Superfood 101: Sesame Seeds!

A native of India, organic sesame seed is rich in vitamins and minerals and has been used as a healing herb for millennia. The plant is a tall annual of the Pedaliaceae family growing up to five feet and bearing pink-white foxglove-like flowers. The pods contain white, brown or black seeds arranged in vertical rows. The plant flourishes in well-drained sandy soil in a tropical climate and can be found throughout Asia and Africa. Though not used as extensively in Europe, the plant found its way to America with the slave traders and has been cultivated in the Carolinas.

Organic sesame seed is one of the super foods providing a myriad of vitamins, minerals, proteins and beneficial compounds. It is rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acid – which comprise up to fifty percent of each seed – helping to prevent coronary artery disease and stroke. It has a substantial amount of B-complex vitamins that include niacin, folic acid, thiamin (vitamin B1), pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and riboflavin. It is excellent for children as its protein content provides quality amino acids that are significant for growth and it can be found in many foods that appeal to children.

Organic sesame seeds are rich in minerals with a high concentration of calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, magnesium, selenium and copper, which are vital to the production of red corpuscles, enzyme synthesis, hormone production and the regulation of cardiac health and skeletal muscle activities. They also contain several beneficial compounds that are phenolic anti-oxidants, which control the development of harmful free radicals in the body.

Just a handful of organic sesame seeds a day provides enough recommended levels of phenolic anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins and protein. They enhance healthy skin, are a beneficial source of protein for vegetarians, are advantageous for oral hygiene, aid in the prevention of diabetes, promote excellent cardio-vascular health, prevent cancer, are beneficial for bone health and aid digestion.

There are many recipes that include organic sesame seeds like main courses, desserts, candies and side dishes. They are added to breads, made into crunchy noodles, included in salads and are a tasty addition to vegetable dishes. As a main dish there are recipes for sesame chicken, sesame stir-fried shrimp and sesame beef. Desserts and candy include cookies, honey sesame cashew brittle and halvah. For a quick lunch, organic sesame seeds ground into tahini and jam make a great sandwich.

Organic sesame seed is a highly nutritious food to be included in any menu. 

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