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Sesame Seeds

One of the first oil seeds known to humankind, sesame seeds have been widely employed in culinary as well asatraditional medicines for their nutritive, preventive, and curative properties. Sesame are an important sources of phyto-nutrients such as omega-6 fatty acids, flavonoid phenolic anti-oxidants, vitamins, and dietary fiber with potential anti-cancer as well as health promoting properties.
Sesame plant is a tall annual herb in the pedaliaceae family, which grows extensively in asia, particularly in burma, china, and india. It is also one of the chief commercial crops in nigeria, sudan and ethiopia.
Sesame requires well-drained sandy soil and tropical environment to flourish. It growsaabout 5 feet in height and bears plenty of pink-white foxglove type flowers. The pods appear soon, containing white, brown, or black seeds depending upon the cultivar type, arranged in rows inside. Each pod (2-5 cm in length) is a long rectangular box like capsule with deep grooves on its sides.
A single pod (1 to 2 inches in length) may contain up to 100 or more seeds.
Sesame seeds are small, almost oblate in shape. Toasted seeds feature pleasant, nutty flavoror.
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Health benefits
Flavorful, crunchy sesame seeds are widely considered healthy foods. 100 g of seeds carry 573 calories.
Although, much of its calorie comes from fats, sesame contains several notable health-benefiting nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for wellness.

Other health benefits
Mono-unsaturated fatty acid
Oleic acid
Which comprises up to 50% fatty acids in them.
Oleic acidahelps lower ldl or "bad cholesterol" and increases hdl or "good cholesterol" in the blood.

Research studies suggest that mediterranean diet which is rich in mono-unsaturated fats help prevent coronary artery disease, and stroke by favoring healthy lipid profile. The seeds are also very valuable sources of dietary protein with fine quality amino acids that are essential for growth, especially in children. Just 100 g of seeds provide about 18 g of protein (32% of daily-recommended values).
In addition, sesame seeds contain many health benefiting compounds such as sesamol (3, 4-methylene-dioxyphenol), sesaminol, furyl-methanthiol, guajacol (2-methoxyphenol), phenylethanthiol and furaneol, vinylguacol, and decadienal. Sesamol and sesaminol are phenolic anti-oxidants. Together, these compounds help stave off harmful free radicals from the human body.
Sesame is among the seeds rich in quality vitamins, and minerals. They are very good sources of b-complex vitamins such as niacin, folic acid, thiamin (vitamin b1), pyridoxine (vitamin b6), and riboflavin. 100 g of sesame contains 97 ag of folic acid, about 25% of recommended daily intake. Folic acid is essential for dna synthesis. When given to expectant mothers during their peri-conception period, it may prevent neural tube defects in the newborns.
Niacin is another b-complex vitamin found abundantly in sesame. About 4.5 mg or 28% of daily-required levels of niacin is provided by just 100 g of seeds. Niacin helps reduce ldl-cholesterol levels in the blood. In addition, it enhances gaba activity inside the brain, which in turn helps reduce anxiety and neurosis.
The seeds are incredibly rich sources of many essential minerals. Calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, magnesium, selenium, and copper are especially concentrated in sesame seeds. Many of these minerals have a vital role in bone mineralization, red blood cell production, enzyme synthesis, hormone production, as well as regulation of cardiac and skeletal muscle activities.
Just a hand full of sesame a day provides enough recommended levels of phenolic anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins and protein.
Sesames can be readily available in the spice stores all around the year. You may choose from whole, husked or air-dried, toasted seeds in these stores.athere may be black, brown, yellow or white color seeds packed in air-seal packs as well as in bulk bins. Husked seeds appear white.a.
Sesame composes significant proportions of unsaturated fats, and hence, should be stored inaairtight containers to avoid them turn rancid. At home, place them in cool dark place. If stored properly, dry seeds generally stay fresh for several months.store hulled "white" seeds always inside the refrigerator. Avoid old, offensive smelling (rancid) seeds.

Culinary uses
Sesame seeds have a delicate nutty flavor. Their flavor indeed becomes more pronounced once they are gently roasted under low flame heat for a few minutes.
Sesame seeds are used liberally in cooking. The seeds ground with olive or any other vegetable oils to prepare semi-solid, flavorful paste, which is then added to different cuisine.
Dry, roasted sesame seeds and vegetable oil are ground into a thin light brown color paste known as tahini. Tahini is one of the main ingredients in famous middle-eastern dip, hummus.
Dry fried seeds sprinkled over toasts, biscuits, breads, cakes, salads, stir fries, etc.


Notice
The information and reference guides on this website are intended solely for the general information for the reader. It is not to be used to diagnose health problems or for treatment purposes. It is not a substitute for medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. Please consult your health care provider for any advice on medications