Sesame seeds

Healthy Eating Advisor
Ask Felicity

15 May 2018

An introduction to sesame seeds

Sesame seeds come from a plant called sesame which grows in tropical regions like Italy, India, Sudan and Tanzania. These plants contain capsules alongside their flowers and it is inside these we can find sesame seeds. However, these protective capsules only open when the sesame seeds are completely ripe. 

These little seeds also have a high oil content which can be used to cook with and to add an extra nutty flavour to the likes of salads.

Varieties of sesame seeds

Sesame seeds come in a variety of colours depending on how they have been produced. This includes brown, red, black, yellow and ivory, with darker seeds providing the most flavour.

These seeds can be used in a variety of bakes including pastries, biscuits and bread. However, along with these sweet dishes, sesame seeds can be used to add crunch to salads, stir fry and marinades too! Also, sesame seeds can be ground to a paste and then made into tahini thus showing their versatility.

Nutritional information

Sesame seeds contain an abundance of minerals such as iron, phosphorus, potassium and calcium. Vitamins A and B are also present, alongside protein and carbohydrates. 

Nutritional value of 25g of sesame seeds: 143 calories, 13g fat, 5.75g carbohydrate, 4.5g protein.

Health benefits

Vitamin A, which is contained in plentiful amounts in sesame seeds, is needed to maintain good eye health. However, by encouraging cell development, it promotes healthy skin as well. Vitamin B on the other hand, which is also present in sesame seeds, provides a steady release of energy.

The presence of iron in sesame seeds means this ingredient also helps to maintain energy levels. This makes it a great snack for afternoon slumps or morning workouts too.

Sesame seed recipes

Easy broccoli stir-fry with sesame and chilli

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