Sesame: The Super Food
Sesame is a plant-derived food, containing high-value vegetable protein. It is also rich in amino acids such as methionine, arginine, lysine, and others. Thus, when combined with lysine-containing foods such as legumes and nuts, the resulting proteins are of high biological value and availability as they approach the biological value of animal proteins.
It contains phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, zinc, selenium and lignin that have significant antioxidant properties. The high nutritional value of sesame is also due to the fatty acids it contains. Of these, 45% are monounsaturated, 40% polyunsaturated and only 15% saturated. The increased presence of polyunsaturated fatty acids makes sesame a particularly nutritious food, as these acids cannot be synthesized by the human body, so it is considered necessary to be taken through your diet.
Proven Health Benefits:
Cancer prevention: sesamole inhibits the harmful effect of free radicals.
Cholesterol regulation: due to the many antioxidants it contains.
Antihypertensive – antithrombotic action: sesame’s sesamin component inhibits both blood pressure increase and cerebral thrombosis.
Protection against pain and symptoms of knee osteoarthritis.
Reduces the risk of muscle injuries.
Prevention of diabetes and eye cataract.
Anti-aging properties: due to high vitamin E content and lignin action, i.e. sesaminol and sesamin.
Oral Health: Prevents tooth decay, bad breath, gum bleeding, dry throat and reduces dental plaque.
Skin Health: Zinc in sesame oil soothes skin irritations, cures acne, pimples and black spots. Heals wounds and skin imperfections and because of the proteins it contains shows strong antibacterial action.
The story of Sesame
Sesame is produced from the Sesamum indicum annual plant. India was formerly considered the country of origin of sesame, but today it is believed to be Sudan, where many wild species of the plant have been found. It is considered to be one of the earliest annual oil producing cultivated plants and its seeds are characterized by many scientists as “complete food”.
The oldest reference to the use of sesame seeds comes from an Assyrian myth, which states that the gods drank wine from sesame on the night before the creation of the Earth. Before Moses, the Egyptians ground the seeds and used sesame in flour form. The Chinese used it for lighting, 5000 years ago, and produced soot by burning oil to make the best Chinese ink. Hindu legends and beliefs refer to it as a symbol of immortality.
The word sesame (σησάμι) comes from the Arabic word “semsin”. In ancient Greece, it was called «σέσαμον» (sesamon). Sesame has been found at the tomb of Tutankhamun (14th century BC) and Cape Thira (1628 BC). Over the years, the seeds have been ranked as raw material for the production of various foods as well as for the production of oil. Sesame oil is the main dietary fat used in the Middle and Far East cuisine.