Open sesame! Unlock the health benefits of the sesame seed and learn how to incorporate it into your meals!
Yes, I am talking about those little white and black seeds that coat your sushi, are sprinkled on your stir-fry, ground up into tahini paste, and taste delicious toasted on your favorite vegetables. They are so small you almost do not see them in your food, but do not mistake their small size as a lack of nutritional value.
I love to add sesame seeds to many different dishes. They add a subtle nutty flavor, without overwhelming or changing the taste of your meal. They are unique in that they have a texture you cannot get from other nuts or seeds.
Best served un-hulled and raw or toasted, sesame seeds are a powerhouse of nutrients and minerals. They are one of the most nutrient-dense foods for their size and are very versatile in how they can be consumed.
Not only are these little seeds rich in copper, magnesium, and calcium, but they are also loaded with healthy omega-3 fats and have a high protein content. What this means is that sprinkling these seeds into your diet is doing your health a huge favor. They have been known to promote bone health, lower bad cholesterol, help your body with the fighting of disease and improve hypertension and stress.
Sesame seeds are well known for their high oil content, as sesame oil is very resistant to rancidity. You all know the saying “a little goes a long way?” Well, this is a great way to show how to use sesame oil. This oil has the ability to neutralize oxygen radicals, regulate cell growth and slow down cancer cell formation. But add too much, and it will overwhelm the flavor. This type of oil is most commonly used in Asian dishes and tastes great with soy sauce, garlic, and ginger.
I bet you didn’t think that musky taste you scattered on top of dinner was doing your body any favors. Well, I have news for you, it is! And if you are not a huge fan of Asian food, I have more news for you. Sesame seeds are also common in Middle Eastern food, especially in making tahini dips, baba ghanoush, hummus, and the sweet dish of halvah.
There are also many granolas and breads made with sesame seeds, not to mention they are a great salad topper or dressing additive. Sometimes these flat seeds are so small you don’t even realize you are eating them. Did you notice that most buns are coated with sesame seeds? So, wherever your taste preferences lie, sesame seeds can be added for your benefit.