Sesame is one of ancient seeds which has been consumed by human beings for thousands of years. Sesame is one of the most nutritious foods and it has been consumed in Babylon, India, Middle East as well as Africa. The Sainskrit word for oil which is Tel derives from Sesame which is known as Til. Arabian nights refers to the word “Open Sesame” which points to the popularity of this little seed.
In Hindu culture Sesame is very important and it is donated on all religious occasions and worships and offering to gods. It is considered to be one of the purest foods.
Food Value in Sesame
Usually most seeds are great foods because of their nutrition and fiber content and Sesame is no exception. Sesame is one of the seeds which contains many different minerals and proteins. In fact it contains around seven trace metals including Calcium, Iron and Magnesium and 19 different kinds of proteins which sounds almost unbelievable. It contains around 17 grams of protein per 100 grams in weight. It also contains Vitamins C.
Food Fiber in Sesame
Sesame is also one of the foods which is quite high on dietary fiber content. It contains almost 17 grams of fiber per 100 grams of seeds. The fiber contained are Sesamin and Sesamolin which are type of fiber called lignans which are particularly effective in reducing bad cholesterol and help in reducing high blood pressure. Lignans have also been found to be effective against cancer.
Health Benefits of Sesame
- There are multiple health benefits of Sesame. Because of copper content it helps in preventing rheumatoid arthritis. Copper reduces pain and swelling. It also increases strength in the joints and the blood vessels.
- Magnesium in the Sesame relaxes the heart muscles and the respiratory organs and gives relief in Asthma and lowers blood pressure naturally which reduces the chances of heart attacks and other heart problems.
- Sesame are also good source of calcium which strengthens the bones.
- Sesame contain highest amount of chemical called Phytosterols which reduce bad cholesterol levels. These chemicals also reduce chances of heart disease and certain types of cancers.
How To Eat Sesame
Sesame has nutty flavor. Usually it is difficult to eat Sesame raw but roasted form is very tasty. Sesame balls mixed with brown sugar is used for increasing the heat in the body during winters in South Asian countries. Sesame can be had in many different ways as mentioned below (Source – http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=84)
- Add sesame seeds into the batter the next time you make homemade bread, muffins or cookies.
- Use the traditional macrobiotic seasoning, gomasio, to enliven your food. You can either purchase gomasio at a health food store or make your own by using a mortar and pestle. Simply mix together one part dry roasted sea salt with twelve parts dry roasted sesame seeds.
- Sesame seeds add a great touch to steamed broccoli that has been sprinkled with lemon juice.
- Spread tahini (sesame paste) on toasted bread and either drizzle with honey for a sweet treat or combine with miso for a savory snack.
- Combine toasted sesame seeds with rice vinegar, soy sauce and crushed garlic and use as a dressing for salads, vegetables and noodles.
- Healthy sauté chicken with sesame seeds, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and your favorite vegetables for a healthy, but quick, Asian-inspired dinner.