcium per tablespoon of seeds, the calcium found in the hulls appears in large part to be found in the form of calcium oxalate. This form of calcium is different than the form found in the kernels, and it is a less absorbable form of calcium. So even though a person would be likely to get more calcium from sesame seeds or sesame seed butter that contained the hulls, there is a question about how much more calcium would be involved. It would defintely be less than the 51 additional milligrams found in the seed hulls. And there would also, of course, be a question about the place of hull-containing sesame seeds on an oxalate-restricted diet.

Zinc for Bone Health
Another reason for older men to make zinc-rich foods such as sesame seeds a regular part of their healthy way of eating is bone mineral density. Although osteoporosis is often thought to be a disease for which postmenopausal women are at highest risk, it is also a potential problem for older men. Almost 30% of hip fractures occur in men, and 1 in 8 men over age 50 will have an osteoporotic fracture. A study of 396 men ranging in age from 45-92 that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found a clear correlation between low dietary intake of zinc, low blood levels of the trace mineral, and osteoporosis at the hip and spine.

Sesame Seeds' Phytosterols Lower Cholesterol
Phytosterols are compounds found in plants that have a chemical structure very similar to cholesterol, and when present in the diet in sufficient amounts, are believed to reduce blood levels of cholesterol, enhance the immune response and decrease risk of certain cancers.

Phytosterols beneficial effects are so dramatic that they have been extracted from soybean, corn, and pine tree oil and added to processed foods, such as "butter"-replacement spreads, which are then touted as cholesterol-lowering "foods." But why settle for an imitation "butter" when Mother Nature's nuts and seeds are a naturally rich source of phytosterols and cardio-protective fiber, minerals and healthy fats as well?

In a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, researchers published the amounts of phytosterols present in nuts and seeds commonly eaten in the United States.

Sesame seeds had the highest total phytosterol content (400-413 mg per 100 grams), and English walnuts and Brazil nuts the lowest (113 mg/100grams and 95 mg/100 grams). (100 grams is equivalent to 3.5 ounces.) Of the nuts and seeds typically consumed as snack foods, pistachios and sunflower seeds were richest in phytosterols (270-289 mg/100 g), followed by pumpkin seeds (265 mg/100 g).

Consumption Tips

Sesame seeds have delicate nutty flavor. Their flavor indeed becomes more pronounced once they are gently roasted under low flame just for few minutes.
Sesame seeds are used liberally in cooking to make a rich flavorful paste, which is then added to different cuisine.
  • Dry fried sesame seeds ground to a thin light brown color paste known as tahini. Tahini is one of the main ingredient in famous middle-eastern dip, hummus.
  • Dry fried seeds sprinkled over toasts, biscuits, breads, cakes, salads, stir fries etc.
  • The seeds are largely used in the manufacture of margarine in Europe.
  • The seeds used in many south-Indian sweet delicacies, often mixed with roasted peanuts, almonds, and jaggery.
  • Roasted and crushed nuts often sprinkled over salads, desserts, particularly sundaes and other ice cream based preparations.
  • Gomashio is a Japan's specialty, which uses ground sesame seeds.
  • Sesame oil obtained from the seeds is one of the most sought after cooking oil in Malaysia, Indonesia and southern states of rural India.

Caution

Sesame seeds allergy is a type of hypersensitivity reaction in some sensitive individuals. Generally, the reactions include hives, dermatitis and itching. Sometimes the reaction may be severe and may lead to severe physical symptoms like vomiting, pain abdomen, swelling of lips and throat leading to breathing difficulty, chest congestion, and death. It is therefore, advised to avoid any food preparations that contain sesame products in these individuals.








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