The Power of Black Sesame Seeds

What are black sesame seeds?

Black sesame seeds are small, flat and oily seeds that grow from a plant called sesamum indicum.1 They are popular in Asian cultures & are commonly used in different types of food recipes. Black sesame seeds are known to be highly nutritious.

Nutritional content

2 Tablespoons (14g) of black sesame seeds contain the following:

Good oils such as monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats contribute to the high fat content of black sesame seeds. Black sesame seeds also contain macrominerals such as calcium, magnesium, manganese and copper.1 

Cardiovascular Health Benefits

The American Heart Association recommends eating foods containing monounsaturated oils (good), and polyunsaturated oils (great) in place of bad fats such as trans fat or saturated fats.2 The high content of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in black sesame seeds contributes positively to cardiovascular health, therefore reducing the risk of stroke and heart attack. 

Antioxidant Properties

Black sesame seeds are able to reduce oxidative stress, particularly for people with chronic diseases.3 The antioxidant effects of black sesame seeds can counter the effects of oxidative stress such as cell, DNA and tissue damage which leads to aging and certain chronic diseases. 

Other Health Benefits

  1. It may improve blood pressure (a small study showed a reduction in systolic blood pressure after 4 weeks of subjects having an intake of 2.5g of black sesame seeds daily)1
  2. It may promote healthy hair and skin (due to its antioxidant and oil content)5
  3. It may help in constipation (due to its high fiber and lubricating effects of its oil)5

How Is It Consumed?

  1. Black sesame seeds pounded into powder form is commonly used in Asian desserts such as black sesame soup, cookies, etc. 

(Black sesame seed powder is available in all CARiNG Pharmacy outlets and e-Store)

 2. As a garnish or salad dressing

 3. As a flavour for ice cream

Fun facts: What’s the Difference?

  1. White sesame seeds: They are less nutty, softer and mild flavour compared to black sesame seeds. Many white sesame seeds have their hull (shell) removed and are therefore softer as well as slightly less nutritious compared to its black counterparts.  
  2. Sesame oil: It is an oil extracted from sesame seeds. Its nutty taste makes it ideal to enhance the flavour of dishes. 

 

Reference:

  1. Black sesame seeds: Nutrition, Benefits and More. C Synder & J Kubala. Healthline. Web accessed Dec 2020. Weblink: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/black-sesame-seeds-benefits
  2. Polyunsaturated fats. American Heart Association. Web accessed Dec 2020. Weblink: https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/fats/polyunsaturated-fats
  3. Effects of the Intake of Sesame Seeds (Sesamum indicum L.) and Derivatives on Oxidative Stress: A Systematic Review. LAV Gouveia, CA Cardoso, ASB Moreira, et al. (2016) J Med Food.
  4. 5 Health Benefits of Black Sesame Seeds for Better Digestion and Healthier Bones. A Saha. NDTV food. Web accessed Dec 2020. Weblink: https://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/5-healthy-benefits-of-sesame-seeds-for-better-digestion-and-healthier-bones-1416030