What Are the Health Benefits of Sesame Seeds?

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  • Written By: Bryce Clinton
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 22 October 2019
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The health benefits of sesame seeds include proteins, essential vitamins and minerals, omega-6 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants. Sesame seeds also contain an abundance of oleic acid which helps promote "good cholesterol" or HDL (high-density lipoprotein), which is considered to be healthier for the heart and circulatory system. In addition, among other beneficial nutrients, they contain important compounds that help to prevent free radicals in the body.

The amount of protein in sesame seeds is high, with dietary proteins that are rich in good amino acids which promote healthy growth. The seeds contain many of the vitamin B-complex essential for cell reproduction, including B1 (thiamin), B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (folate), riboflavin, and niacin. The amount of folate, or folic acid, is particularly high, which is considered good for DNA synthesis and women concerned about prenatal health. Abundant levels of niacin help reduce bad cholesterol or LDL (low-density lipoprotein), while also promoting GABA brain activity that may reduce anxiety.

Additionally, sesame seeds are very rich in minerals, including high amounts per serving of calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, selenium, zinc, and copper. Each of these minerals serves a vital role in the body, with calcium being good for the teeth, skeleton, and overall body function; iron being important to red blood cell production; potassium and magnesium being essential to the nervous system; phosphorus to the kidneys and cell communication; and selenium to the liver, thyroid, and immune system.


Heart health is considered very important in many developed countries in which the population consumes excessive amounts of meat and processed food. One of the potentially healthiest things in sesame seeds is a wealth of monounsaturated fatty oleic acids, which are considered helpful in the prevention of heart disease and strokes. Put another way, fatty acids are claimed to promote a healthy serum lipid profile, which is just a technical way of saying that they generally promote a blood balance that gets good results on a cholesterol test.

In addition to these many nutrients, sesame seeds contain beneficial chemicals that are purported to prevent the accumulation of free radicals in the body caused by oxidants. Oxidants and free radicals are believed to cause cell damage, which can allegedly be prevented by antioxidants. While scientific evidence concerning the health benefits of antioxidants is inconclusive, sesame seeds contain a number of these compounds in a natural state, which is a more organic and generally healthier way to receive nutrients than using supplements.

The health benefits of sesame can be obtained from sesame oil, paste, or butter. They can be derived from hulled or unhulled sesame seeds, and from preparations such as tahini. Potential health hazards include allergies in some individuals. Those who are allergic to sesame should consider it very unhealthy and should avoid any food preparations containing it.


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If you have a peanut allergy, can you eat sesame seeds?

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