Seeds and Cereals

Health Benefits of Sesame

Two hamburgers, lettuce, cheese, special sauce, onion, pickles and a sesame seed bun  You sure remember that jingle from that famous fast food chain. Unfortunately, the last item doesn’t usually get that much attention. However, those little grains in the hamburger bun cannot remain anonymous. Therefore, we will do a real X-ray on this powerful cereal.

Sesame (Sesamum indicum L.,), or sesame, has been cultivated in several countries for centuries. That’s why it’s hard to nail where it came from. The origins of sesame go back to Africa (Ethiopia), Asia (Afghanistan, India and Iran) and also to Mesopotamia, a region that exported the grain to Ancient Egypt. It arrived in Brazil in the 16th century at the hands of the Portuguese. The first stop was Nordeste, where it was cultivated by hand.

SESAME CULTIVATION

The sesame plant measures between 0.50 to 3 meters. The biggest growers are Goiás, with 67% of the national production, Mato Grosso, Northeast, South and Southeast (São Paulo). Like the humid tropical and subtropical climates, withstanding temperatures between 25 a and 30 a . It can be a main or rotational crop, mainly for corn, soybeans or cotton.

The soil needs to be deep, well drained and with a pH close to 7. Planting is either manual or mechanical, with a depth between 2 and 3 centimeters. Fertilizing is planned after studying the soil. Harvest is when the plants turn yellow and the leaves fall off, about 90 days after cultivation.

SESAME PROPERTIES

Sesame is one of those supernutritious foods that are unknown to most. This, at least in Brazil, as it is widely consumed in Asia. Sesame butter or Tahini is a popular Arabic dish. Among its nutritional characteristics, fiber, iron, calcium, proteins, magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper, phosphorus and vitamins B1 and B6 stand out. These components are present in white, black and brown sesame. Let’s get to know some sesame benefits?

  1. More health in pregnancy

Sesame in pregnancy can be in the form of Tahine. The daily serving of 2 tablespoons promotes the good growth of glands associated with the uterus, placenta and milk production.

  1. Strengthens bones and teeth

Sesame has more calcium than milk. Furthermore, it also brings together phosphorus and zinc, components that are also important for the formation and maintenance of bones and teeth. The three substances repair the tissue surrounding the bones and prevent osteoporosis. Another important factor is that copper is a powerful anti-inflammatory that soothes arthritis pain. This strengthening of bones and teeth is also a benefit of black sesame.

  1. Helps to gain muscle mass

The protein promotes muscle mass gain and acts on post-workout recovery. Vegetarians who work out have sesame as a great protein alternative.

  1. protect the heart

Magnesium is important for the heart. A handful represents 25% of the daily requirement for this nutrient. The benefits of magnesium are either fresh or in oil form. According to a study published in 2006 in the Yale Journal of Biological Medicine (USA), it has been proven that using sesame oil helps to balance blood pressure. Magnesium also reduces diabetes laughter and lowers bad cholesterol,

  1. can prevent cancer

Consuming 100 grams of sesame reduces the risk of colorectal cancer due to magnesium by up to 12%. It also contains the antioxidant phytate, which promotes cell renewal. The substance sesamine has the potential to prevent the growth of cancer cells related to leukemia, breast, prostate, pancreas and lung cancer. In chemotherapy treatments, food still preserves the DNA from the effects of radiation.

  1. It works against headaches and migraines

Magnesium decreases the incidence of migraine-related blood vessel spasms. Calcium also prevents headaches in general. The consumption of sesame should be a routine for those who suffer from the problem.

  1. Reduces anxiety and improves sleep

Magnesium and calcium reduce stress and anxiety. Tryptophan and vitamin B1 stimulate the production of the “good mood hormone”, serotonin. Stressed and anxious people need to include food, especially black sesame, in their meals.

  1. Facilitates digestion

Sesame loses weight, because the fibers stay in the body longer, prolonging satiety. The nutrient also creates a gel in the intestine that facilitates digestion and evacuation.

  1. Leaves skin, hair and nails stronger

Food has antioxidants that block the sun’s harmful rays. Zinc stimulates the production of collagen, a substance responsible for the formation and maintenance of skin, hair and nails. The B-complex vitamins also help with this task. But, that’s not why you’re going to exceed the daily amount of sesame, which is 30 grams!

HOW TO PREPARE SESAME?

There are several recipes with sesame. In addition to Tahine, there is cake, bread, biscuits and even milk. We select the best ones for you to make your snacks and meals much more delicious! Come on?

TAHINI

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw white sesame;
  • ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil.

Preparation mode

Place the sesame in a skillet and cook until golden. Transfer to a food processor and add the oil. Stop the appliance from time to time and stir with a spoon. Beat until all seeds are crushed. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 months. Stir well before consuming.

SESAME MILK

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of black or beige sesame;
  • 3 cups of water.

Preparation mode

Place the sesame in a bowl of water and soak for 8 to 12 hours. Discard this water and beat the sesame with 3 cups of water. Strain and it’s ready to drink.

SESAME CAKE

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of sesame flour tea;
  • 1 cup of sesame milk tea;
  • 3 cups of wheat flour tea;
  • 2 cups of demerara sugar tea;
  • 1 dessert spoon of yeast;
  • 1 tablespoon of fennel, cloves and cinnamon;
  • 3 tablespoons of butter;
  • 1 coffee spoon of salt;
  • 4 eggs.

Preparation mode

Place the sesame in a skillet and cook until golden. Transfer to blender or food processor and then pan. Put this flour in a large bowl and add the eggs, sugar and butter, mix until light and fluffy. Add milk, salt, flour and yeast and mix well. Place in a buttered and floured pan. Bake in a medium oven for 40 minutes.

SESAME BREAD

Ingredients

  • ½ cup of roasted sesame;
  • 1 kg of wheat flour;
  • 1 package of biological yeast;
  • 1 cup of oil;
  • ½ teaspoon of salt;
  • 1 cup of warm milk tea;
  • 3 eggs.

Preparation mode

Dissolve the yeast in warm milk. Add sesame, eggs, salt and sugar. Gradually add the flour until the dough comes out of your hands. Let the dough rest for 2 hours. Transfer the dough to a buttered and floured bread pan. Bake in a medium oven for 40 minutes.

SESAME COOKIE

  • 1 cup of sesame;
  • 2 cups of almond flour;
  • 1 teaspoon of salt;
  • 4 tablespoons of oil;
  • 2 eggs.

Preparation mode

Place dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Add the oil and eggs and mix until incorporated with the others. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease it with oil. You will see bubbles in the dough, but this is normal.

Transfer the dough and spread with a cup. Make the divisions with a knife. Bake in a preheated oven at 200 o for 15 minutes. Put the wax paper in the sink so that the cookies get a little warm. Cut up the cookies and eat them cold.

CORN BREAD

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of sesame milk tea;
  • 1 cup of sesame flour;
  • 1 cup of cornmeal;
  • 1 ear of corn;
  • 1 tablespoon of fennel;
  • 50 grams of grated coconut;
  • 1 cup of organic sugar;
  • 4 tablespoons of corn oil;
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder.

Preparation mode

Take the corn off the cob. Beat in a blender with the milk. Add the oil and sugar and beat a little more. Transfer to a saucepan, cook over medium heat and gradually add the cornmeal, flour and yeast, stirring until free from the pan. When cool, add the fennel, mix and roll, and bake in a medium oven for approximately 30 minutes.

GERSAL (A MORE NUTRITIOUS SEASONING THAN SALT)

Ingredients

  • 9 parts of sesame ;
  • 1 part sea salt.

Preparation mode

Toast the sesame in a dry pan over high heat, stirring constantly. Add salt when you hear a pop and stir a little more to incorporate everything. Beat in a blender until powdered. Store in a capped glass container. Use the gersal in the salad and in the preparation of meat.

Is that you? Did you know little or nothing about sesame? This very nutritious little seed is an illustrious unknown. There are people who only remember her in the hamburger bun. But, if you loved knowing and want to buy sesame, know that it is easy to find. Take a look at your favorite supermarket. Do you have a natural food store near you? Even better. Did you know that you can buy online too? On the website Zona Cerealista the price is R$3.49 and on the Lojas Americanas website, R$9.92. There’s no excuse for not including sesame in your life, is there?

 

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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