Little Seeds Of Sesame Has Some Big Benefits, Read Here

By: Pinki Wed, 26 Aug 2020 4:28:08

Little Seeds of Sesame Has Some Big Benefits, Read Here

Sesame seeds - those tiny tasty toppings you may encounter on bagels, breadsticks, and hamburger buns, as well as on sushi rolls and sesame chicken—are called the “queen of oil seeds” for good reason. Though they are not as much in the limelight as flaxseed, chia, and other so-called “super seeds,” they are a notable source of nutrients, including protein, iron, zinc, copper, vitamin E, thiamin, calcium, magnesium, and manganese, plus unique lignans (sesamin and sesamolin), phytosterols (predominantly B-sitosterol), fiber, and other potentially beneficial compounds.

By weight, about half the seed is fat—mostly unsaturated. An ounce (3 tablespoons) has about 160 calories, 14 grams of fat, 5 grams of protein, and 4 grams of fiber.

The seeds, which vary in color from tan to black depending on their type and preparation, grow in the pods of a flowering plant, Sesamum indicum, native to India and Africa. The pods resemble okra and, like okra, are technically fruits. When they ripen, they split open at the slightest touch, releasing the seeds—hence one possible explanation for the expression “open sesame.” (This seed trait contributes to harvest losses, however, so scientists have developed shatter-resistant varieties). Each pod contains 50 to 100 or more seeds. The seeds are typically hulled (soaked to remove the outer husk) and lightly roasted, which gives them a nutty flavor and a browner color.

But you don’t have to limit yourself to eating just the seeds, since they are used to make other tasty and nutritious products.

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For lowering cholesterol

In a small study in the Journal of Nutrition in 2006 from Taiwan, postmenopausal women who consumed about 2 ounces of sesame powder a day for five weeks had a 10 percent reduction in LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Another study, in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition in 2012, found that white sesame seeds (about 1½ ounces a day for 60 days) produced a comparable reduction in people with high cholesterol. However, two studies from 2009 using a little less than an ounce of sesame a day did not find an improvement in cholesterol levels.

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For reducing blood pressure

At least three studies suggest that sesame can lower blood pressure. In a small study in the Nutrition Journal in 2011 from Thailand, for instance, people with prehypertension who consumed black sesame meal (in capsules) for four weeks had a significant reduction in systolic blood pressure (8 points, on average).

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For fighting oxidative stress

Despite limitations in the studies, an analysis of seven clinical trials, in the Journal of Medicinal Food in 2016, concluded that sesame seeds reduce markers of oxidative stress among people with hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol. In particular, sesame seeds raise blood levels of antioxidants (including vitamin E) and enzymes (like glutathione peroxidase) that protect against oxidative damage associated with some chronic diseases.

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For Osteoarthritis

In a small Iranian studyin the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases in 2013, people with knee osteoarthritis who added 1½ ounces (about 4 tablespoons) of powdered sesame seeds a day to their usual treatment (acetaminophen and glucosamine) for two months reported greater pain relief than those just on their usual treatment.

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For diabetes

In a small study in Clinical Nutrition in 2011, people with type 2 diabetes were given sesame oil, diabetes medication, or both. Those in the combination group had the greatest blood sugar reductions over 60 days, leading the researchers to conclude that the oil has a “synergistic effect” with the medication.

Other uses

It’s theorized that sesame may benefit bone health (due to its calcium, magnesium, and other components) and protect against hormone-related cancers (due to its lignans, which can bind to estrogen receptors)—but the research is limited to test tube and animal experiments; studies in people are needed to prove any such connections.

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