In this brief article, we are going to answer the question “can you eat raw sesame seeds?” and we will discuss its various uses and health benefits.
Yes, you can eat raw sesame seeds. Sesame seeds come from the plant Sesamum indicum. Seeds are mostly shelled and have a golden-brown hue, but they can also be eaten without the husk. They are rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Sesame seeds offer various health benefits and consuming them regularly may prevent heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.
They are processed and cooked, used in various recipes and dishes. You can benefit from their many nutritional benefits by eating them raw. They contain healthy fats, protein, fiber, and “more calcium than an 8-ounce cup of milk” in just a quarter-up.
However, even more nutritional value can be gained when they have been crushed or pulverized, and the seeds become full in flavor after being crushed and cooked. They truly are full of beneficial nutrition.
The difference between black and white sesame seeds
White sesame seeds are more popular than black ones, but black seeds are famous in Asia. Despite their similarities in taste and nutrition, they are quite distinct from each other.
One of the most distinctive features is their color, which can also change the color of the dish they are being used in. Second, black sesame seeds have a slightly bitter flavor and a pronounced nuttiness and maybe a bit strong in taste that is not liked by many.
But the nutrition content of both white and black sesame is about the same, containing the same amount of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. They are a great source of copper, calcium, iron, manganese, and more minerals, and regular consumption may help your body combat different diseases and make use of various rare minerals.
Sesame seeds are beneficial for health in a number of ways, some of the health benefits of consuming sesame seeds are:
Help lower cholesterol levels
Eating sesame seeds may help decrease cholesterol levels and fatty acids in the body, ultimately improving blood flow and heart health. They contain a larger amount of unsaturated fatty acids than saturated fats.
Moreover, sesame seeds contain lignans and phytosterols, which are plant compounds that can help lower cholesterol.
Help lower blood pressure
Sesame seeds are high in magnesium and vitamin E that help in lowering blood pressure. Other essential compounds, such as lignans, and antioxidants stop plaque formation in arteries and contribute to better blood circulation.
The antioxidant and antibacterial properties of sesame seeds are helpful in fighting infectious agents in the body. Various nutrients and minerals present in seeds are being studied for their potential role in infection prevention.
May Support Healthy Bones
The hull of the sesame seeds is rich in calcium that promotes bone formation and their health. If seeds are consumed with the husk, 22% of the calcium recommended daily intake is fulfilled. While only 1%, if consumed unhulled.
Consuming sesame seeds may help in lowering inflammation. They may decrease inflammatory markers by 51‒79% after their regular consumption, a study showed. Moreover, sesame oil is thought to be highly effective in mitigating inflammation.
Support Immune System
Various nutrients present in sesame seeds are crucial in boosting the immune system. Crucial minerals, such as zinc, selenium, copper, iron, vitamin B6, and vitamin E are present in these seeds.
Support Thyroid Health
Selenium present in hulled and unhulled seeds plays a vital role in the production of thyroid hormones. Other minerals, such as iron, copper, zinc, and vitamin B6, aid in thyroid health
Maintain Hormone Balance
There are a few plant compounds present in sesame seeds that are identical to the hormone estrogen.
Therefore, females should try to consume seeds of sesame when their estrogen levels drop during menopause.
Mitigate arthritic Knee Pain
Sesamin, an essential compound specific to sesame seeds, is quite useful against inflammation and arthritis. Studies have shown that people with knee arthritis showed a significant reduction in knee pain after consuming sesame seeds daily.
How sesame seeds can be consumed
Sesame seeds are crunchy in texture and give off a nutty flavor. They can also be roasted to enhance flavors and nutrients.
They can be added to:
- Steamed broccoli
- Hot or cold cereal
- Granola and granola bars
- Bread and muffins
- Salad dressing
Harmful substances in sesame seeds
Natural compounds oxalates and phytates present in sesame seeds are antinutrients that reduce the absorption of these minerals.
Due to this, seeds are soaked, roasted or sprouted to get rid of antinutrients. Sprouting can reduce the levels of phytates and oxalates present in seeds by 50% in both hulled and unhulled seeds.
Other FAQs about Sesame seeds that you may be interested in.
In this brief guide, we answered the question “Can you eat raw sesame seeds?”, and we also provided various health benefits of consuming them.