Sesame is widely cultivated in many tropical regions of the world for getting edible seeds and oil. It is an annual herb belongs to the genus Sesamum and family Pedaliaceae. It was originated in the sub-Saharan regions of the Africa which then spread and started cultivating in many tropical regions of the world like Burma, India, China and etc. It is found in many varieties and colors like white, brown or black seeds. White color sesame seeds are highly used for eating purposes as they have more iron content than black sesame seeds. Whereas black ones are used for therapeutic purposes as they have more calcium than white sesame seeds.
Benefits of Sesame/Til
Sesame seeds are used traditionally in many Indian dishes to enhance flavor and endowed with its nutritional health benefits. It is also used for preventive and curative purposes to treat various health disorders. Its natural health promoting nature is just because of the availability of phyto-nutrients like fatty acids, anti-oxidants (Sesamol and sesaminol), flavonoids, minerals, vitamins, dietary fibers, essential amino acids and etc which have ability to prevent from various lethal diseases.
Benefits of Sesame Seeds
Benefits of Sesame Seeds for Heart
Prevents from various Heart Problems
- It is the richest source of monounsaturated fatty acids (oleic acid) and niacin vitamin which have tendency to lower down the bad cholesterol level as well as increase the good cholesterol level in the blood thus prevents from various heart related problems like coronary artery disease, atherosclerosis, stroke, heart attack and etc.
Improving Cardiovascular Health
- Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nature prevents the person with heart problems from atherosclerotic lesions by improving the cardiovascular health.
Benefits of Sesame Seeds for Kids
Makes Muscles and Bones Strong
- Sesame or til seeds contain high quality dietary proteins as well as essential amino acids which are very necessary for the normal growth and development of the muscles and bones among kids.
Benefits of Sesame Seeds for Skin
Maintains Skin Youthfulness
- Regular consumption of it helps in maintaining the skin youthfulness as it contains phenolic anti-oxidant compounds which prevents from harmful health effects of free radicals.
Delays Early Ageing
- It delays early ageing as well as other age related health problems.
Source of B Group Vitamins and Minerals
- It is the good source of B group vitamins, minerals, folic acid, iron and etc which is necessary to maintain the skin health and beauty.
Prevents Skin Infections
- Its richness in the powerful antioxidant compounds provides it strong antibacterial and antiviral properties thus prevents from various skin infections by regulating proper blood flow throughout the body.
Used in Skin Beautification Products
- It is highly used in the skin beautification products as it contains omega-6 fatty acids, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, folic acid, iron, vitamins B, E and etc.
Anti-Inflammatory in nature
- Its anti-inflammatory nature provides it an excellent healing property which prevents skin from the infection of staphylococcus, streptococcus, vaginal yeast infections, athlete’s foot fungus.
Prevents Skin Damage
- It prevents skin from getting damaged from the harmful ultraviolet sun rays thus prevents from the occurrence of fine wrinkles and pigmentation on the skin.
Good Skin Detoxifier
- It is a very good skin detoxifier due to the presence of antioxidant compounds which helps in removing toxins lead to the ageing.
Benefits of Sesame Seeds during Pregnancy
Reduces Risk of Birth Defects
- It contains good amount of folic acid which is the most essential element used in the DNA synthesis by the body thus helps lot to the expectant mother during her peri-conception period by reducing the risk of neural tube defects and other birth defects in her baby.
Reduces Risk of Anemia
- Its high iron and folic acid level helps pregnant women to get prevented from the most common problem of anemia during pregnancy.
Benefits of Sesame Seeds for Brain
Relaxes Mind and Reduces Anxiety
- Niacin vitamin found in it helps in enhancing the activity of Gamma amino butyric acid (GABA, a primary inhibitory neurotransmitter of brain which sends signal to other cells) which relaxes the mind and reduces anxiety level and neurosis problems.
Induces Sleep and Enhances Mood
- It contains an essential amino acid called tryptophan which actively involves in the serotonin (a neurotransmitter) production thus helps in reducing pain by inducing proper sleep and mood as well as reducing stress level, anxiety and depression.
Benefits of Sesame Seeds for Bones, Joints and Teeth
Rich Source of Essential Minerals
- It is the richest source of all the essential minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, manganese, iron, zinc, magnesium, copper, selenium and etc which plays their vital roles in the bone mineralization, hormonal secretion management, increase red blood cells count, active enzymes synthesis, controlling cardiac and skeletal muscles activities and so many important functions of the body organs.
Reduces Risk of Bones and Joints Problem
- It contains an important mineral called copper which play a vital role for the antioxidant enzyme systems thus provides relief from the arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis symptoms like pain, redness, swelling and etc. It further prevent from the risk of bones and joints problem in future.
Enhances Bone Mineral Density
- It contains special minerals like zinc and calcium which enhances the bone mineral density to maintain proper health and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Promotes Bones and Joints Health
- It contains zinc which promotes proper bone and joints health thus prevents from bone problems in later life.
Benefits of Sesame Seeds for Diabetes
Maintains Blood Pressure and Blood Glucose Level
- It has diabetes combating mineral called magnesium which has tendency to combat with diabetic symptoms such as lowers down the high blood pressure, reduces blood glucose level and etc.
Benefits of Sesame Seeds for Cancer
Reduces Risk of various Cancers
- The magnesium mineral and anti-cancer compound (phytate) found in it has strong ability to prevent from the risk of various cancers like colorectal, stomach, lung cancer, leukemia, pancreatic cancer, breast and prostate cancer.
Prevents DNA Damage
- It contains an antioxidant compound called sesamol which helps in preventing from the radiation induced DNA damage thus protects from various cancers.
Benefits of Sesame Seeds for Digestive System
Prevents from Digestive Disorders
- Sesame seeds are very rich dietary fiber which is mostly required for the maintenance of stomach, intestinal and colon health as well as prevent from the various digestive disorders by stimulating the smooth functioning of digestive system. It provides relief from the severe constipation by facilitating proper waste disposal.
Benefits of Sesame Seeds for Respiratory System
Prevents from Respiratory Disorders
- Magnesium found in it provides protection from the asthma, lungs problems and other respiratory disorders by inhibiting airway spasms.
Benefits of Sesame Seeds for Oral Health
Reduces Risk of Infection in Mouth
- It helps in removing the dental plaques and maintains whitening of the teeth as well as reduces the risk of infection in mouth by streptococcus.
Prevents from Oral Problems
- It also prevents from the teeth decay, bleeding gums, halitosis, gingivitis and etc.
Benefits of Sesame Seeds for Liver
Maintains Health of Liver
- It stimulates liver to decompose the health damaging effects of poisonous material including alcohol in the body thus maintains the health of liver and other major body organs.
Benefits of Sesame Seeds for Hair
Maintains Health of Hair and Scalp
- It is packed with the vital vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients which are essential for maintaining healthy hair and scalp.
Stimulates Better Hair Growth
- It stimulates better hair growth as it contains some essential fatty acids (omega-3, 6 and 9) by providing nourishment and conditioning of the hair through proper blood flow.
Prevents from Scalp Dryness
- It prevents from the scalp dryness by opening clogged pores and protects hair thinning and hair loss.
Treats Dandruff Problem
- It helps in treating antifungal and antibacterial infections and dandruff problems by soothing the irritated scalp.
Strengthens Hair Root
- It hydrates the hair scalp, strengthens the hair root and provides natural shine, elasticity and softness to the hair.
Treats Premature Hair Graying
- It helps in treating premature hair graying if consumed regularly.
Benefits of Sesame Seeds for Men
Boosts Sexual Health
- It is a natural aphrodisiac due to presence of a special mineral in it called zinc which helps in boosting the sexual health among men by stimulating testosterone hormone functioning, quality sperm production and etc.
Benefits of Sesame Seeds for Women
- It provides relief from the PMS symptoms during menstrual cycle among women as well as regulates normal sleep patterns among women after menopause.
Reduces Risk of Bone Fracture
- It reduces the risk of osteoporotic bone fracture of hip and spine among postmenopausal women.
Medicinal Benefits of Sesame Seeds
Strengthens Teeth, Bones, Muscles and Joints
- Chewing around 20-25 grams of the black sesame seeds in the early morning then drink cold water helps in strengthening the teeth, bones, joints and etc.
- Sesame oil body massage regularly provides strengthen to the muscle, bones and joints.
Strengthens whole Body and Mind
- Crush around 50-80 g of the white soaked sesame seeds and mix well with 20-50 g of jaggery. Eat this mixture on daily basis after suryanamaskars to strengthen the body.
- Mix the roasted sesame to the jaggery and ghee to make small balls. Eat a small sesame laddoo regularly in the early morning to strengthen both body and mind.
Prevents Teeth from Infections
- Rubbing sesame oil to the teeth prevents teeth from infections and other problems.
Prevents from Digestive Problems
- Eating the mixture of 1 tsf sesame seeds and desi ghee twice a day especially in winter season helps in getting free from the severe constipation, hemorrhoid (pile) and other digestive problems.
Other Health Benefits of Sesame Seeds
Enhances Better Growth of Kids
- Sesame seeds especially come under the category of high quality protein with essential amino acids rich vegetarian diet which enhances better growth of the kids.
Regulates Muscle Functioning
- Magnesium and calcium found in it have antispasmodic property and regulates muscle functioning like contraction and relaxation.
Stimulates Proper Nerve Functioning
- Thiamin found in it has mind and body calming property by stimulating the proper nerve functioning thus prevents from the muscle spasms, depression, anxiety and etc.
Fights with Diseases
- Its vitamin E content provides it strong disease fighting ability.
Benefits of Black Sesame Seeds
Reduces Bad Cholesterol Level
- Black sesame seeds are highly effective in reducing the bad cholesterol level in blood as it contains soluble dietary fibers called lignans (sesamin and sesamolin).
Reduces Growth of Tumour Cells
- High level of phytosterols found in it has ability to reduce the risk of tumour cells growth in the body.
Cures Common Eye Problems
- It provides proper nourishment to the eye cells as well as cures the common eye problems like blurred vision, dry eyes and etc.
Maintains Energy Level
- It helps in maintaining the proper energy level, nourishing body and brain and slowing down ageing.
Relieves Various Problems
- Its regular consumption provides relief from the problems like backache, painful and stiff joints, weakness and etc.
Benefits of Sesame Oil
Rich Source of Essential and Healthy Nutrients
- Sesame oil is generally used in India for cooking purposes and body massage. It contains variety of essential and healthy nutrients for nourishing the skin, hair, bones and joints.
Keeps Blood Pressure under Control
- It also keeps blood pressure under control and maintains proper secretion of serotonin in the brain.
Benefits of Sesame Oil for Skin
Good Skin Moisturizer
- It is a very good skin moisturizer having emollient and anti-inflammatory property which helps in making skin hydrated, fair, soft and supple by nourishing deeply.
Good Sunscreen Lotion
- It acts as a good sunscreen lotion and removes away all the skin impurities and toxins.
Prevents Skin from Infections
- It prevents skin from the fungal diseases, free radicals and other infections.
Rich Source of Vitamin E
- Its vitamin E content enhances its antioxidant property and prevents skin from free radicals, oxidative stress and ultra violet rays exposure.
Good Remedy to Dry Skin
- It contains stearic acids, linoleic acids and palmitic acids which are emollient in nature and makes dry skin soft and supple.
Slows Down Skin Ageing
- It slows down the skin ageing process and removes wrinkles and fine lines on the skin.
Promotes New Skin Cells Growth
- It helps in removing dead skin cells and promotes new skin cells growth in order to provide fair and glowing skin if massaged properly.
Makes Skin Soft and Fair
- Massage the facial skin properly with sesame oil for 10 mins and then wash with luke warm water to get soft and fair skin. Mixture of sesame oil and turmeric can also be applied.
Makes Skin Elastic and Smooth
- Zinc found in the sesame oil promotes proper collagen production thus makes skin more elastic and smooth.
Promotes Wounds Healing
- It prevents skin from sun tanning, psoriasis, eczema and promotes wounds healing process.
Relieves various Skin Problems
- Applying sesame oil to the cracked heels, dry knees, elbows and other affected skin provides instant relief.
Benefits of Sesame Oil for Hair
Keeps Scalp Clean and Hydrated
- Regular sesame oil massage to the scalp darkens the hair color, reduces hair fall, and prevents from dandruff and dryness by keeping scalp clean and hydrated.
Promotes Hair Growth
- It promotes better hair growth by strengthening hair roots.
Other Health Benefits of Sesame Oil
Prevents from Arthritic Problems
- It promotes healthy bones development as it contains minerals like zinc, calcium, copper and phosphorus as well as prevents from arthritic problems in future.
Regulates Blood Cholesterol and Blood Pressure
- It regulates blood cholesterol level and blood pressure under control.
Prevents from Tension, Depression and Stress
- It is an anti-depressant keeps serotonin level in control thus prevents from tension, depression and stress.
Promotes Sleep and Relaxes Mind
- Proper head massage promotes sleep and relax mind as well as stimulates brain growth and nervous system functioning.
Nutritional Benefits of Roasted Sesame/Til Seeds per 100 g
(Source: USDA Nutrient database)
Energy: 573 Kcal
Carbohydrate: 23.45 g
Total Fat: 49.67 g
Dietary Fibers: 11.8 g
Sugar: 0.48 g
Water: 5 g
Protein: 17.73 g
Tryptophan: 0.371 g
Threonine: 0.704 g
Isoleucine: 0.730 g
Methionine: 0.560 g
Phenylalanine: 0.899 g
Tyrosine: 0.710 g
Valine: 0.947 g
Cystine: 0.342 g
Lysine: 0.544 g
Proline: 0.774 g
Serine: 0.925 g
Alanine: 0.886 g
Leucine: 1.299 g
Arginine: 2.515 g
Histidine: 0.499 g
Aspartic acid: 1.574 g
Glutamic acid: 3.782 g
Glycine: 1.162 g
Thiamin: 0.791 mg
Riboflavin: 0.247 mg
Niacin: 4.515 mg
Pantothenic acid: 0.050 mg
Pyridoxine: 0.790 mg
Folates: 97 µg
Vitamin A: 9 IU
Vitamin E: 0.25 mg
Sodium: 11 mg
Potassium: 468 mg
Calcium: 975 mg
Copper: 4.082 mg
Iron: 14.55 mg
Magnesium: 351 mg
Manganese: 2.460 mg
Phosphorus: 629 mg
Selenium: 34.4 µg
Zinc: 7.75 mg
Beta-carotene: 5 µg
Nutritional Value of Sesame Oil per 100 g
Energy: 884 kcal
Fat: 100 g
Saturated: 14.200 g
Monounsaturated: 39.700 g
Polyunsaturated: 41.700 g
Vitamin E: 1.40 mg
Vitamin K: 13.6 μg
How to Enjoy
Sesame (til) seeds can be enjoyed in variety of ways by making it a part of the favorite dishes. It has nutty flavor can be eaten dry raw or roasted by everyone to endow with its powerful health benefits. Mostly it is used in cooking in India to enhance the taste and flavor.
Dry raw and roasted sesame seeds can be used to sprinkle over the toasts, noodles, breads, biscuits, muffins, cookies, cakes, fruits or vegetables salads, curries, stir fries, pizzas, pasta, steamed broccoli, sweet delicacies like laddoo of roasted peanuts and almonds with jaggery and so many.
Crushed sesame seeds can also be used as a paste to add it to the sauce, chatni or sprinkled over the salads, desserts, ice cream and etc. Sesame oil is used as a cooking oil in many countries like Indonesia, India, Malaysia, and etc.
How to Select and Store
It is widely available to the spice stores all through the year in packed poly bags. Try to buy only fresh, newly packed and tightly packed sesame seeds packets as they may get rancid or smell bad due to the presence of unsaturated fats in it. It should be stored in the cool, dry and dark place by packing it in the airtight containers for several months. Hulled sesame seeds can be stored to the refrigerator as they are highly prone to rancidity.
Disadvantages, Side Effects and Precautions
- Some people are allergic to it as it may cause hypersensitivity due to the presence of a protein called oleosins and develop symptoms of hives, itching, dermatitis (skin inflammation). In severe cases it may lead vomiting, abdominal pain, chest congestion, swelling of lips, throat, breathing difficulty and even death.
- Sesame seeds have oxalates in its hull so eating high amount may lead to the stone formation in the kidney and gall bladder.
- Sesame seeds should be soaked for 10 mins before eating as its outer layer contains oxalic acid which inhibits the calcium absorption in the body. It is eaten by rubbing with the hands to remove outer layer.
- Eating high amount of it should be avoided by the pregnant and lactating women as it may increase the body heat.
- Eating more than the requirement of it may affect the eyes.
- It is calorie rich food which may lead to the weight gain if eaten over limit.
- It should be avoided by the person suffering from diverticulitis.
How Much Sesame Seeds to Eat per Day
Sesame seeds should not be eaten more than requirement by the person of any age group as it may lead to some health problems as mentioned above. If it is eaten on daily basis try to limit it up to one to two tsf only. However it should be consulted properly by the physician to know more about the daily dose according to the health condition.
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