Hamburgers are obviously one of the people’s favorite meals. Especially when it comes to the Americans, hamburgers have already become a part of their life. Each American is expected to consume about three orders of hamburgers per week. What is it about hamburgers that caught my eye? It is the small, light brown seeds that can be seen on most hamburger buns – the sesame seeds.
What are Sesame Seeds?
Sesame seeds came from the genus named Sesamum. They are edible seeds that are harvested from pods. Also, these seeds are native to most tropical countries, a lot of them from Africa and a few grow from India and other parts of Asia.
The seeds are removed from the pod after it gets dried since it is easier to open the pod once it does. The process of getting the seeds does not end from being shaken off the fruit pods; those seeds are originally black in color, but once they are removed, they are to get hulled from their outer shell, and that’s how we get the real edible seeds.
Color Varieties of Sesame Feeds
Sesame seeds do not limit themselves to the normal white-colored ones we are familiar with. They can vary from the famous white-colored to colors black, red, brown, and even the lighter shade of brown which is tan.
The sesame plant, where the seeds come from, is said to be one of the oldest crops to ever be harvested and cultivated. It was a staple plant even during the peak times of Ancient Babylon and Assyria which was a long way in history. And surprisingly during that time, the ancient people have already been using sesame seeds as part of their cooking; like how they are a staple ingredient for Asian and Mediterranean cuisine today in our modern times.
The seeds are also loved because of its nutty flavor. They can be sprinkled to almost every meal we can think of, and they are also made into condiments called tahini which is a very important ingredient for the production of another product called hummus.
Another great thing about the small but delightful seeds is their health benefits. They may be small, even really tiny, but these seeds are as amazing as they could be.
Benefits of Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds are beneficial to the point where a single tablespoon of these seeds already makes a great deal of impact in our health. The seeds contain a lot of essential nutrients and are high in important vitamins and minerals such as protein and calcium.
One tablespoon of sesame seeds (around 8.75 to 9 grams) contains the following nutritional facts:
- 51.6 to 52 counts of calories
- 2.2 grams of carbohydrates
- 1.6 grams of protein
- 4.5 grams of fat
- 1.2 grams of dietary fiber (only found in plant-based food)
- 0.5 milligram of copper (which is 18 percent of Daily Value or DV)
- 0.3 milligram of manganese (which is 11 percent of DV)
- 87.8 to 88 milligrams of calcium (which is 9 percent of DV)
- 31.7 milligrams of magnesium (which is 8 percent of DV)
- 1.4 milligrams of iron (which is 7 percent of DV)
- 56.7 milligrams of phosphorus (which is 6 percent of DV)
- 0.7 milligram of zinc (which is 5 percent of DV)
- 0.1 milligram of thiamine or vitamin B1 (which is 5 percent of DV)
- 0.1 milligram of vitamin B6 (which is 4 percent of DV)
Imagine how small the seeds are but they prove how great they are through their nutritional value.
Here are more benefits of sesame seeds, thanks to their nutritious characteristics:
The zinc content of sesame seeds is beneficial for healthy skin and hair.
Quite a number of research was conducted and all of them showed that the use of zinc can help in the treatment of skin issues like acne, psoriasis, and dermatitis. The zinc can also aid in the growth of hair tissues, thus leading to healthier and fuller hair. The seeds also contain B vitamins (thiamine and B6, with a few counts of niacin and riboflavin) which also works wonders for the hair and skin.
The mineral content of sesame seeds help prevent deficiency and even anemia
The seeds contain the minerals iron, copper, magnesium, and calcium among others. These minerals, especially iron and calcium, are essentially needed by the body. The iron content of the seeds can help prevent iron deficiency that can lead to anemia, plus iron is an important element for the proper functioning of the nervous system. The other minerals like copper and magnesium also do their own jobs. The copper can help against rheumatoid arthritis while magnesium is great as a helper for respiratory problems. The calcium is good for the skeletal system, and even works better with the help of the zinc content of the seeds. The combination of calcium and zinc provides the bones even greater strength.
The sesame seeds contain protein and fiber
Protein is a necessity for the buildup of muscles in the body, and most people who are very strict when it comes to protein intake are those who are health conscious and go to gym often. They can add sesame seeds into their diet to provide them with more protein to enhance their muscle growth and to achieve weight loss. Moreover, the protein does not just provide healthy muscles; it also is important for the production and growth of cells and hairs, nails, bones, and skin. It serves as a major contributor to the health of our body composition. The fiber content of the seeds, however, promotes healthy digestion and an overall healthy digestive system.
The magnesium content of sesame seeds can help in lowering of blood pressure and prevention of getting diabetes
Magnesium isn’t as well known as the other minerals, but it acts and does wonders just the same as the others. It is an important element in the metabolism of the body and also in the balancing of electrolytes and in stabilizing DNA. Another benefit of magnesium is its contribution to a healthier cardiovascular function. It can dismiss unnecessary blood clots and can work on the blood vessels and prevent the possibility of getting arrhythmia; which is an abnormality in a person’s heartbeat rate and rhythm.
The sesame seeds can help in the prevention of getting cancer
The essential nutrients of sesame seeds can work against certain cancer cells. The magnesium content of the seeds is said to be able to reduce the risk of getting colorectal cancer, and the phytosterols; which contain high levels of antioxidants, is known to work against cancer cells that can develop into cancers such as breast cancer, stomach cancer, lung cancer, and even ovarian cancer.