Sesame seeds are a great source of lignans, which have been determined to help improve sex hormone status for estrogen. Sesame seeds may also help reduce oxidative stress and possibly inflammation. Here Marsha McCulloch, MS, RD, HealthLine.com, reflects on the potential health benefits of sesame seeds:
“Sesame seeds are tiny, oil-rich seeds that grow in pods on the Sesamum indicum plant.
Unhulled seeds have the outer, edible husk intact, while hulled seeds come without the husk.
The hull gives the seeds a golden-brown hue. Hulled seeds have an off-white color but turn brown when roasted.
Sesame seeds have many potential health benefits and have been used in folk medicine for thousands of years. They may protect against heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis (1Trusted Source).
However, you may need to eat significant amounts — a small handful per day — to gain health benefits.
Here are 15 health benefits of sesame seeds.
Good Source of Fiber
Fiber is well known for supporting digestive health. Additionally, growing evidence suggests that fiber may play a role in reducing your risk of heart disease, certain cancers, obesity, and type 2 diabetes (4Trusted Source).
May Lower Cholesterol and Triglycerides
Sesame seeds consist of 15% saturated fat, 41% polyunsaturated fat, and 39% monounsaturated fat (3Trusted Source).
Research indicates that eating more polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat relative to saturated fat may help lower your cholesterol and reduce heart disease risk (7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source).
When 38 people with high blood lipids ate 5 tablespoons (40 grams) of hulled sesame seeds daily for 2 months, they experienced a 10% reduction in “bad” LDL cholesterol and an 8% reduction in triglycerides compared to the placebo group (13Trusted Source).
Nutritious Source of Plant Protein
Sesame seeds supply 5 grams of protein per 3-tablespoon (30-gram) serving (3Trusted Source).
To maximize protein availability, opt for hulled, roasted sesame seeds. The hulling and roasting processes reduce oxalates and phytates — compounds that hamper your digestion and absorption of protein (14, 15, 16).
Protein is essential for your health, as it helps build everything from muscles to hormones.
Notably, sesame seeds are low in lysine, an essential amino acid more abundant in animal products. However, vegans and vegetarians can compensate by consuming high-lysine plant proteins — particularly legumes, such as kidney beans and chickpeas (14, 17Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source).
May Help Lower Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke (19Trusted Source).
Additionally, lignans, vitamin E, and other antioxidants in sesame seeds may help prevent plaque buildup in your arteries, potentially maintaining healthy blood pressure (21Trusted Source, 22Trusted Source).
In one study, people with high blood pressure consumed 2.5 grams of powdered, black sesame seeds — a less common variety — in capsule form every day.
At the end of one month, they experienced a 6% decrease in systolic blood pressure — the top number of a blood pressure reading — compared to the placebo group (23Trusted Source).
May Support Healthy Bones
|Calcium||22% of the RDI||1% of the RDI|
|Magnesium||25% of the RDI||25% of the RDI|
|Manganese||32% of the RDI||19% of the RDI|
|Zinc||21% of the RDI||18% of the RDI|
One study found that sprouting reduced phytate and oxalate concentration by about 50% in both hulled and unhulled sesame seeds (15).
May Reduce Inflammation
Sesame seeds may fight inflammation.
Long-term, low-level inflammation may play a role in many chronic conditions, including obesity and cancer, as well as heart and kidney disease (29Trusted Source).
However, because this study tested a mixture of seeds, the anti-inflammatory impact of sesame seeds alone is uncertain.
May Aid Blood Sugar Control
Maltase breaks down the sugar maltose, which is used as a sweetener for some food products. It’s also produced in your gut from the digestion of starchy foods like bread and pasta.
If pinoresinol inhibits your digestion of maltose, this may result in lower blood sugar levels. However, human studies are needed.”
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Read More … Article Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/sesame-seeds#section9
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