In India sesame seeds (til ke beej) are a favorite ingredient for many special foods prepared during rituals. Be it Makar Sankranti or Navratri, delicacies cannot tickle your palate without the touch of sesame seeds.Originating in the savanna zones of Africa, they are also found in a smaller number in India. They are added to breads, baked foods, desserts and confectionery. Sesame seeds are rich in calcium, amino acids, proteins, vitamins B, C, E and even iron, zinc, copper, magnesium and other essential nutrients.
Here are some surprising health benefits of sesame seeds (Til Ke Beej)
1 . Control Blood Pressure
Sesame seeds contain a good amount of lignans which are highly effective in in reducing blood lipid levels and blood pressure. Furthermore, magnesium is a great vasodilator (an agent that reduces blood pressure) and sesame seeds contain magnesium. Use sesame seeds in your mint chutney. It will be soothing to your tummy as well as beneficial for your heart.
2 . Aid In Digestion
Being packed with the goodness of fiber this humble seed can help you digest your food better. Sesame seeds can help reduce conditions like constipation and diarrhea while simultaneously protecting your colon too. No wonder it always comes sprinkled on the top layer of your meat burger!
3 . Prevent Greying Of Hair
In Ayurveda, black sesame seeds are prescribed for those suffering from premature greying. Research suggests that use of sesame oil can help you reverse premature growth of grey hair. Sprinkle sesame in your regular gravy dishes and use it as flavor enhancer.
4 . Fight Inflammation
Due to the presence of copper, sesame seeds can help you in reducing inflammation of the joints, bones, and muscles. They can also minimize the pain caused by of arthritis. Copper is also known to help strengthening blood vessel walls, bones, and joints.
5 . Improve Bone Health
These seeds can be of immense help for building healthy bones due to the presence of zinc, calcium and phosphorus in them. Sesame can be useful for those suffering from osteoporosis. Whole sesame seeds contain about 88 mg of calcium per tablespoon of seeds. These zinc- rich sesame seeds are therefore preferred by the older generation to increase their bone mineral density. You can prepare sweets with sesame and jaggery and have it daily in small amounts.
6 . Fight Cancer
The presence of lignans in huge amounts is extremely useful for fighting inflammation and cancer. They can also boost the body’s antioxidant capacity. Use sesame with your regular Indian breads for better nutrition.
7 . Delay Ageing
According to Chinese medicinal studies, sesame is one of the most powerful anti-ageing foods. Large amount of antioxidants present in the black sesame seeds can neutralize the effect of free radicals that damage cells and cause aging.
Sesame seeds can be consumed both whole and in the form of oil. You can sprinkle the seeds over your breakfast cereals, fruit and vegetable salads or add them to our breakfast smoothies. So, go ahead and add these yummy seeds to your diet and reap the countless benefits that they have to offer.Eat Healthy, Stay Healthy!