7 Surprising health benefits of sesame seeds

Sesame seeds and sesame seed oil have been a longtime staple in Asian and Middle Eastern dishes, but have you incorporated this little powerful seed into your own cooking yet? Not only do sesame seeds pack in tons nutrients without overpowering in taste, but they're also proven to have lots of health benefits. Plus, they're so easy to slip into your diet!

Below are seven reasons why you might want to start throwing in a handful of sesame seeds into your meals for your health.

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  1. If you're looking to add much needed vitamins and minerals, sesame seeds are a great source of copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc molybdenum, and selenium.
  2. Copper works to reduce the pain and swelling associated with rheumatoid arthritis because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It also helps maintain strong and flexible bones, joints, and blood vessels.
  3. Magnesium helps lower high blood pressure, migraines, and helps menopausal women get better sleep at night.
  4. It's a well-known fact that a diet rich in calcium will help prevent osteoporosis, but the mineral is also good for protecting colon cells against cancer and reducing PMS symptoms. Just make sure your sesame seeds are unhulled, meaning the the whole sesame seed is used, to get more calcium per serving.
  5. Zinc also plays a factor in bone health and is said to be good for sexual health in men as it stimulates the production of testosterone and sperm. Another great reason to up the zinc in your diet: it helps keep your skin healthy because it stimulates the production of collagen.
  6. Sesame seeds are a great source of fiber as its two unique substances, sesamin and sesamolin, are part of a fiber group called lignans that could lower cholesterol and prevent high blood pressure. Fiber is also great for aiding in digestion and keeping you regular.
  7. To increase your protein intake, try adding sesame seeds to granola, stir fry recipes, homemade baked goods, and salads.
Images via Flickr/Quinn Dombrowski

Topics: diet  digestion  eating healthy  health  healthy eating  healthy habits  heart health