Sesame seeds are a small but mighty source of nutrition. These tiny, nutty seeds are packed with a variety of essential nutrients and offer a range of potential health benefits. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the nutritional value of sesame seeds and explore whether or not they are a healthy choice for you.
First, let’s take a look at the nutritional profile of sesame seeds. One ounce (28 grams) of sesame seeds contains approximately:
5.6 grams of protein
14.6 grams of fat
6.3 grams of carbohydrate
3.5 grams of fiber
Sesame seeds are a good source of several essential nutrients, including:
B vitamins: Sesame seeds are a good source of B vitamins, including thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid. These vitamins are important for energy production, nerve function, and the health of the skin and hair.
Minerals: Sesame seeds are also a good source of several minerals, including copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron. Copper and manganese are essential for the proper functioning of enzymes in the body, while magnesium is important for muscle and nerve function, bone health, and blood pressure regulation. Phosphorus is important for the formation of strong bones and teeth, and iron is necessary for the production of red blood cells.
Antioxidants: Sesame seeds contain a variety of antioxidants, including sesamol and sesamin, which may help to protect the body from oxidative stress and inflammation.
Now that we’ve looked at the nutritional value of sesame seeds, let’s explore some of the potential health benefits of these tiny seeds.
One potential benefit of sesame seeds is that they may help to lower blood pressure. Sesame seeds contain magnesium, which is known to help relax blood vessels and improve blood flow. In addition, sesame seeds may help to reduce inflammation in the body, which can also contribute to lower blood pressure.
Sesame seeds may also have a positive effect on cholesterol levels. Some studies have found that consuming sesame seeds can help to lower total cholesterol and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, while raising HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels. This may be due, in part, to the fiber and plant sterols found in sesame seeds, which have been shown to help reduce cholesterol levels.
Sesame seeds may also have a positive effect on bone health. The minerals found in sesame seeds, such as calcium and phosphorus, are essential for the formation of strong bones and teeth. In addition, sesame seeds contain a plant compound called sesamin, which has been shown to help increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Sesame seeds may also have potential benefits for skin health. The antioxidants found in sesame seeds, such as sesamol and sesamin, may help to protect the skin from oxidative stress and inflammation. In addition, sesame oil has been used in traditional medicine to help treat a variety of skin conditions, including dry skin and eczema.
Overall, sesame seeds are a nutritious and versatile food that can be incorporated into a healthy diet. Whether you sprinkle them on salads, mix them into baked goods, or use them to make tahini sauce, sesame seeds are a tasty and nutrient-rich addition to any meal. Just be mindful of portion sizes, as sesame seeds are high in calories and fat, and consume them in moderation as part of a balanced diet.