Introduction:What do you know about sesame seeds? That you can order your hamburger on a sesame seed bun? Maybe you remember, "Open Sesame", the magical words that opened the treasure cave for Ali Baba. Perhaps you even sprinkle them on salads for the crunch factor. Keep reading and you'll discover many interesting facts about sesame seeds.
Ancient lore has it that Ali Baba's famous words related to the popping sound of ripe sesame seeds. Sesame plants reach a height of about three feet, but can grow as tall as seven feet. The white or purple flowers mature into pods, containing edible seeds. When the seeds ripen - they go pop - and scatter to the four winds. For this reason, most sesame seeds are harvested before they ripen.
The Journal of Food Science reported when researchers tested an isolated sesame protein on rats that ate a high cholesterol diet, the protein raised HDL (good cholesterol) levels by 41%. In addition their LDL (bad) cholesterol lowered, as did triglyceride levels.
Medicinal uses for sesame date back to 3000 B.C. where the women of Assyria used it to promote beauty and retain youth. In fact, the ancients believed sesame oil to be a curative for ailments ranging from healthy bones, blurred vision, and headache to liver ailment.
Sesame is known in Africa as "benne" or good luck. Considering the range of health benefits, the term "benne" seems appropriate. Protein comprises about 1/5 of the sesame seed, making it a super-concentrated protein source. The seeds are rich in calcium and magnesium to help build stronger bones, which lends credence to ancient beliefs. Following flaxseeds, sesame seeds are the greatest source of lingans, which lower the risk of certain breast cancers.
Perhaps the greatest contribution of the misbegotten sesame is its' edible oil, which is comprised in general of polyunsaturated fat. Sesame oil is versatile and healthy. It is highly concentrated in Vitamin E, an anti-oxidant that lowers cholesterol.
Use edible sesame oil as a flavor enhancer, as a sauté, combine with vinegar for a salad dressing or toss it in vegetables, to give them a sweet nutty taste.
When baby gets cranky, massage him with benne sesame oil, which is calming to his little psyche.
Enjoy sesame; an extra dose of good luck can't harm anybody!
My mom passes away two years ago and recently I was going through her recipes and one was something like "Benne Seed Wafers" and I hadn't a clue what that meant ... now I do! Thanks!
I love sesame seeds!
Thanks for the awesome facts about sesame seeds. H5
I've never been a fan of sesame seeds. After reading this, I may give the seeds a second chance!
Great info! I like them on my salads.
I didn't know the seeds were considered good luck! That is interesting!
The topic so grabbed me because I love the sesame seed. Sesame bread, sticks, crackers - you name it, are delicious. When I was young the seeds tasted like bacon to me. At any rate, I am so happy that they have health benefits too. Thanks so much! H5
Great facts about sesame seeds. My dad always snacks on them and that is probably part of the reason why he is 81 and in great health.
You are a plethora of info about the sesame seeds. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with me.Very interesting and educational as well as a fun read.
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