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Sesame, also known as sesame, is a seed from a plant whose scientific name is Sesamum indicum, characterized by its great nutritional value, being rich in proteins, unsaturated fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, vitamin E and fibers.
In addition, sesame contains compounds with antioxidant activity that provide several he alth benefits, such as helping to control diabetes, reduce weight and prevent some diseases such as atherosclerosis, high blood pressure and Parkinson's.
There are several types of sesame, which can be found white, black, yellow, brown and red seeds, depending on the region where they are grown, and can be consumed in their natural form, toasted, in salads or as an ingredient in recipes.
Sesame has several he alth benefits, the main ones being:
1. Lower cholesterol
Sesame seeds contain soluble fiber and compounds such as sesamin and phytoestrogens that help reduce LDL cholesterol, also called "bad cholesterol", and blood triglycerides, while promoting increased levels of HDL, also known as "good cholesterol". In this way, it is possible to keep the body he althy and prevent the development of cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis, stroke and heart attack.
2. Controlling blood pressure
Sesame is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, sesamin and vitamin E, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, promoting the relaxation of blood vessels and helping to reduce blood pressure, and can be indicated in the diet for hypertension.
3. Fight constipation
Sesame seed contains lignans, a type of soluble fiber that helps increase the volume of stools, facilitating intestinal transit, thus improving gut he alth and fighting constipation.
4. Promote weight loss
Sesame seeds are rich in proteins, fats and fibers, which increase satiety, reducing calorie intake, which helps in weight control and weight loss, and can be included in the diet to lose weight.
5. Help relieve arthritis
The sesamin present in sesame seeds has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that can reduce pain and improve joint mobility in people who have arthritis, being a good option to help treat this disease.
6. Promote wound healing
Sesame has an antioxidant property that protects tissues from the oxidative damage that occurs after an injury. Therefore, the consumption of this seed or the application of sesame oil in the affected region can help in healing.
7. Prevent cancer
Sesamin is the main active ingredient in sesame seeds and has an excellent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory property that acts by controlling the organism's oxidative stress and the growth of tumor cells, being an important therapeutic agent to be used in the prevention and in the treatment of various types of cancer.
8. Improve menopausal symptoms
Some studies show that daily consumption of sesame seeds improves the he alth status of menopausal women, as it helps to reduce cholesterol levels, prevents the development of osteoporosis and promotes increased production of estrogens, decreasing symptoms such as hot flashes and headache.
9. Helps control diabetes
Sesame seeds are recommended to control pre-diabetes and diabetes, as they contain good amounts of fiber and proteins that help to delay the digestion of food, thus controlling blood sugar levels.
In addition, these seeds contain a compound called pinoresinol, which suppresses the activity of some enzymes that are necessary for the body to absorb sugar.
10. Keeping bones he althy
By containing good amounts of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium, these seeds help in the development of bones and maintain bone structure, preventing diseases such as osteoporosis.
However, it is necessary to let the seeds germinate to eliminate all the anti-nutrients they contain, as they interfere with the absorption of these minerals.
11. Preventing neurological disorders
Lignans present in sesame are biologically active compounds with a neuroprotective effect, preventing cognitive and neuronal changes that can occur due to aging, thus preventing the development of diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and senile dementia.
The following table shows the nutritional composition of sesame seeds:
Amount per 100 g of sesame seeds
1 tablespoon of sesame seeds (10 g)
|573 kcal||57, 3 kcals|
|17, 7 g||1, 77 g|
|49, 7 g||4, 9 g|
|23, 4||2, 3 g|
|11, 8 g||1, 1 g|
|97 mcg||9, 7 mcg|
|0, 25 mg||0, 02 mg|
Choline (Vitamin B8)
|25, 6 mg||2, 56 mg|
|975 mg||97, 5 mg|
|14, 6 mg||1, 4 mg|
|351 mg||35, 6 mg|
|629 mg||62, 9 mg|
|468 mg||46, 8 mg|
|7, 75 mg||0, 77 mg|
|34, 4 mcg||3, 44 mcg|
|4, 08 mg||0, 40 mg|
|8008 mcg||800 mcg|
It is important to mention that to obtain all the benefits mentioned above, sesame seeds must be included in a balanced and he althy diet.
How to consume
Sesame can be consumed in its natural form, in the form of seeds, or used to make pastes, breads, cakes or cookies, for example.
In addition, these seeds do not change the taste of food and can be added to yogurt, rice, salads, cereal bars, cereal, porridge, vitamins, juices or to make hummus, for example.
To enjoy all the benefits of sesame seed, it is recommended to consume 1 to 2 tablespoons per day. This amount may vary according to age, gender, he alth status and tolerance, and it is recommended to consult a doctor or nutritionist.
People with diabetes can consume sesame along with main meals, as it is rich in fiber, proteins and fats, it helps to reduce the absorption time of carbohydrates present in food, promoting better control of levels of blood sugar.
Recipes with sesame
Some recipes that can be made with sesame are:
1. Sesame paste
Sesame paste, also known as Tahini, is easy to make and can be put on bread, for example, or used to make sauces or to season other dishes, such as falafel.
1 cup sesame seeds;
3 tablespoons of olive oil.
To make the Tahini, just brown the sesame seeds in a frying pan, being careful not to burn them. Then, let it cool down a bit and place the seeds and 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the food processor, leaving the equipment on until a paste is formed.
During the process, it is possible to add more oil to achieve the desired texture. In addition, you can season with s alt and pepper to taste.
2. Sesame Biscuit
The sesame biscuit is a great snack option or to eat with coffee and tea.
- 1 ½ cup whole wheat flour;
- ½ cup sesame;
- ½ cup flaxseed;
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil;
- 1 egg.
In a bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix by hand until a dough forms. Then, open the dough with a rolling pin, cut into smaller pieces, place on a greased baking sheet and make small holes in the pieces with the help of a fork. Then, place the roast in the oven preheated to 180ºC and leave for about 15 minutes or until golden. Finally, just let it cool a little and consume.
3. Salad with sesame seeds
Adding sesame seeds to salads is another simple option to enjoy its benefits, and can be accompanied by any type of meat or with tofu, for example.
- 1 head of lettuce;
- 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds;
- 50 grams of fresh corn;
- Juice of 1/2 lemon;
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil;
- 1/2 avocado;
- S alt and pepper (optional).
Wash the lettuce and let it soak in water and vinegar for 5 minutes. Then cut the lettuce into strips and the avocado into small pieces. Then, put the lettuce and avocado in a container and add the other ingredients. Season with lemon juice and olive oil.
When not indicated
There is not enough evidence to assess the safety of sesame consumption by pregnant or lactating women, and, therefore, its consumption is only recommended after the doctor's authorization.
Also, people taking medication for diabetes or high blood pressure should consume sesame with caution, as the seed may interfere with the medication's effect.