The tiny sesame seeds add both taste and essential nutrients to a variety of sweet and savory dishes. These valuable health-boosters fight cancer and heart disease, and provide immunity-rich and antioxidant nutrients for overall health. The scholar Ibn al-Qayyim in his Prophetic Medicine, mentioned sesame oil as being the most useful of the pure oils, after clarified butter (ghee).
Sesame seeds are flat, oval seeds that come from the sesame plant, and are used to make products such as sesame oil, which is highly resistant to rancidity, and tahini, a sesame seed paste.
Sesame seeds are a rich source of lignans that are associated with fighting many hormonally driven cancers, particularly breast and prostate. Sesame seeds and pistachio nuts are the richest nut and seed sources of phytosterols (cholesterol-like compounds found in plants), thought to fight heart disease and help reduce benign prostatic hyperplasia (swollen prostate).
Sesame seeds are also rich in immunity-fortifying zinc and antioxidant Vitamin E, and contain B-vitamins to support the nervous system, and to help the body cope with stress. A good source of vegetarian protein, sesame seeds are packed with omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin and circulation.
Tahini is a thick paste made from ground up sesame seeds and is used predominantly in Middle Eastern dishes such as hummus. It is a highly nutritious food and because the seeds are ground into a paste, it digests in the body very quickly.
Tahini is a very versatile food; it can be used as a spread for sandwiches or combined with other foods like chickpeas, dates, figs, grapes, honey, etc and used in both sweet and savory dishes.
As well as being rich in many of the B-vitamins, sesame seeds, including tahini are a good source of the essential minerals calcium, copper and magnesium. Calcium is well-known for its role in the formation and maintenance of healthy skin, bones, and nails, but it is also associated with reducing the risk of digestive system cancers, preventing migraines and reducing the symptoms of PMS.
Copper is known for its use in reducing some of the pain and swelling of rheumatoid arthritis. Copper's effectiveness is due to the fact that this trace mineral is important in a number of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant enzyme systems.
Adding tahini to your food is an easy way to receive the nutritional benefits of sesame seeds, in an easily digestible, flavorful way, providing your body with a valuable health boost.