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Health Benefits of Sesame Seeds

August 8, 2019 by

Sesame seeds are often used in cooking, but few people realize the health benefits that they have to offer. Here, we will go over the benefits of eating sesame seeds and look at some of the different ways to use them.

Sesame seeds date back thousands of years in a variety of cultures. Hindus once equated sesame seeds with a symbol of immortality, and ancient Egyptians and Persians used to use sesame seeds as flour. Nowadays, sesame seeds are used for cooking, and are also used as a condiment in the form of oil.

Sesame seeds are typically grown and collected for their oil, but they can also be used in a variety of therapeutic ways. Research shows that sesame can help with a variety of heath ailments, including:

Pain Management

One study that looked at people suffering from osteoarthritis in their knees showed that these patients could decrease their symptoms by consuming sesame seeds for two months.

Speed Up Wound Recovery

Sesame oil can help speed up the healing of skin when it is applied topically.

Increase Levels of Antioxidants

Consuming sesame seeds may help increase the amount of both enzymatic and nonenzymic antioxidants in your body, which can help fight oxidative stress that results from diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and neurodegenerative disorders.

Hypertension Management

Research has found that the black variety of sesame seeds have antihypertensive properties.

Sesame seeds are also important for industrial purposes. They are used to make perfumes and cosmetic products–and is even added to paints, lubricants, and biodiesel.

When it comes to cooking, sesame seeds are most often associated with Asian cuisine. They are often used to cook chicken, make tahini (a sesame seed paste), make hummus, or just add flavor to a dish. People often sprinkle sesame seeds on their salads to add flavor and texture as well.

While these seeds are popular in cooking, it is important to note that they are rich in omega-6 fatty acid, which could possibly disrupt your omega 3-to-6 ratio. Scientists believe that a diet high in omega-6 fatty acids–but low in omega-3s–can increase the amount of inflammation in your body, while a diet that has a balanced ratio of these two essential fatty acids can reduce inflammation. A quarter cup of sesame seeds has 7.69 grams of omega-6 fatty acids, while its omega-3 content in the same amount of seeds tops off at 0.14 grams. This means that if you are using sesame seeds, you should use them in moderation.

While growing sesame seeds easy and requires little maintenance, you do need to be patient during the process. Experts report it can take sesame seeds up to five months to begin sprouting.

Sesame seeds should be planted indoors between 4 and 6 weeks before the last frost of the winter is expected to come. However, if you live in the south, you can plant sesame seeds outside in the ground after a frost because the soil is warmer. Simply plant the seeds in rows in the later spring, making sure to space them 2 to 3 feet away from each other, as they can grow up to 6 feet tall.

After the seeds have been planted, make sure to keep the soil moist in order to make sure you will have successful germination. It is also very important that these seeds and budding plants get maximum sun exposure. You can collect the seeds when the tips of the stalks become dry, and then lay the seeds flat on the ground so they can dry. Because the seedpods can easy break, it is important to be careful when harvesting them.

While can be beneficial to your health, they do contain lectin. These carbohydrate-bonding proteins reduce your ability to absorb nutrients, which can negatively impact your health by harming your gut health if your digestive enzymes are unbalanced. To help lower the lectin content in sesame seeds in order for them to be safe to eat, they have to be sprouted or soaked for about 8 hours.

In addition to using sesame seeds and oil for cooking, you can also use it for topical applications for a scalp conditioner or a sunscreen. This is a versatile seed that can benefit your health when used in moderation.

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