Can Sesame Seeds Benefit Your Health?
Sesame (sometimes called benniseed) is a popular ingredient that is often found in Indian, Middle Eastern and Asian cuisines. In many countries of the world, sesame seeds are also included in vegetarian dishes to provide an additional source of protein. In the United States, sesame is most often used to top baked goods, such as bread and buns, as well as an ingredient in marinades, veggie burgers, granola bars, trail mix and hummus. Since dark sesame oil and golden gingelly oil are vegetable-based, they are preferred cooking oils for those following a heart healthy diet.
Multiple Health Benefits
In addition to being a good source of iron, zinc and protein, multiple research studies have reported significant health benefits for managing common medical conditions to include:
A study published in Clinical Nutrition gave Type 2 diabetics the option of taking their normal medication* with or without a sesame oil supplement. Participants in the combined group had lower blood glucose levels. Researchers attributed the effective improvement to a synergistic effect of sesame oil with blood glucose medications.
*NOTE: It is never recommended that anyone being treated for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus skip or delay taking medication for hyperglycemia. In fact, the best results were obtained by those who took a sesame supplement in combination with a prescription medicine.
A study published in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases had participants who suffered with osteoarthritis of the knee add 4 tablespoons of powdered sesame seeds to an over-the-counter (acetaminophen and glucosamine) pain reliever. The two-month study concluded that those taking a combination of treatments reported the greatest pain relief.
High Blood Pressure
Multiple studies have suggested that consuming sesame supplements can lower blood pressure. A test group of people with pre-hypertension who were instructed to take capsules of black sesame seed meal for one month had a significant reduction in the top number for blood pressure readings. On average, the systemic blood pressure was reduced by 8 points.
In a 2016 publication of the Journal of Medicinal Food, researchers at the University of Rio de Janeiro assessed the results of multiple studies and reported positive effects of consuming sesame-based ingredients in people with high blood pressure, cholesterol problems, and Type 2 Diabetes. In particular, the consumption of sesame seeds may protect against oxidative damage caused by chronic disease by increasing particular antioxidants (such as vitamin E) and enzymes (such as glutathione peroxidase) in the blood.
Ask a Doctor Before Taking Supplements
It is not recommended that you suddenly start taking supplements with high concentrations of sesame products without talking to a healthcare professional. At PrimeMed, our doctors can perform a routine examination, and coupled with your medical history, can determine whether a sesame supplement could benefit your overall wellness. So, continue to enjoy the flavor that sesame seeds and sesame oil adds to your foods and schedule an appointment to discuss any medical treatments with a board certified physician at either PrimeMed location.