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Sesame (sesame): 12 Benefits And How To Consume It

Sesame, also known as sesame seeds, are seeds that come from a plant whose scientific name is Sesamum indicum, characterized by its high fiber content that helps to improve intestinal function and to take care of heart health.

These seeds are rich in antioxidants, lignans, vitamin E and other micronutrients that confer various health properties. There are several varieties of these seeds, which can be white, black, yellow, gray, brown and red, depending on the region where they are grown, being the best known white and black sesame seeds.

Benefits of sesame

Due to its astringent, analgesic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, sesame could provide several health benefits, which include:

  • Promote weight loss, since being rich in fiber, it helps to increase satiety and decrease hunger;
  • Improve gastrointestinal health and regulate blood sugar, as it contains lignans, a type of soluble fiber that help hydrate and increase the volume of stool, facilitating its transit through the intestine and avoiding constipation; and which in turn, decrease the absorption of sugar in the intestine;
  • Reduce the risk of developing heart disease, because it helps lower cholesterol levels. Apparently sesamin, a type of lignan present in the seeds is related to the metabolism of fats in the body, favoring the oxidation of fats in the liver helping to reduce LDL bad cholesterol;
  • Help control blood pressure, because it is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, sesamin and vitamin E, which act as anti-inflammatory and antioxidants, helping to relax blood vessels;
  • Improve skin health, facilitating healing and preventing age spots, as it is rich in antioxidants that prevent damage caused by free radicals;
  • Increase the body’s defenses, because it possesses antimicrobial properties and has nutrients such as selenium, vitamin E and zinc that strengthen the immune system;
  • Maintain strong bones and teeth, because it is a good source of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium, minerals important for bone health;
  • Prevent liver injury, eliminating toxic products from the organ;
  • Reduce the symptoms of menopause and premenstrual syndrome, because it contains phytoestrogens, which help regulate estrogen levels in the body;
  • Regulate thyroid hormone production, because it provides selenium, a trace element that is important for thyroid function;
  • Prevent neurological diseases, because it contains selenium, choline, B vitamins and vitamin E, nutrients important for maintaining brain health;
  • It could help relieve pain caused by arthritis, because sesamin possesses chondroprotective, analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that help alleviate discomfort. 
  • In addition, sesame is rich in folate, and, for this reason, it can be used in the diet of pregnant women, to reduce the risk of malformations in the baby, such as spina bifida or heart disease. It also prevents cases of anemia in pregnant women and preeclampsia.

    Nutritional composition

    The following table shows the nutritional composition:

    It is important to mention that to obtain all the benefits mentioned above, sesame seeds should be included in a balanced and healthy diet. 

    How to consume it

    Sesame can be consumed in its natural form, in the form of seeds or used to prepare breads, cakes, cakes, cakes or cookies, for example.

    In addition, these seeds do not alter the taste of food, being able to be added even in foods such as yogurt, rice, salads, cereal bars, cereals, atoles, smoothies, juices or creams such as hummus, this will decrease the absorption of carbohydrates and increase satiety, thus promoting weight loss.

    The recommended amount to obtain its benefits is 1 to 2 tablespoons per day. 

    Recipes with sesame

    Some recipes that can be made with sesame are:

    1. Sesame paste

    Sesame paste, also known as Tahini, is easy to prepare and can be put on breads, for example, or used to make sauces or to season other dishes, such as falafel, for example.

    To make Tahini, simply brown 1 cup of sesame seeds in a pan and add a little bit of olive oil to it.

    To make Tahini, simply brown 1 cup of sesame seeds in a pan.Place the sesame seeds in a frying pan, being careful not to burn the seeds. Then, let cool slightly and place the seeds and 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a food processor until a paste is formed.

    During the process, it is possible to add more olive oil until the desired texture is reached. In addition, it can be seasoned with salt and pepper to taste.

    2. Sesame crackers

    Sesame crackers are an excellent choice for a snack or to eat with coffee or tea.

    Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup whole wheat flour;
  • ½ cup sesame;
  • ½ cup flaxseed;
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil;
  • 1 egg.
  • How to prepare

    In a bowl, mix all ingredients by hand until a dough is formed. Then, stretch the dough with a rolling pin, cut into small pieces, place on a greased tray, make small holes with a fork. Then, take the tray to the preheated oven at 180 ºC and leave for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

    Then, let cool a little and consume.

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