Sesame Seeds: Good for Health?
Sesame seeds are used extensively in East Asian and South Asian cookies, and as these cuisines have spread to the rest of the world, so have sesame seeds. Sesame chicken, the Indian chikki or some tikkas are only a few of the dishes that contain sesame. Not only is sesame used in Asia for cooking, it also is used as part of traditional remedies and is considered good for health in moderate amounts.
Sesame seeds come in two types, white sesame and black sesame, and both are used for medicinal and culinary purposes in traditional medicine and cooking. Oil distilled from sesame seeds is also popular in most kitchens. Scientific and medical research today backs up the claim that sesame can be healthy. Read on to find out how.
What is sesame’s nutritional content?
Sesame is a seed, and is comprised of essential minerals, vitamins, and fats. The main minerals present in sesame seed according to the USDA National Nutrient Database are calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc . In terms of vitamins, sesame seeds contain Vitamin C and vitamins Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, B-6, and B-12 from the B vitamins group. A good source for Vitamin D, sesame seeds also contain Vitamin A.
Every 100g serving of sesame seeds is calorie rich, containing roughly 565 kcal, which means that it only ought to be consumed in moderate amounts . With high levels of protein and dietary fibre, sesame is often made into a protein rich flour after oil extraction.
What are some of the health benefits associated with sesame seeds?
1) They can help with diabetes
Recently, a study supported by the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism in 2011 found that sesame seeds help alleviate the symptoms of diabetes. Sesame oil lowered blood pressure levels in hypertensive and diabetic-hypertensive levels due to the high antioxidant properties of the oil .
The study was initially conducted to find out whether sesame oil could be suggested as a combination diabetes management product with other drugs, and sesame oil ended up being effective. The study now recommends the use of sesame oil to improve hyperglycemia in patients as it has exhibited a synergistic effect with glibenclamide, a drug commonly used to treat diabetes .
2) They can help protect some cells against radiation
Perhaps the most valuable breakthrough that has been made with sesame in the last few years is the discovery that extracts from sesame seeds actually protect cells from damage by radiation. Harnessed well, sesame seeds could provide treatment to cancer patients and help them survive cancer treatment more effectively . A study proving this extraordinary property of sesame seeds was published in the journal Cancer Biotherapy and Radiopharmaceuticals in 2011.
Apart from helping with the treatment of diabetes and cancer, sesame seeds are good health supplements. The vitamins and minerals in them can help with relief from rheumatoid arthritis, promote vascular and respiratory help, prevent colon cancer and migraines, and promote healthy bones . Sesame, in prescribed amounts, can thus be very beneficial for good health.