The sesame plant is cultivated for its popular oil as well as nutrient-rich seed. The sesame seed has over 20 different species and includes a variety of colors including brown, grey, yellow, red, pale beige and white. This seed is primarily produced in Africa and Asia, not only for food application, but also for use in household products. Sesame seeds are used in many savoury Asian-style recipes as well as in baked items like hamburger buns, biscuits, and cakes. The oil of the sesame plant is used in sauces, dressings, and margarines, and is also used in formulating creams, lubricants, and soaps. After the oil is pressed out, the leftover sesame meal is used as a nutritious livestock feed.
Benefits of Sesame Seeds
- Are rich in mono- and poly-unsaturated fatty acids with a significant amount of linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid.
- Are a good source of dietary protein and fibre—two components of food that help stabilize blood sugar levels, helping to improve satiety after eating.
- Contain phytochemicals that have potent antioxidative action that helps reduce inflammation in the body and prevent cell damage.
- Contribute sesamin lignans, a type of polyphenol that has shown to have lipid lowering, antihypertensive and anticancer effects!
- Are a source of zinc, a mineral important for wound healing, strengthening the immune system, and supporting normal growth.
- Are a good source of magnesium, a mineral essential for maintaining healthy bones, muscles, and nerves.
Nutritional Value of 2 Tbsp. (18 g) Dried, Shelled Sesame Seeds
- 114 calories
- 2.1 g carbohydrate
- 2.1 g fibre
- 3.7 g protein
- 11.0 g fat
- 20% DV of magnesium
- 11% DV of zinc
Did You Know?
Sesame seeds are often ground up into to form a creamy paste called Tahini. Tahini is popular in the Middle East and is incorporated into sauces, salads, and is used to make hummus, as well as sweet desserts.