May Support Your Immune System

May Support Your Immune System

Rich in Antioxidants
Animal and human studies suggest that consuming sesame seeds may increase the overall amount of antioxidant activity in your blood (23Trusted Source, 42Trusted Source).

The lignans in sesame seeds function as antioxidants, which help fight oxidative stress — a chemical reaction that may damage your cells and increase your risk of many chronic diseases (43Trusted Source, 44Trusted Source).

, sesame seeds contain a form of vitamin E called gamma-tocopherol, an antioxidant that may be especially protective against heart disease. (45Trusted Source, 46Trusted Source).

SUMMARY
Plant compounds and vitamin E in sesame seeds function as antioxidants, which combat oxidative stress in your body.
11. May Support Your Immune System
Sesame seeds are a good source of several nutrients crucial for your immune system, including zinc, selenium, copper, iron, vitamin B6, and vitamin E (3Trusted Source, 47Trusted Source).

For example, your body needs zinc to develop and activate certain white blood cells that recognize and attack invading microbes.

Keep in mind that even mild to moderate zinc deficiency can impair immune system activity (48).

Sesame seeds supply about 20% of the RDI for zinc in a 3-tablespoon (30-gram) serving (3Trusted Source).

SUMMARY
Sesame seeds are a good source of several nutrients that are important for immune system function, including zinc, selenium, copper, iron, vitamin B6, and vitamin E.
12. May Soothe Arthritic Knee Pain
Osteoarthritis is the most common cause of joint pain and frequently affects the knees.

Several factors may play a role in arthritis, including inflammation and oxidative damage to the cartilage that cushions joints (49Trusted Source).

Sesamin, a compound in sesame seeds, has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that may protect your cartilage (50Trusted Source, 51Trusted Source).

In a 2-month study, people with knee arthritis ate 5 tablespoons (40 grams) of sesame seed powder daily alongside drug therapy. They experienced a 63% decrease in knee pain compared to only a 22% decrease for the group on drug therapy alone.

Additionally, the sesame seed group showed greater improvement in a simple mobility test and larger reductions in certain inflammatory markers compared to the control group (49Trusted Source, 52Trusted Source).

SUMMARY
Sesamin, a compound in sesame seeds, may help reduce joint pain and support mobility in arthritis of the knee.
13. May Support Thyroid Health
Sesame seeds are a good source of selenium, supplying 18% of the RDI in both unhulled and hulled seeds (3Trusted Source).

Your thyroid gland contains the highest concentration of selenium of any organ in your body. This mineral plays a vital role in making thyroid hormones (53, 54Trusted Source).

In addition, sesame seeds are a good source of iron, copper, zinc, and vitamin B6, which also support the production of thyroid hormones and aid thyroid health (55Trusted Source, 56Trusted Source, 57Trusted Source).

SUMMARY
Sesame seeds are good sources of nutrients — such as selenium, iron, copper, zinc, and vitamin B6 — that support thyroid health.
14. May Aid Hormone Balance During Menopause
Sesame seeds contain phytoestrogens, plant compounds that are similar to the hormone estrogen (58Trusted Source, 59Trusted Source).

Therefore, sesame seeds might be beneficial for women when estrogen levels drop during menopause. For example, phytoestrogens may help counteract hot flashes and other symptoms of low estrogen (60Trusted Source).

What’s more, these compounds may decrease your risk of certain diseases — such as breast cancer — during menopause. However, further research is needed (46Trusted Source, 61Trusted Source).

SUMMARY
Phytoestrogens are compounds found in sesame seeds that may benefit women who are undergoing menopause.
15. Easy to Add to Your Diet
Sesame seeds can give a nutty flavor and subtle crunch to many dishes.

To enhance the flavor and nutrient availability of sesame seeds, roast them at 350℉ (180℃) for a few minutes, stirring periodically, until they reach a light, golden brown.

Try adding sesame seeds to:

stir-fries
steamed broccoli
hot or cold cereal
granola and granola bars
bread and muffins
crackers
yogurt
smoothies
salads
salad dressing
hummus
garnishes
Additionally, you can use sesame seed butter — also known as tahini — in place of peanut butter or hummus.

Ground sesame seeds — called sesame flour or sesame seed meal — can be used in baking, smoothies, fish batter, and more.

However, sesame allergies have become more prevalent, so you may need to take caution when cooking for groups (62Trusted Source, 63Trusted Source).

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