How Sesame Seeds Contribute to a Healthy Lifestyle
Nutrient Content (1 oz)
Good Source of:
- Thiamin- 15%
- Vitamin B6- 11%
Also a Source of:
- Folate- 7%
- Niacin- 6%
- Riboflavin- 4%
Excellent Source of:
- Copper- 54%
- Manganese- 34%
- Calcium- 27%
- Magnesium- 25%
- Iron- 23%
A Good Source of:
- Phosphorus- 18%
Also a Source of:
- Potassium- 4%
Good Source of:
- Fiber – 13%
Also a Source of:
- Antioxidants – Sesamin, sesamolin, tocopherols
- Omega 6 fatty Acids
How Sesame Seeds Prevent Chronic Disease
Sesame seeds are rich in healthy fats and bioactive compounds that make them an excellent resource for chronic disease prevention.
How Sesame Seeds Prevent Cancer
Cancer often develops due to excess inflammation and high levels of oxidative species damaging cells. Excessive damage to cells can lead to the growth and eventual spread of cancer to other regions of the body. Sesame seeds contain lignans known as sesamin and sesamolin, strong antioxidants capable of combating inflammation and neutralizing oxidative species (2).
- Sesame seed oil has been shown to limit the spread and to kill lung cancer cells, with increased effectiveness as the dose of oil was increased (3).
- Lignans have also been tested against preventing the proliferation of skin, bone, and breast cancer and was shown to induce cell cycle arrest in cancer cells, meaning lignans regulate cancer cell activity without harming normal cell function (4).
- In addition to the lignans sesamin and sesamolin, sesame seeds also contain tocopherols, a class of powerful antioxidants shown to limite prostate cancer (5). A study showed that the combined effect of tocopherols and lignans was more powerful than just the lignans alone, showing a synergistic effect and the importance of obtaining these nutrients in the natural seed state to get the combined benefits.
How Sesame Seeds Prevent Cardiovascular Disease
The nutrients and bioactive components in sesame seeds have been shown to limit a number of biomarkers of cardiovascular disease.
- Sesame seeds, like many nuts and seeds, are a good source of phytosterols. Phytosterols are similar in structure to cholesterol, but are not absorbed during digestion. This relationship hinders LDL cholesterol absorption to help limit the risk of heart disease and stroke (6).
- Cardiovascular disease is often caused by large build ups of plaque in your arteries clogging them and impeding blood flow. When the plaque is oxidized, it becomes nearly impossible to naturally remove from the walls. This issue is known as atherosclerosis (7). Sesamin and sesamolin have been shown to prevent the oxidation of plaque, reducing risk of heart attack (8).
- One ounce (1 Tablespoon) of sesame seeds is an excellent source of magnesium, copper, and calcium.
- Magnesium and calcium have been shown to combat increases in blood pressure (9, 10). High blood pressure, or hypertension puts increased strain on your arteries, leading to higher levels of inflammation. Hypertension is considered a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke. The American diet is high in sodium, which increases blood pressure. Obtaining sufficient amounts of magnesium and calcium helps combat the high blood pressure associated with sodium intake (11).
- Copper is a less widely understood nutrient, but it’s crucial for cardiovascular health. Copper deficiencies are associated with increased risk of ischemic heart disease, or the narrowing of the arteries (12).
Sesame Seeds for Diabetes Prevention
- Sesame seeds are great for the prevention diabetes type 2. Diabetes typically occurs due to consistently high surges in blood sugar stressing the pancreas and eventually leading to insulin resistance, when the pancreas does not create insulin to move glucose out of the blood and into the cells. Sesame seeds contain almost no sugar, so they do not contribute to blood sugar levels. One serving is also a good source of fiber (13%). Fiber is crucial for diabetes prevention, as it slows blood sugar absorption and allows for more gradual release of sugar. This slower release also helps to keep you fuller for longer and helps prevent overeating.
Sesame Seeds Promotes a Number of Health Benefits
How Sesame Seeds Promote Bone Health
Calcium is notoriously vital for bone health as it is the main component of our bones. Sesame seeds are an excellent source of calcium, making sesame seeds a great resource for skeletal health, especially for those that do not consume dairy products. Sufficient consumption of calcium will also reduce risk of osteoporosis (13).
How Sesame Seeds Promote Digestion
The fiber found in sesame seeds is great for digestion as it adds bulk to your stool to help regulate bowel movements. Also, the lignans found in the seeds have been shown to help combat inflammation associated with inflammatory bowel disease, and may be hepful in the management of these diseases (14).
How Sesame Seeds Promote Immune Health
Sesame seeds are a good source of zinc. Zinc plays a vital role in the function of a number of immune system cells. The cells it supports are responsible for pathogen identification and destruction, meaning that zinc helps you fight off foreign invaders and infections (15).