Sesame, a treasure for the heart

Few seeds are as rich in minerals as sesame seeds, allies of the heart and nervous system. In the kitchen they are a real treasure.

Sesame is one of the best vegetable sources of calcium, and not only because of its richness in this mineral (30 g provides a third of the recommended daily amount or RDA). It also provides notable doses of magnesium, phosphorus, copper, manganese and also iron, especially black sesame. It also contains some potassium, zinc, selenium, silicon and boron, and is rich in vitamins important for the nervous system and other vital functions, particularly B1, B3, B6 and folic acid.

Heart-friendly fats

Sesame seeds stand out for their high lipid content, of which 80% are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as oleic acid and linoleic acid or omega-6. These fats decrease the blood concentration of triglycerides and reduce blood pressure. They are also a great source of lecithin, a phosphorus fat that performs vital functions in the body; It is also part of the nervous tissue, semen and bile, and is involved in the proper functioning of the sexual glands.

Lecithin is also a powerful emulsifier that facilitates the dissolution of fats in an aqueous medium. This property is also beneficial for health, since by emulsifying cholesterol it facilitates its elimination and prevents it from depositing on the arterial walls.

Very nutritious sesame

Regarding its protein content (20%), sesame provides 15 different amino acids, among which an essential one called methionine.

Finally, it should be noted that sesame fiber is slightly laxative and that its mucilage helps protect the intestinal flora.

The combination of all these nutrients gives sesame a great remineralizing, energetic and restorative power, useful for both the muscular and nervous systems. It is considered a good blood alkalizer and protects the circulatory system from the effects of stress and lack of physical activity.

Included in the diet of older people it can mitigate osteoporosis, bone weakness or hair loss, while young people can take it to help in studies and sports activities.
Sesame is recommended if you suffer from nervous or emotional problems such as stress, exhaustion, memory loss or discouragement, and it is recommended for both pregnant women and convalescent people to avoid deficiencies of important nutrients and for its tissue regenerative effect.

The presence of phytoestrogens and fatty acids may explain why in ancient traditional recipes they were indicated to improve menstrual disorders.

Ayurvedic medicine uses sesame as a massage oil. When used externally, it is ideal for revitalizing the skin, treating cracks in the hands or relieving cold feet.

Some exquisite seeds

Its nutty flavor is appropriate for both savory dishes and sweet pastries, and as it comes in various presentations – such as oil, tahini or sprouts – it offers different textures and uses that give a lot of play in the kitchen. In addition, sprinkling some seeds on a salad, crepes or muffins always gives them a more colorful and appetizing touch.

Before using the seeds, it is advisable to toast them a little, as they are more digestive. However, if they are going to be used to decorate a cake or a baked or gratin vegetable filling, it is preferable to use them raw to prevent them from roasting too much and drying out.

Santi Ávalos (cook)