Sesame seeds: uses and nutritional benefits

Sesame is the best known plant of the Pedaliaceae family. It is also one of the oldest oil crops in the world. This recognition comes from its seed: Sesame seeds. Sesame seeds are deeply rooted in many culinary cultures: from the Middle East with sesame cream called Tahin or Tahini; to Asian recipes in its liquid form: sesame seed oil. The little seed can also be eaten as is. It is in this form that it is most beneficial to us. Rich in unsaturated fatty acids, proteins, vitamins and minerals, sesame seeds fight against multiple ailments: osteoporosis, menopause, anemia, cholesterol, constipation, etc. In the 1950s, researchers identified the lignans in sesame seeds. This discovery explains the various beneficial properties to health, such as their hypotensive, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory actions, etc. Sesame seeds have been shown to reduce the prevalence of certain cancers (prostate, breast or endometrium). Latin name: Sesamum indicum L. Botanical family: Pedaliaceae. Part used: Seed.

Recommended consumption

Due to the energy density of sesame seeds and their high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids, daily consumption recommendations are defined:

  • in cure or for pleasure, a portion of Sesame seeds, that is 15 g per day, the equivalent of four teaspoons. Start with 5 g and then increase as you go along in order to observe the changes on your digestion in particular.
In what form?

To make the most of their benefits, you can use them :

  • Whole
  • Roasted, toasted
At what time of day?

We advise you to use them during the following meal(s) to take full advantage of their benefits:

  • Lunch
  • Snacks
  • Dinner
What modes of use?

You can incorporate them into the following preparations to make them easier to take:

  • Salad
  • Soup
  • Dessert
  • Dish
Precautions for use
  • Because of their estrogenic activities, we recommend to the pregnant women, nursing women, children of less than 6 years and to the persons reached of a hormonodependent pathology to ask for a medical opinion before consuming Sesame seeds.
  • In case of diverticulosis, Sesame seeds are strongly advised against.
  • Allergen : Sesame.

Health Nutrition Benefits

15g of Sesame seeds contain a significant portion of the Population Nutritional Reference (PNR) of the following nutrients: Fiber, Vitamin B1, Copper, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus and Zinc. They also contain, to a lesser extent, Protein, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B9, Iron, Potassium and Selenium.

As such, Sesame seeds can complement your healthy and varied diet.


A disorder of insulin secretion can lead to type 2 diabetes. Blood sugar levels are not easily regulated by the body. Therefore, the diet must help balance blood sugar levels and not cause a sharp increase in blood sugar levels. Sesame seeds have a low glycemic index: they help balance blood sugar levels and control diabetes. Cholesterol is also lowered by the action of fiber and omega-6. Sesame seeds also prevent the vascular complications of diabetes and hypercholesterolemia by limiting the appearance and development of atheromatous plaques. In addition, phytoestrogens show preventive effects on cardiovascular diseases. This capacity is attributable to Sesame seeds which contain lignans (phyto-estrogens).

Digestive system

Intakes that are too low in fiber promote constipation (see our guide constipation and diet). By their richness in fiber, Sesame seeds optimize intestinal transit. On the hepatic level, Sesame seeds improve the symptoms of alcohol intoxication, alcohol withdrawal or smoking cessation by stimulating liver enzymes.

Cardiac system

Arterial hypertension is multi-factorial. Sesame seeds prevent its appearance by contributing to the intake of potassium, which shows hypotensive effects. In addition, studies show that the lignans in sesame seeds stimulate vasodilatation and extinguish hypertension. The heart also benefits from Sesame seeds, by the contribution of vitamin B1. This last one controls the power of contraction of the cardiac muscle. Moreover, a study to show that the lignans of the seeds of Sesame (sesamin, sesamoline and sesamol) are beneficial in the prevention of the atherothrombotic diseases.

Sexuality and reproduction

Diet can affect a couple's fertility. Fats, especially polyunsaturated fatty acids, are particularly important for the proper functioning of the female reproductive system. Zinc and selenium contribute to male fertility by modulating sperm quality and quantity. Sesame seeds show their interest by their contribution in polyunsaturated fatty acids, zinc and selenium.

Urogenital system

The drop in estrogen production causes what is known as menopause. The symptoms related to hormonal variations are numerous. Phytoestrogens, such as lignans from sesame seeds, improve the clinical signs of menopause.

Circulatory system

Low dietary intakes of iron or vitamin B9 affect erythropoiesis: the formation of red blood cells. Over time, these deficiencies lead to anemia (see our guides: iron deficiency and diet, macrocytic anemia and diet). Sesame seeds will fight against iron or folate (vitamin B9) deficiency. In addition, they are rich in copper, which is involved in the mobilization of iron. Finally, vitamin B6, also found in high concentration in sesame seeds, is anti-anemic.

Nervous system, well-being

A lack of energy, a decrease in performance, the feeling of functioning in slow motion, or feeling irritable... So many sensations which can be caused by nutritional and/or energy deficiencies. The seeds of Sesame give again energy with the organization by their high energy densities and their micronutrients taking part in the energy metabolism, i.e.: copper, magnesium, manganese, iron, phosphorus, zinc, the vitamins B1, B3 and B6. Especially since iron, magnesium, vitamins B3 and B6 are officially recognized to reduce fatigue. On the psychological side, the combo of vitamins B1, B3, B6, B9 rebalance the emotions through their involvement in the design of neurotransmitters. Finally, magnesium is a muscle relaxant. It contributes to the general well-being.

Body, face and hair care

Sesame seeds provide nutrients known for their cosmetic benefits. Copper increases skin and hair pigmentation, which helps protect the skin from the sun's rays and prevents the appearance of white hair. Selenium and zinc contribute to the maintenance of hair and nails. They prevent hair loss and nail splitting. Finally, zinc associated with phosphorus and niacinamine (vitamin B3) promotes the renewal and hydration of the skin, helping to prevent premature aging of the skin, limit redness and dryness.

Bone system

Whether it is in case of fracture or loss of bone density, it is advisable to ensure the needs in minerals and proteins to stimulate the ossification or remineralization of the skeleton. Sesame seeds are vectors of proteins and many minerals which enter the composition of the bones: magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and zinc. The strong point of sesame seeds also comes from the presence of lignans (phyto-estrogens). Lignans have anti-osteoporotic activity and limit bone demineralization (see our guide osteoporosis and diet).

  • Osteoporosis
  • Osteopenia
  • Bone demineralization

Muscles and joints

Sesame seeds are a source of proteins, they contribute to the construction of the muscular mass. Concerning the disorders of the contraction of the muscles: spasms, cramps, etc. Sesame seeds promote muscle relaxation by providing magnesium; while providing the nutrient necessary for muscle contraction: potassium (see our guide muscle cramps and diet). Secondarily, Sesame seeds prevent joint, ligament and tendon damage through copper and manganese. These two trace elements contribute to the maintenance of connective tissue. The connective tissue provides resistance to joints, tendons and ligaments. Within a balanced diet, these nutrients can be indicated in case of :

Hormonal system

Sesame seeds contribute to the proper functioning of the endocrine system. Indeed, these small seeds are vectors of selenium and zinc, recognized for their respective contributions to the thyroid functions and the maintenance of the testosterone in blood. We also find vitamin B6 in interesting quantities. The latter modulates the activity of hormones in general.

Immune system

Nutritional status influences the immune system response. Sesame seeds give a boost to the immune system by providing immunomodulating micronutrients: vitamin B6, copper, iron, selenium, zinc and vitamin B9. The nutrients of Sesame seeds reinforce the benefits of a varied and balanced diet. They will participate in the good functioning of immunity.

Ocular system

The decline in vision can be slowed by optimal dietary intake. For example, zinc is involved in the metabolism of vitamin A (a vitamin essential for vision) and in the functioning of photoreceptor cells. It is by the zinc contribution that sesame seeds contribute to the vision.

Oral system

Phosphorus and magnesium are stored in the bones and teeth. They contribute to the mineralization of these tissues. Teeth and bones are constantly being renewed, so it is necessary to provide the body with enough minerals on a daily basis. A decrease in the mineralization of the dental enamel exposes the dentin, which increases the sensitivity to food sensations: cold, hot. Sesame seeds contribute to the intake of magnesium and phosphorus.

Children and babies

Cell division allows to obtain two cells from a mother cell. It allows the body to develop tissues (growth) or to renew damaged tissues. Cell division requires the presence of certain nutrients, such as magnesium, iron and zinc. Sesame seeds can claim to help growth by providing these three minerals that play a role in the cell division process.

Nutritional properties

Main properties

  • Hypocholesterolemic (fiber, omega-6, phytosterol, polyphenol, flavonoid): thanks to these nutrients, Sesame seeds decrease the absorption of cholesterol and lower LDL-cholesterolemia (the bad cholesterol).
  • Antioxidant (copper, manganese, selenium, zinc): sesame seeds neutralize free radicals. They provide the cofactors of the body's antioxidant enzymes: copper, manganese, selenium and zinc. The antioxidant activity of sesame seeds has been extensively studied and seems to be linked to its lignans (sesamol, sesamolinol, pinoresinol and sesaminol). In addition, a 2007 study evaluated the impact of Sesame seed lignans on the metabolism of vitamin E (antioxidant vitamin). The latter suggests that Sesame seed lignans improve the biological activity of vitamin E.
  • Hypotensive (lignan, sodium, potassium, vitamin B1): sesame seeds are naturally low in sodium and high in potassium. This perfect ratio promotes blood pressure balance. This balance is favorable to the health of the heart. Moreover, the presence of vitamin B1 in sesame seeds is beneficial for the contraction strength of the heart. As well as the contribution in lignan inhibits the appearance of the disorders of the blood pressure.
  • Anti-atherogenic (lignan): a study has shown that the lignans (sesamol, sesamin and semolin) in Sesame seeds have antithrombotic activity. This study carried out on mice attests that Sesame seeds can be amply introduced without a diet aimed at preventing thrombotic diseases. Note that the perisperm of lignan seeds is the part containing more lignan. It is therefore advisable to promote whole Sesame seeds to take advantage of this property (in favor of pureed Sesame seeds: tahini).
  • Oestrogen-like (lignan): the estrogenic activity of Sesame seeds has been shown to be beneficial in reducing the incidence of certain cancers: prostate, breast and endometrial.
  • Hepatic detoxifier (lignan): a scientific study suggests that sesamin improves liver detoxifying function. It is thought to modulate the activity of enzymes (GOT, GPT, ASAT and ALAT).
  • Cardiovascular protector (lignan): with regard to the hypocholesterolemic, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, Sesame seeds fight against the onset of cardiovascular disorder. In addition, the lignans of Sesame seeds protect against cardiovascular diseases.

Secondary properties

  • Contributing to energy metabolism (lipid, copper, magnesium, manganese, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, vitamin B3, vitamin B6): more than the majority of the energy provided by Sesame seeds is of lipid origin. Lipids have a high energy density. Before producing energy from macronutrients, the body must break them down. For this, many metabolic chains are necessary. Sesame seeds contribute to the functioning of these metabolic chains by providing copper, magnesium, manganese, iron, phosphorus, zinc, vitamins B1, B3 and B6.
  • Hair Strengthener (copper, selenium, zinc): through their micronutrients, Sesame seeds stimulate strength and influence hair pigmentation. Selenium and zinc are known to bring strength to the hair. Copper stimulates the production of melanin, a dark pigment that gives hair its darker or lighter color.
  • Appetite regulator (fiber, fat, protein): sesame seeds have an extremely low glycemic index. This index helps to harmonize blood sugar levels, which promotes the feeling of satiety between meals.
  • Glycemic control (fiber, fat, protein): thanks to their nutritional composition: rich in fiber, fat and protein, Sesame seeds moderate the glycemic load of meals. The absorption of the carbohydrates is slow, leaving time to the body to organize this carbohydrate contribution. Thus, the seeds of Sesame fight against the variations of glycemia.
  • Fortifying (selenium, zinc): selenium and zinc contribute to nail strength.
  • Remineralizing (lignan, magnesium, manganese, protein, phosphorus, zinc): sesame seeds are full of minerals. These participate in the mineralization of teeth and bones. Proteins also participate in the solidity of the bone. Finally, the lignans (phyto-oestrogen) stimulate the osteoblasts, the cells responsible for ossification.
  • Contributing to fertility (selenium, zinc): these nutrients give Sesame seeds an interest in male fertility. Indeed, selenium contributes to the synthesis of spermatozoa. As for zinc, it enters the composition of the seminal liquid and contributes to the maintenance of the rate of testosterone in blood (the testosterone is an androgenic hormone, it is necessary to the development of the sexual functions in the man).
  • Immunomodulating (copper, iron, selenium, vitamin B9, zinc, vitamin B6): through their contributions in immunomodulating micronutrients, Sesame seeds positively influence the immune system.
  • Mental tonic (iron, zinc): sesame seeds fight against iron and zinc deficiencies that cause a decline in cognitive functions.
  • Participating in muscle function (protein, magnesium, potassium): sesame seeds contribute to muscle function. Their protein intake limits muscle catabolism. Magnesium and potassium, similarly found in Sesame seeds, play a role in muscle contraction.
  • Skin regenerator (copper, magnesium, iron, zinc): sesame seeds contribute to cell renewal by providing micronutrients essential to this process (magnesium, iron and zinc). Moreover, they stimulate the production of melanin, via the presence of copper.
  • Skin balancer (vitamin B3, zinc, copper): sesame seeds provide all the nutrients needed to limit the appearance of blemishes: copper, zinc and vitamin B3. It regulates sebum production and reduces the appearance of wrinkles and pigment spots.
  • Emotional balancer (magnesium, vitamin B1, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, vitamin B9): the vitamins of the B group present in Sesame seeds participate in the production of neurotransmitters: serotonin, acetylcholine, dopamine, GABA, etc... Associated with magnesium, which supports the feeling of appeasement by its myorelaxing power, Sesame seeds promote emotional balance.
  • Acid-base balancer (zinc): sesame seeds are rich in zinc: 100 g of seed covers 72% of daily zinc requirements. Zinc is the only nutrient recognized for its action on acid-base metabolism: it stimulates the physiological balance of blood pH.
  • Laxative (fiber): sesame seeds prove to be rich in fiber which stimulates digestive transit. Fiber absorbs water from the fecal bolus, which increases the fecal mass, and thus their evacuation.
  • Contributing to normal vision (zinc): thanks to zinc, Sesame seeds participate in the functioning of photoreceptor cells as well as in the metabolism of vitamin A (vitamin essential to vision).
  • Anti-fatigue (magnesium, iron, vitamin B8, vitamin B6, vitamin B3): sesame seeds are composed of magnesium, iron, vitamin B9, vitamin B6 and vitamin B3. All have in common the capacity to reduce fatigue.
  • Antianemic (copper, iron, vitamin B9, vitamin B6): sesame seeds provide iron, vitamin B9 and vitamin B6. These three micronutrients are essential in the process of red blood cell synthesis. In addition, copper participates in the transport of iron. As a result, iron becomes easily mobilized by the body.

Nutritional values

*Recommended Daily Allowance

Learn more about the plant : Sesame

Sesame is an annual plant belonging to the Pedaliaceae family. Historically, the cultivation of Sesame has always been important, since it is estimated that it is one of the first oil plants that man cultivated. Throughout history, it has been particularly valued for its contribution to food and medicine. It would have arrived from the Middle East, more than 5000 years ago. Today, Sesame is mainly cultivated in India, China, Korea, Russia, Turkey, South America and several African countries.

The long stem of Sesame can measure up to 2 m. The flowers are of light yellow color, in corolla. The fruit is a capsule and contains the Sesame seeds, which range in color from white to black. About 70% of the sesame seeds are transformed into oil or reduced to flour. The remaining 30% are used in the food industry to be consumed as is or pureed.

Did you know that?

Sesame seeds have always been incorporated into traditional medicines. In Asia and the Middle East, they were used to treat a wide range of conditions, from the common cold and jaundice to asthma and flu. They also play an important role in Ayurvedic medicine.

Sesame seeds... Seeds in bulk

18 notes

See the product