Sesame seeds may be tiny but they have huge health benefits. These seeds are especially rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, oleic acid, which compromises up to 50% fatty acids in them. Oleic acid helps lower LDL or ‘bad cholesterol’ and increase HDL or ‘good cholesterol,’ in the blood.
They are a good source of B-complex vitamins such as niacin, folic acid, thiamine (Vitamin B1), pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) and riboflavin. These seeds have a delicate nutty flavour, which indeed becomes more pronounced once they are gently roasted under low flame for a few minutes.
Sesame seeds are also rich in calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, magnesium, selenium and copper. Many of these minerals have a vital role in bone mineralisation, red blood cell production, enzyme synthesis, hormone production, as well as regulation of cardiac and skeletal muscle activities. It also has a cholesterol-lowering effect.
The well-suited characteristics and appropriate composition of fatty acids, particularly linoleic acid and high polyunsaturated/saturated fatty acid ratio, high level of lignans, fibre and tocopherol in sesame seeds may have favourable effects in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease and in particular, in high-risk conditions such as diabetes. However, well-designed research studies are needed to prove this.
Sesame seeds are calorie dense and therefore need to be consumed in moderation. One levelled teaspoon (tsp) contains nearly 3 grams of sesame seeds and provides approximately 17 kcal, 0.5g protein and 1.5 g fat, 0.7g carbohydrate (0.3g fibre). Although sesame seeds have a low glycaemic index (GI: 35) and can be incorporated in a well-balanced diet in the form of salads or consumed as part of roasted snacks.
So, it is time to incorporate this wonder seeds into your diet with the help of this scrumptious recipes.
BROCCOLI TOFU AND SESAME SEED STIR FRY
1 tbsp Oil
250 g Tofu (Cut into small cubes)
2 Cloves Of Garlic (Finely Cut)
1 tsp Ginger (Grated)
¼ tsp Red Chilli Powder
200 g Broccoli Florets
2 ½ tbsp Soya Sauce
2 tbsp Sesame Seeds
1. Heat oil in a pan.
2. When hot, add in garlic and ginger.
3. Sauté for a minute. Add in the broccoli.
4. Simmer and cook for 12-15 minutes or till the broccoli is almost cooked.
5. Add in the tofu pieces, red chilli powder and soya sauce.
6. Gently mix it up.
7. Stir in the sesame seeds, mix well and take it off the flame.
8. Serve hot.