6 Reasons to Eat Sesame Seeds Today!
The health benefits of sesame seeds are only the beginning, so do yourself a favor and eat up!
The ancient sesame seed has been cultivated and used by different cultures for at least 5000 years. It seems like those ancient societies knew a thing or two- this little tasty seed packs a powerful punch. Here are our favorite reasons to start incorporating sesame seeds in your daily regimen.*
Whether as a seed adorning a baked good (or sushi roll), a paste (tahini) or pressed into oil, sesame seeds provide a rich, nutty flavor to anything you add them to.
Lose weight with good fats and protein
One important benefit of good fats and protein is that it keeps you fuller and more satisfied for longer, helping you to fight cravings, sugar addiction, and overeating, and lose weight (good bye starve-yourself-diets!) As a plant-based source of protein, a quarter cup of sesame seeds provides 5.5 g of protein, more than lentils and black beans. A protein-rich diet is good for everything from heart, bone and muscle health, to brain function, moods and especially, weight management and blood sugar levels. Sesame seeds even have a chemical that promotes the functioning of your metabolism and its ability to burn fat!
Promote bone health and strength (better than dairy!)
Just ¼ cup of sesame seeds has more calcium than an entire cup of whole milk. And this is without all of the negative side effects of dairy- lactose intolerance symptoms, mucus build-up and acidification of your system.
Improve heart health (lower cholesterol and blood pressure)
Sesame seeds (versus almost all other nuts, seeds, legumes, and grains) have the highest quantity of a nutrient that lowers cholesterol absorption in the intestine and is linked to prostate health. Sesame oil has also been demonstrated to help normalize blood pressure.
Packed with vitamins & minerals, and helps with the absorption of these nutrients!
Sesame seeds provide even more nutrients than what we’ve already mentioned: dietary fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, vitamin B1, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, and manganese. These are important for everything from combatting anemia, maintaining energy, nerve and metabolic health, to bone density and arthritis (it’s anti-inflammatory!) But sesame seeds don’t stop there- their good fats (fatty acids) also help your body to absorb and use nutrients, amplifying their positive effect.
Versatile, especially as an alternative to allergies and sensitivities
Over the centuries, sesame seeds have been incorporated into many different cuisines and prepared in so many different ways, attesting to the sheer versatility of the seed. They’re great savory or sweet, raw or roasted, whole or ground or pressed, and we have yet to find an inedible pairing (seriously, this challenge has been ongoing in my circles for years- if you find something, let me know!)
- Have a peanut allergy? Substitute tahini for peanut butter (make sure to check that your tahini was prepared in a nut free facility first.)
- Sensitive to dairy but love sour cream, milk, cream etc.? Mix tahini with liquids to make a creamy sauce (or look into preordering Sesamaise:) that you can top a baked potato with, dip some chips or veggies in, toss a salad in or even stir into a soup to add that velvety creaminess without the dairy.
- Gluten free? Mix tahini with eggs, baking powder and a bit of honey for a delicious tahini bread.
- Add sesame oil to salad dressings and stir-fry.
- Toast them whole and throw them on a salad, stir-fry, casserole, baked good, yogurt, oatmeal (you get the idea.)
- Add tahini to your morning smoothie and feel it finally keep you full until lunch.
- Mix tahini with date spread or maple syrup or honey for a delicious and satisfying sweet spread on fruit, bread, or honestly, to eat with a spoon. The possibilities are actually endless!
*We kept the science out of this, but if you want to understand the nutrients and mechanisms behind these claims, follow the links!