Sesame seeds are widely known as a super food for their infinite nutritive powers. These glorious tiny seeds are obtained from Sesamum Indicum plant which is grown extensively in parts of Africa and India mostly for producing oil. Being a versatile crop, sesame plant can endure extreme climates and hence, is a preferred oilseed crop. The seeds are of many different colours and shades like black, grey, brown, light brown and off-white. The stark white sesame seeds that we find in the supermarkets these days are chemically processed as such seeds are believed to fetch a higher price than darker variations of sesame at the market stores. Speaking of their medicinal abilties, both the seeds and the oil drawn from them have profound medicinal benefits for our skin, hair and health. Here’s a list of benefits of sesame seeds for skin, hair and health.
Benefits Of Sesame Seeds For Skin
Render Youthful Skin
Including sesame seeds in one’s daily diet ensures a clear and problem free skin as they are rich in zinc and magnesium both of which play a key role in keeping skin healthy and youthful. Zinc works by hindering formation of free radicals and thus delays skin ageing while magnesium helps in reducing appearance of wrinkles on skin. Since our skin cells need zinc for cell regeneration, intake of sesame seeds meets this need and helps in wound healing. Oil drawn from sesame seeds is rendered as a skin tonic and protects the skin from sun damage and skin allergies when applied topically.
Control Excess Sebum
People with acne prone skin are often advised to munch on sesame seeds as they help control release of excess sebum from skin pores which is the root cause of acne. This is again due to presence of high amounts of zinc in the seeds which helps in curbing the release of a hormone called corticotrophin releasing hormone(CRH) which is the main culprit behind excess sebum production in skin. Another thing that makes sesame seeds an ideal anti-acne food is that they’re loaded with omega-3 fatty acids which work by reducing inflammation in skin pores.
Benefits Of Sesame Seeds For Hair
Thwart Dandruff and Pre-mature Greying
Like acne, dandruff can be reduce by supplementing one’s diet with zinc. Regular consumption of sesame seeds helps to reduce dandruff as they contain high amounts of zinc. Premature greying of hair occurs mostly due to a lack of essential nutrients like copper and iron that are required for production of melanin in hair follicles. Sesame seeds especially the black ones are particularly rich in both copper and iron and consuming these for a specified period darkens grey hair.
Promote Hair Growth
Being a significant source of omega-3 fatty acid, magnesium and biotin, sesame seeds are a complete hair food and including them in meals strengthens hair and promotes hair growth. Application of ground sesame seeds with sesame oil on scalp is a popular remedy to boost hair growth and reverse hair thinning. Sesame ol is equally beneficial for giving health and nourishment to hair.
Health Benefits Of Sesame Seeds
Relieve Arthritis Pain
Sesame seeds provide relief from pain associated with arthritis owing to a multitude of minerals that support bone health contained in the seeds. Daily intake of sesame seeds in powdered form for a period of two months has been found to be more effective on osteoarthritis patients than tylenol. Massaging sesame oil on joints also lessens arthritis pain.
Increase Bone Density
Sesame seeds are essentially rich in calcium and when it comes to keeping your bone density within optimal levels it’s recommended to have about half a cup of sesame seeds daily. Some people who are lactose intolerant can incorporate sesame seeds in their diet instead of milk to meet their daily requirements of the calcium.
Improve Hemoglobin Levels
Black sesame seeds have a high iron content and are therefore a great way to keep hemoglobin levels in the blood within normal range. Other than iron, folic acid also plays a role in the growth of red blood cells and a deficiency in this nutrient may result in anaemia. Sesame seeds being rich in folate can help treat anaemia that happens due to folate deficiency.
Regulate Blood Sugar
A naturally occurring compound called phytosterols are present in significant amounts in sesame seeds. Also known as plant sterols, these compounds lead to an increased insulin production in our body and thus help regulate blood sugar levels in the body. Taking sesame seeds is therefore considered beneficial for diabetes. patients.
Lower Blood Pressure
Sesame seeds exhibit blood pressure lowering properties owing to nutrients like magnesium, omega-3 fatty acid and antioxidants sesamin and sesamolin which are richly present in unprocessed sesame seeds. All these compounds keep the blood pressure within desired levels.
Inhibit Growth Of Free Radicals
Regular consumption of sesame seeds lowers the risk of developing cancer cells in the body. This is because they contain antioxidants, phytosterols , catechins and a compound called phytate all of which work together to protect the body from harmful effects of free radicals and inhibit their growth.
The tiny seeds are a great source of fiber and therefore aid digestion. Sometimes when our body becomes deficient in some vital minerals and vitamins, it shows up in the form of constipation. Hence continual intake of sesame seeds ensures that the body gets those nutrients and when the deficiency is overcome the digestive system begins to function normally.
Promote Heart Health
The phytosterols in sesame seeds have cholestrol lowering properties because their structure is similar to cholestrol which puts them in competition with cholestrol during their absorption in the body. Besides this, sesame seeds are abundantly rich in vitamin E, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acid all of which are crucial for a healthy heart function.
Relieve Respiratory Problems
Sesame seeds have an ability to provide relief from respiratory problems like Asthma as they are essentially rich in magnesium which helps regulate histamine production in the body thereby reducing allergic reactions.
Improve Brain Cell Function
Nutrients like magnesium, vitamin E and amino acid tryptophan are found in significant amounts in sesame seeds. All these nutrients are vital for healthy brain functon. Plus they are rich in brain friendly omega-3 fatty acids which works by improving communication between the brain cells.
Apart from being rich in many nutrients required by the body in key bodily functions, sesame seeds are especially abundant in a lignan known as sesamin which protects the liver from harmful effects of alcohol and prevents accumulation of proteins and fats in the liver which can lead to liver failure and fatty liver disease.