It is said, according to a Hindu Legend, that sesame seeds represent a symbol of immortality .
In Ayurveda, sesame seeds are known as sattvic, which means clarity, purity and wisdom, and so produces these qualities on the body and the mind.
It’s unbelievable that such tiny seeds can have so many health benefits.
Sesame seed kernels are very nourishing and have great food value. The hard husk of sesame seeds must be removed prior to consumption for it is abrasive on the intestines and rather bitter, due to its high concentration of oxalic acid.
Here are some interesting benefits of sesame seeds compiled by me,Vijaya Kurup,for the benefit and health of our dear readers.
1.Sesame seeds have Vitamin A Vitamin B : Thiamine ;Niacin ,Vitamin E , Vitamin A : calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc dietary fiber. potassium ,iron.,phosphorus., fat,carbohydrates and protein which makes it a food item of much nutritive value.
2.In addition to these important nutrients, sesame seeds contain two unique substances: sesamin and sesamolin. Both of these substances have a cholesterol-lowering effect in humans,.Sesamin has also been found to protect the liver from oxidative damage.
3.The copper in these seeds helps in reducing some of the pain and swelling of rheumatoid arthritis.
4. In addition, copper plays an important role in the activity of lysyl oxidase, an enzyme needed for the cross-linking of collagen and elastin--the ground substances that provide structure, strength and elasticity in blood vessels, bones and joints.
5.As they have magnesium sesame seeds prevent the airway spasms during an asthma attack
6.They also helps lowering high blood pressure, a contributing factor in heart attack, stroke, and diabetic heart disease.
7.Ano ther important benefit as a zinc-rich seed is its capacity to help maintain bone mineral density.
8.In a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, researchers published the fact that sesame seeds had the highest total phytosterol content (400-413 mg per 100 grams), among many other seeds. Phytosterols, are believed to reduce blood levels of cholesterol, enhance the immune response and decrease risk of certain cancers.
9.Sesame seeds help in reduction in swelling and pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis, proving beneficial in relation to inflammatory systems.
10.Black sesame seeds, as a rich source of iron, are valuable in anemia. An emulsion of the seeds is prepared by grinding and straining them after soaking them in warm water for a couple of hours. This emulsion, mixed with a cupful of milk and sweetened with jaggery. canbe given to patients suffering from anemia.
11.Black sesame seed is moistening to the intestines and helps move the bowels. It prevents and relieves constipation due to dryness of the intestines.
12.It is valuable in removing intestinal worms .
13.Sesame paste/oil can help remove wrinkles and other skin diseases when applied externally.
14.Black sesame seed is moistening to the intestines and helps move the bowels. It prevents and relieves constipation due to dryness of the intestines.
15.Sesame seeds offer relief to those suffering from asthma attacks.
16.Sesame seeds can protect the body from free radicals, which have been implicated in development of cancer.
17.Sesame seeds have a protective effect against heart disease and cancer. They also have anti-aging properties.
18.Sesame seeds are a good source of Vitamin E, that is why they can help strengthen the heart and the nervous system.
19.These seeds are highly beneficial in the treatment of piles, they can be taken in the form of decoction or as sweet-meats. Ground to a paste with water, they are given with butter for bleeding piles.
20.A poultice of sesame seeds can be applied externally over ulcers, burns and scalds. External application of a mixture of equal parts of sesame oil and lime water is also effective in these conditions.
21.For diarrhoea and dysentery sesame seeds are useful. Two tablespoonfuls of the seeds should be lightly roasted on a frying pan, ground into a fine powder and one tablespoon of it should be used with boiled goat's milk thrice daily for six days by the patients suffering from chronic dysentery or diarrhea. It acts as an excellent medicine in these conditions.
22.An infusion of sesame seeds. mixed with a tablespoonful of linseed a pinch of common salt and a dessert spoonful of honey, should be given once at night with beneficial results in acute and chronic bronchitis, pneumonia and asthma. It acts as an expectorant.
23.They are beneficial in the treatment of dandruff. A decoction made from the leaves and root of the plant can be used as a hair wash. Sesame oil massage on the scalp also promotes hair health. It is said to prevent premature greying of hair and promote hair growth.
24.Massage therapists choose sesame paste/ oil because it does not stain sheets and, it does not leave an oily residue. It has a distinctive sweet, nutty scent and nourshes the skin. Daily sesame massage is practiced for skin-preservation in Ayurvedic medicine.
25.A high source of mono and polyunsaturated fats, sesame seeds help in maintaining a healthy cardio-vascular system .
26.Half a teaspoon of powder of sesame seeds taken with hot water twice daily acts excellently in reducing spasmodic pain during menstruation in young unmarried anaemic girls Its regular use, two days prior to the expected periods, cures scanty menstruation A warm hip bath containing a handful of bruised sesame seeds can be simultaneously taken along with this recipe.
27.The high levels of calcium and magnesium present in these seeds help build bones, enhance bone density, lower the risk of osteoporosis and also regulate the body metabolism.
28.Sesame seeds are especially high in dietary fiber and proteins. Hence, they provide the required protein levels to the body and also help add roughage in the intestines.
29.The mineral iron, present in these seeds, is very essential in the process of respiration, at the cellular level. It helps carry oxygen to the cells, by synthesizing hemoglobin in the body.
30.High in zinc, sesame seeds help in healing wounds and strengthening the immune system of the body.
31.For toothache,boil 50 g sesame seeds in 500 ml water and use the solution for gargling.
32.Sesame seeds contain lignans ( plant compounds), which are essential antioxidants that act against cancer, by reducing the c ell damage caused by free radicals.
33.For promoting lactation, bake sesame seeds to brown and grind into powder. Eat a little of it as you like twice a day.
34.For chronic rhinitis (inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nose) with running nose ,heat 20 ml. sesame oil. Drop few drops of cooled boiled oil to each nostril, thrice daily.
35.Sesame is recommended in treating insomnia or as a protean infusion in various nutrition affections.
36.Being rich in arginine, sesame seeds deters the development of tumors, also helps detoxify the liver and kidneys.
Now if you want to include this wonder seed in your diet ,here are some interesting ways to use it.
Try and use these healthy sesame seeds in a variety of your dishes, to add taste, and eye-appeal.
• Use sesame seeds to add crunch to homemade buns,bread,biscuits, crackers ,muffin and pancake batters .
• Make sesame seed candy (called chikkis) for kids as a healthy snack.
• Roasted sesame seeds and jaggery pounded together and shaped into balls will make a good tasty snack too.
• When cooking chicken and vegetables, add hulled sesame seeds.
• Sprinkle whole sesame seeds over stir fry vegetables such as carrots,french beans, or broccoli and salads .
Well , I guess you are impressed by these little tiny seeds. Please add them to your diet everyday to enjoy the benefits and have a healthy life.
Author Brief Bio---Vijaya Kurup worked as the Principal,Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Higher Sec ondary School and Ramakrishana Junior College in Secunderabad, India for two decades, presently practices Reiki, writes poems in English and Hindi, sings Hindustani Classical music and helps run a children’s home in Nairobi.