Sesame tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds. Sesame seeds provide many nutrients, but the body finds it difficult to absorb them due to their hard outer shell.
30 grams of sesame seeds contain three times more iron than 30 grams of beef liver, which is known as a food high in iron. Sesame seeds also contain more phytosterols than all other nuts and seeds, which are important for lowering cholesterol and have anti-cancer effects. (1)
Consuming sesame seeds in the form of sesame tahini allows the body to better absorb the nutrients they provide. It is an extremely versatile food product and can be successfully used in the preparation of both sweet and savory dishes. Even better is that it is extremely rich in important vitamins and minerals!
There are two main types of tahini: peeled and unpeeled seeds. Unpeeled is a better choice, as it is prepared from whole sesame seeds, while its nutritional value remains intact. Sesame tahini made from peeled seeds usually loses some of its nutritional value during processing.
Why is sesame tahini good for health?
- it is rich in minerals such as phosphorus, lecithin, magnesium, potassium, and iron;
- it is a good source of methionine, which helps detoxify the liver;
- one of the best sources of calcium;
- has a high content of vitamin E and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, and B15;
- helps promote healthy cell growth;
- prevents anemia;
- contributes to healthy skin and optimal muscle tone;
- contains 20% pure protein, which makes it a richer source of protein than most nuts;
- the high content of alkaline minerals makes it an easily digestible food, and this is great for supporting weight loss;
- has a high content of unsaturated (“good”) fats
Provides a number of important nutrients
According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, 2 tablespoons of roasted sesame tahini from roasted sesame seeds contains 178 calories, 16 grams of fat, 6 grams of carbohydrates (3 grams of fiber and 0 grams of sugar), and 5 grams of protein.
The same amount (2 tablespoons) provides 30% of daily needs for thiamine, 24% of those of magnesium, 22% of phosphorus, 14% of iron, and 12% of calcium.
Source of vitamin B1
Sesame tahini contains a good combination of B vitamins and especially thiamine (vitamin B1). Most people are able to meet their needs for B vitamins only through food, as they are well absorbed by the body and are in sufficient quantities in ordinary foods such as bread and cereals.
However, our body needs thiamine to metabolize fats and proteins and help convert carbohydrates into glucose, which the body uses to produce energy. (2)
Source of iron
It can be quite difficult to get the amount of iron you need from food alone, especially if you don’t eat meat. Iron is needed in the diet because it plays an important role in the production of red blood cells, which carry oxygen to all cells in the body.
The need for iron in women is even greater because through menstruation they lose blood and the body constantly needs iron to restore these red blood cells. One serving of sesame tahini contains approximately the same amount of iron as a 100 grams piece of red meat. (3)
This is a great fact for vegetarians and vegans who need non-animal sources of iron.
Source of copper
One of the most important minerals contained in sesame tahini is the trace element copper, which is well known for its ability to relieve pain and reduce swelling. It has an anti-inflammatory effect, which is especially effective in relieving the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Tahini is also rich in magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese. Asthmatic patients can benefit from it, as high levels of magnesium help relieve asthma symptoms.
Tahini is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
Although the fat content of sesame seeds is high, 90% of them are actually “good” fats. One tablespoon of sesame tahini contains 85 calories, and 65 of them are essential fats.
Sesame tahini also contains phytonutrients that prevent liver damage caused by oxidation.
One tablespoon of sesame tahini provides 1 gram of dietary fiber, 3 grams of protein, and 9-12% of the recommended daily intake of iron, selenium, and zinc.
This richness of essential vitamins and other nutrients makes sesame tahini an extremely healthy food.
Strengthens brain activity
The fatty acids contained in sesame tahini are responsible for the stimulating effect on the development of nerve tissues in the body, which in turn helps to improve brain health. Omega-3 fatty acids help improve thinking and memory, and manganese improves nerve and brain function. (5)
An animal study suggests that the antioxidants in sesame tahini may help prevent the formation of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain, which is characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease.
However, more human research is still needed on the effects of tahini on brain health.
Improves heart health
According to research, omega-3 fatty acids not only lower cholesterol levels in the body but also help in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases associated with inflammation. Although each teaspoon contains 8 grams of fat, 80 percent of them are unsaturated, which has no adverse effects on heart health. (6)
The exact amount of omega-3 fatty acids cannot be calculated, but it is estimated that 4 tablespoons of sesame tahini or 30 grams of sesame seeds contain about 0.1 grams of omega-3 fatty acids. This represents between 6 and 9% of the recommended daily intake.
Sesame tahini is high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Studies show that consuming these types of fats can lower cholesterol levels as well as reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Sesame seeds contain unique lignans sesamin and sesamol, which have been shown to lower cholesterol.
The calcium and magnesium in sesame tahini also help lower blood pressure naturally.
Sesame tahini contains four particularly important nutrients – iron, selenium, zinc, and copper. They provide stable support for the immune system. Iron and copper are included in the structure of enzymes that support the immune system and are also needed in the process of producing white blood cells.
Zinc supports the development and ability of white blood cells to neutralize microbes. Selenium supports enzymatic function, including the synthesis of antioxidants and antibodies, as well as the efficient functioning of the immune system. (7)
Lignans – chemical compounds found in certain plants – have a structure that closely resembles that of natural estrogen. Sesamin and sesamol lignans in sesame tahini are able to bind to estrogen receptors and reduce the risk of hormone-related cancers. (8)
Strengthens the bones
If you avoid consuming dairy products, it is very likely that the calcium in your diet will be insufficient to meet the needs of the body. One serving of sesame tahini provides 4% of daily calcium needs, which is twice as much as a serving of peanut butter.
Calcium and phosphorus (another mineral found in sesame tahini) help build bone mass and optimize bone density. (9)
The high content of magnesium in sesame tahini contributes to maintaining healthy bones, as adequate magnesium intake is associated with higher bone density and reduced risk of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.
It does not contain harmful ingredients
Check the nutrient content on the label of sesame tahini and you will most likely see one ingredient – sesame seeds. Depending on the brand, there may be a little salt, but the amount of salt is not enough to worry about – most single servings contain only 50 mg.
Sesame tahini has no added sugars, preservatives, or chemicals to prevent you from consuming it directly from the jar. Just don’t eat the whole jar at one meal, as it’s essentially a high-calorie food, with about 200 calories per 2 tablespoons. Therefore, the amount of the portion is important!
Sesame tahini uses
Sesame tahini is a fantastic food that provides many health benefits and is an easy and affordable way to provide your body with important nutrients to help you maintain your health. If you want to add it to your daily menu, you can do it in the following ways:
- Make a delicious sesame tahini salad with apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and fresh turmeric.
- Mix it with avocado puree and you will get an extremely healthy dish.
- Make hummus by mixing sesame tahini with chickpeas and a little garlic.
- Make healthy sesame tahini cakes with cocoa or honey.
- Walnut candies with tahini and honey
- Use it as a seasoning for burgers and other meats.
- Sesame tahini is a major component of classic hummus. Every time you consume traditional hummus, you consume sesame tahini.
- Sesame tahini can be added to salads, soups, and vegetables. To prepare the salad dressing, add a little water, lemon juice, and olive oil to a few tablespoons of sesame tahini.
- To add more protein to breakfast, add yogurt with fruit and muesli, 2 tablespoons of sesame tahini.
- You can use it as a substitute for peanut butter, as it has the same creamy texture and nutty flavor like it, but is safe for people suffering from allergies to nuts.
The separation of sesame tahini oil during storage is normal. To avoid this, try storing it with the cap down in the refrigerator.
Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of The Sized delivered to your inbox daily.