Sesame seeds are tiny, but this is one of the healthiest foods you can find. They have a delicious nutty taste and are used in a great variety of dishes all over the world. People discovered numerous health benefits of sesame seeds centuries ago. Either the seeds or oil made of them are mentioned in ancient Assyrian and Hindu legends. There are even some ancient Egyptian tomb paintings that feature bakers adding these seeds to bread dough.
During the ancient times sesame seeds were believed to have some miraculous properties that made a person healthier and increased longevity. Many of those purported health benefits of old have been researched and proven valid by the scientists of today.
The number of health benefits provided by sesame seeds is huge. The most important of them are:
- Diabetes prevention.
High content of magnesium and other important nutrients allows sesame to prevent diabetes and improve plasma glucose in those who suffer from this disease.
- Normalizing blood pressure.
Magnesium is one of the key elements that lower blood pressure.
- Lowering the level of cholesterol.
Sesame seeds contain phytosterols, a healthy plant-derived type of cholesterol that reduce the level of harmful cholesterol in your body and help protect your arteries and strengthen your cardiovascular system. The content of phytosterols in these seeds is the highest among all similar foods.
- Improves digestion.
These seeds are a very rich source of healthy fiber that safely cleanses your intestines.
- Improves the condition of skin and hair.
Due to high zinc and calcium content the seeds promote skin health as well as strengthen hair and nails.
- Relief for rheumatoid arthritis pain.
High content of copper allows the seeds to reduce swelling and pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis. This particular nutrient also helps lysyl oxidase (an enzyme which is essential for linking elastin and collagen) to stay active, thereby reducing the risk of developing arthritis and other conditions that affect joints.
- Osteoporosis prevention.
Sesame seeds contain a great deal of highly absorbent calcium and zinc. These elements are essential for bone health and reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis in elderly people.
- Cancer prevention.
Numerous nutrients contained in sesame seeds support various systems of your body and decrease the risk of developing some cancers, especially bone and lung cancer.
- Liver protection.
Sesamin, a unique nutrient contained by sesame seeds, protects your liver from harmful effects of oxidation.
Sprinkle the seeds on biscuits, add them to dough when baking bread or buns, add some to salads or mix with almonds and peanuts to make sugary Indian sweets.