A staple of Middle Eastern cuisine, sesame seeds are one of the oldest known condiments. When a sesame seed pod reaches maturity, it bursts open, hence the term, "open sesame." They are packed with many different essential vitamins and minerals. Here are 9 health benefits of sesame seeds:
One of the most important benefits of sesame seeds is their potential in the war against cancer. They are high in antioxidants as well as compounds called lignans, which have been found in lab tests to have anti-cancer properties. These substances may inhibit processes that contribute to cancer cell growth while inducing cancer cell death. Studies have shown eating sesame seeds to have positive effects on breast cancer treatment and one study associated daily sesame seed consumption with reduced risk of stomach cancer.
Sesame seeds are a great source of calcium, zinc and several other vitamins and minerals that can help maintain proper bone density and prevent conditions that result from mineral deficiencies like osteoporosis.
The magnesium in sesame seeds may help aid the respiratory system and treat certain side effects of asthma.
Anti-Inflammatory & Pain Relief
Sesame seeds are a good source of copper, a mineral known to aid in pain relief from rheumatoid arthritis. Sesame seeds may help reduce swelling and have additional anti-inflammatory benefits as well.
High In Vitamin E
Vitamin E can help boost the immune system, reduce the risk of heart attacks and protect the eyes from cataracts. Vitamin E is also believed to have anti-aging effects.
High In Antioxidants
Sesame seeds contain several antioxidants including sesamin and sesamolin as well as vitamin E. These antioxidants may help to prevent illnesses that can result from chronic oxidative stress such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.
High In B-Vitamins
The many complex B vitamins found in sesame seeds help the body extract energy from food and keep red blood cells healthy.
The phytosterols in sesame seeds help the body absorb cholesterol and may help balance good and bad cholesterol levels.
Lower Blood Pressure
The compounds in sesame seeds have been shown to relax blood vessels in lab tests and there by reduce blood pressure levels.