Food Focus: Sesame Seeds & Tahini

Did you know…

Tahini is mentioned as an ingredient in hummus in the 13th century Arabic cookbook, Kitab Wasf al-Atima al-Mutada.

Tahini is a fantastic way to eat large quantities of the highly beneficial and therapeutic sesame seed.

Sesame seeds contain two exclusive compounds; sesamin and sesamolin, types of lignans shown to regulate cholesterol and high blood pressure for potent heart protection. They also revitalise vitamin E to increase the antioxidant activity in our bodies, particularly in the skin to help heal scars and blemishes and prevent age spots. Sesame seeds have the highest levels of phytosterols, vital for immune function and lowering cholesterol. It is much better to get them from food rather than expensive health products – sesame seeds also contain the fat-soluble nutrients beta-carotene and vitamin E which are important antioxidants and can be lowered by these products.

• Sesamin helps prevent damage in the liver from the toxins it is exposed to, keeping it eliminating ageing wastes.
• High vitamin B3, phosphorus and calcium keep bones strong and youthful.
• High omega 6 oils and zinc for healthy female hormone balance, also affecting positive mood and bone health.

Practical Tip
Tahini or sesame seed paste is a useful addition to the kitchen cupboard and can be mixed with olive oil for a dressing, used as a spread or added to falafel as traditionally used in the Middle East. Choose the darker version as this does not have the nutritious outer hull removed, although it can be a little rich for some tastes. You can also simply buy the seeds and sprinkle liberally on salads – the black varieties are really tasty, look great and the dark colours provide and extra host of antioxidants.

Total fat 48 g
Monounsaturated fat 18.1 g
Omega 6 oils 20657 mg
Omega 9 oils 17900 mg
Protein 17.81 g
Carbohydrate 26.19 g
Fibre 3.5 g
Vitamin B1 1.28 mg
Vitamin B2 0.51 mg
Vitamin B3 5.93 mg
Vitamin B5 0.69 mg
Vitamin B6 0.15 mg
Folate 98 mcg
Calcium 420 mg
Phosphorus 752 mg
Potassium 414 mg
Iron 2.51 mg
Zinc 4.64 mg
Phytosterols 400 mg

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