Black sesame seeds are recognized as one of the oldest and most useful seeds known to mankind. These small, oval, flat seeds come from the sesame plant, a flowering plant that belongs to the Pedaliaceae family.
Black sesame seeds may be small, but they are packed with nutrients. They are rich in vitamins B and E and thiamine. They contain minerals like copper, manganese, selenium, molybdenum, zinc, iron, phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium, as well as tryptophan, an amino acid.
They contain the lignans sesamolin and sesamin, which are effective antioxidants. They are rich in fiber and phytochemicals (phytosterol). It is not surprising to find that an increasing number of people use the seeds to promote health.
The use of the seeds helps to delay and even reverse common signs of aging, like loss of hearing, poor memory, grey hair, and poor eyesight. The iron and B vitamins in the seeds help fight these age-related symptoms.
Healthy skin and bones:
The calcium in these seeds helps keep bones strong. The zinc helps to strengthen the bones and to increase bone density. The seeds are especially recommended for older men and postmenopausal women who are high-risk candidates for osteoporosis. Rich in Vitamin E, the seeds also keep the skin vibrant and healthy. Massaging the skin gently with moisturizers to which sesame oil has been added has been found helpful in promoting youthful supple skin.
Good for the heart:
The seeds are rich in sesamolin and sesamin, substances recognized for their ability to lower levels of cholesterol. They also contain magnesium which helps check the rise of blood pressure.
Protect against disease:
The antioxidants (fiber and lignans) and phytochemicals (phytosterol) in the seeds provide protection against certain diseases, like disease of the colon. The seeds also contain sesamin, which protects the liver from the damaging effects of free radicals.
Promote digestive health:
The seeds relieve indigestion and constipation. They contain healthy oils that help lubricate the intestines.
The seeds also provide the dietary fiber necessary for healthy digestion.
Aid in lactation:
The seeds are a great help for nursing mothers. Why? They increase the supply of breast milk.
The calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, copper, B vitamins, unsaturated fat, and protein in the seeds are all beneficial, particularly to women who are lactating.
The magnesium and calcium in sesame seeds relieve anxiety and stress, though admittedly you need to eat a lot of them for quite some time to see the real benefits.
The tryptophan and thiamine in the seeds help in the production of serotonin, a compound present in the human body that helps reduce pain, balance moods, and make deep slumber possible.
Relieve the pain and inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
The seeds are rich in copper, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties to counter the difficulties presented by the disease.
The mineral also helps the enzyme lysyl oxidase to cross-link elastin and collagen, the substances that provide elasticity, strength, and structure to the joints, bones, and blood vessels.
High in beneficial calcium:
The calcium in black sesame seeds helps prevent a variety of problems, including premenstrual syndrome and migraine headaches.
Along with healthy amounts of calcium, they also contain iron, vitamin B1, zinc, molybdenum, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium and dietary fiber which aid sufferers of PMS.
Increase respiratory and vascular health:
Do you suffer from asthma? The magnesium in the seeds prevents airway spasm in asthmatic patients. Got high blood pressure? It also lowers blood pressure, thus helping protect against diabetic heart disease, stroke, and heart attack.
How To Eat Black Sesame Seeds
There are many ways to include black sesame seeds in your diet so you can enjoy their health benefits.
You can bake them sprinkled on top of breads like bagels, and enjoy their nutty flavor and delicate crunch. You can also sprinkle them over your cereals or salads, or even over desserts like cake and ice-cream. You can blend them into your smoothies or eat them with yoghurt, quite like hempseed. More and more people are recognizing the nourishing health benefits that come from the use of black sesame seeds.