All About The Benefits And Harms Of Sesame Seeds

Sesame is a plant well-known to people since ancient times. Interesting legends are told about it, and images of small seeds adorn the walls of Egyptian pyramids. Today we will find out what is so useful in this product and whether there are any contraindications to its use.

The homeland of sesame seeds is still unknown.

Scientists’ opinions on this matter differ. Some attribute sesame seeds to Indian roots, while others believe that they originated in South Africa. But it is worth knowing that sesame is one of the most popular ingredients in many culinary dishes around the world. It is also used in folk medicine.

Today, sesame seeds are grown in Central Asia, the Far East, and India. From there they are shipped all over the world.
Sesame seeds are not only a delicious confectionery powder or halva ingredient, but also a healthy product.

How to choose and store seeds

You need to know that unpeeled seeds of this plant are stored much longer than peeled ones. Sesame seeds are sold by weight or already packaged in spice aisles or in oriental markets.

Before buying, make sure that they are dry to the touch and do not have a bitter taste, which indicates long-term storage of the product, i.e., its staleness and loss of useful properties.

A quality product has a delicate nutty odor and the same taste, with a subtle sweetish note.

Unpeeled seeds are stored in a cool and dry place. For storage, they are placed in an airtight container. They remain fresh for three months.

Peeled seeds quickly lose their flavor. If they are placed in the refrigerator, the shelf life increases to 6 months.

Frozen, the product is stored for a year. With any method of storage, it is necessary to keep the seeds in an airtight container!

Useful properties of sesame seeds and their composition

Sesame seeds contain a high dose of riboflavin, which affects the growth of the child’s body. Women will appreciate the ability of these seeds to affect the beauty of nails and hair. The nail plates are noticeably strengthened by eating sesame seeds, and the hair acquires a pleasant shine and silkiness.

Calcium, which is quite high in sesame seeds, has a positive effect on bone tissue and joint health.
The seeds also help build muscle mass. They are also used to successfully prevent osteoporosis.

Phytosterols in seeds dissolve cholesterol plaques in blood vessels, prevent the development of cancerous tumors and boost immunity. To strengthen the body’s defenses, it is enough to eat a spoonful of sesame seeds.

Sesame seeds have a positive effect on blood composition. They are used to treat anemia and atherosclerosis.

The plant helps to relieve asthmatic attacks and facilitate breathing in case of colds. Seeds are useful for asthma and pneumonia.

Sesame seeds are strong aphrodisiacs and affect both the male and female sexual sphere. However, the product can be called more of a female product, as it contains phytoestrogens that are useful for the female body during menopause.

In nursing mothers, the seeds have a positive effect on lactation and are a prophylactic agent against mastopathy. To achieve the desired effect, women need to chew and eat one tablespoon of seeds per day.

Sesame seeds are quite high in calories. You can get 565 kilocalories from 100 g of the product. Vitamins are presented in the following form: PP – 11.1 (55% of the daily value); thiamine – 1.27 (84.7%); riboflavin – 0.36 (20%); E – 2.3 (15.3%). The composition also includes fatty acids, disaccharides, starch, calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, and iron.

Sesame oil – useful properties

As already mentioned, sesame oil is used to make oil, which is actively used by doctors to make patches, ointments, and emulsions, as sesame oil improves blood clotting. Sesame oil is an excellent laxative and is also used for hemorrhagic diathesis.

Sesame seed oil is also used in cosmetics because of its softening and moisturizing properties. It removes redness, normalizes the protective properties of the skin, and stimulates its regeneration. It is also used as a makeup remover and as a massage oil.

Sesame oil has an amazing property. It does not lose its taste or medicinal properties for several years.

Harms and contraindications for the use of sesame seeds

As with any product, sesame seeds also have warnings and contraindications for their use. Here’s a list of them: product intolerance; increased blood clotting (the seeds will only increase it); urolithiasis; blood clots in the blood vessels; taking aspirin and chemical estrogens (insoluble compounds will form in the kidneys).

An overdose causes a feeling of thirst and nausea, especially if the seeds were consumed on an empty stomach. Constant overeating contributes to constipation.

Surprisingly, for a long time, the seeds of the plant and the oil were used only as a combustible substance. It was only after tasting the taste of sesame seeds that people began to use them for medicinal and culinary purposes.

Sesame seeds in cooking

Traditionally, sesame seeds are used to enrich the taste of baked goods and confectionery. But when you sprinkle delicious seeds on buns, you should not limit yourself to using them only for this purpose.

Milk, to which sesame seeds are added when boiling, will be of great benefit. Unpeeled seeds are added to vegetable salads, and peeled (white) seeds go well with meat, fish dishes, and fried poultry. Sesame seeds in small quantities are included in dietary salads. For example, with seaweed or tofu. You can also add it to less exotic dishes. For example, in a salad with carrots or sweet peppers.

The seeds have a pleasantly delicate flavor, which is lost when roasted (as well as most of the medicinal properties!). Before adding them to dishes, you just need to heat them slightly in a frying pan or soak them in water beforehand.

In dietetics, the seeds are used as a means of fighting cholesterol and toxins, which helps maintain the body’s strength on fasting days.

In the Middle East, tahini sesame paste is common as a thickener in various sauces and gravies, and in many Arab countries, in Israel, Lebanon, and Greece, hummus sauce made from chickpeas, tahini paste, and lemon juice is popular.

Goma sesame seeds are very common in Japan, where they are used to make various condiments and sauces. And in traditional Korean cuisine, which is somewhat influenced by the Japanese, not only hot peppers and garlic dominate but also roasted sesame seeds.

As you have already understood, the benefits and taste of sesame seeds are simply unsurpassed. But when you get carried away by the pleasant taste of an exotic plant, you shouldn’t forget to be careful. You should not overeat. Any delicacy or medicine is beneficial only if consumed in moderation. Don’t forget this golden rule of healthy living. Be healthy!

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Written by Bella Adams

I'm a professionally-trained, executive chef with over ten years in Restaurant Culinary and hospitality management. Experienced in specialized diets, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw foods, whole food, plant-based, allergy-friendly, farm-to-table, and more. Outside of the kitchen, I write about lifestyle factors that impact well-being.

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