Are Sesame Seeds Good for You? Nutrition, Benefits, Risks and Recipes

Whether you’re a fan of sesame sweet such because the creamy halvah and candy sesame brittle, getting your every day dose of sesame seeds gives many advantages.

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Sesame seeds supply many well being advantages, but they’re typically restricted to hamburger buns or bagels within the common American weight loss program. However, you should use this scrumptious seed to extend your consumption of vitamins.

“In normal, seeds are a superfood and Americans must eat extra,” says DJ Blatner, RDN, creator of ​The Superfood Swap​. “Seeds comprise the trifecta of plant protein, wholesome fats and fiber — plus they’ve many nutritional vitamins and minerals.”

Sesame seeds aren’t solely an important supply of fiber, which helps a wholesome digestive system and coronary heart, however they’re additionally full of important nutritional vitamins and minerals and assist general well being. Minerals like calcium, copper and magnesium in sesame seeds keep your immune and nervous techniques, strengthen bone well being and cut back irritation.

Plus, the excessive focus of unsaturated fatty acids within the seeds helps decrease low-density lipoprotein (LDL) ldl cholesterol. This can stop coronary heart illness and strokes.

You can discover pink, white, brown, tan and black sesame seeds. This nutrient-packed seed is a key ingredient in “every little thing” seasoning or tahini sauce (which you’ll be able to drizzle on falafel or candy potato wedges). But they don’t seem to be simply form to your style buds — learn on to seek out out why sesame seeds are so good for you.

Sesame Seed Nutrition Facts

One ounce of sesame seeds (about 3 tablespoons) is the same as a single serving. One ounce of whole, roasted sesame seeds accommodates:

  • Calories​: 160
  • Total fats​: 14 g
  • Cholesterol​: 0 mg
  • Sodium​: 3.1 mg
  • Total carbs​: 7.3 g
    • Dietary fiber​: 4 g
    • Sugar​: 0 g
  • Protein​: 4.8 g
  • Total fats​: One ounce of entire, roasted sesame seeds has 13.6 grams of whole fats, which incorporates 5.9 grams of polyunsaturated fats, 5.1 grams of monounsaturated fats, 1.9 grams of saturated fats and 0 grams of trans fats.
  • Carbohydrates​: One ounce of entire, roasted sesame seeds has 7.3 grams of carbs, which incorporates 4 grams of fiber and 0 grams of sugars.
  • Protein​: One ounce of entire, roasted sesame seeds has 4.8 grams of protein.

Vitamins, Minerals and Other Micronutrients

  • Copper:​ 78% of your Daily Value (DV)
  • Manganese:​ 31% DV
  • Magnesium:​ 24% DV
  • Iron:​ 23% DV
  • Calcium:​ 22% DV
  • Thiamin (B1):​ 19% DV
  • Selenium:​ 18% DV
  • Zinc:​ 18% DV
  • Phosphorus:​ 14% DV
  • Niacin (B3):​ 8% DV
  • Folate (B9):​ 7% DV
  • Riboflavin (B2):​ 5% DV

Health Benefits of Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds have a excessive dietary worth and supply a number of well being advantages which might be tied to serving to stop illness and enhance current well being situations — together with excessive ldl cholesterol, osteoporosis, hypertension and arthritis. Here are sesame seeds’ advantages you will take pleasure in from consuming them repeatedly.

1. Sesame Seeds Are a Good Source of Fiber

Whether their hulls have been eliminated or stay intact, sesame seeds are a very good supply of dietary fiber. Here’s the distinction between hulled and unhulled sesame seeds: Most seeds within the U.S. are bought hulled — which means their seed coat has been eliminated — whereas unhulled sesame seeds are nonetheless embedded in a seed coat​.​ Unhulled seeds are typically crunchier and barely bitter attributable to compounds known as oxalates within the hull.

Unhulled sesame seeds are a greater supply of heart-healthy fiber. Whole sesame seeds comprise 4 grams of fiber per ounce, whereas hulled sesame seeds present 2.8 grams per ounce.

In normal, Americans do not eat sufficient fiber, averaging solely about 15 grams per day relatively than the really useful 25 to 30 grams per day, based on UCSF Health.

People who eat probably the most fiber are 15 to 30 p.c much less more likely to die prematurely from any trigger or attributable to coronary heart situations in comparison with those that eat the least fiber, per a February 2019 meta-analysis of almost 40 years of analysis in The Lancet. Eating fiber-rich foods was related to a 16 to 24 p.c decrease probability of coronary coronary heart illness, stroke, sort 2 diabetes and colon most cancers.

Fiber is a sort of carbohydrate that the physique is unable to digest, per the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. It passes by way of your physique, serving to to manage the physique’s use of sugars and management starvation alongside the way in which. Even tahini sauce retains a few of the fiber present in sesame seeds, with 2.6 grams per ounce.

Per 1 oz.

Hulled Sesame Seeds

Unhulled Sesame Seeds




Total Fat

17 g

13.6 g


0 mg

0 mg


4.8 mg

3.1 mg

Total Carbohydrates

3.8 g

7.3 g

Dietary Fiber

2.8 g

4 g


0 g

0 g


5.7 g

4.8 g

2. Sesame Seeds Are High in Copper and Calcium

These two powerhouse vitamins are important they usually’re packed into sesame seeds. Just one ounce of entire sesame seeds accommodates 78 p.c of the DV for copper and 22 p.c of the DV for calcium. Whole sesame seeds are a a lot better possibility than hulled should you’re making an attempt to slot in each of those vitamins: Hulled sesame seeds solely comprise 2 p.c of the DV for calcium and no dietary information is accessible for his or her copper content material.

Your physique wants copper to hold out vital features, together with creating power, connective tissues and blood vessels, per the National Institutes of Health. Copper additionally helps keep your immune and nervous techniques.

Meanwhile, calcium is vital for robust bones and the well being of your coronary heart, muscle mass and nerves, per the Mayo Clinic. Some analysis additionally means that calcium, together with vitamin D, could assist shield towards most cancers, diabetes and hypertension, however extra research are wanted.

What is thought: If you aren’t getting sufficient calcium in your weight loss program, it might result in low bone mass — a danger issue for osteoporosis.

“The 2020-2025 U.S. Dietary Guidelines lists calcium as an under-consumed or ‘shortfall’ nutrient that we have to get extra of, so rising any meals with calcium is a superb thought,” Blatner says. “In addition to calcium, sesame seeds produce other bone-supporting vitamins akin to magnesium, zinc and copper.”

Osteoporosis is a bone illness that makes the bones weak and extra more likely to break, per the National Osteoporosis Foundation. About 10 million Americans have osteoporosis and one other 44 million are at elevated danger for it attributable to low bone density. One in two girls and as much as one in 4 males break a bone of their lifetime due to osteoporosis.

3. Sesame Seeds Contain Healthy Plant Lignans

With or with out the hull, sesame seeds are a wonderful supply of antioxidants and polyphenols (a household of useful plant compounds), together with lignans.

“Lignans could lower irritation and the chance of coronary heart illness and sure cancers akin to breast and colon most cancers,” Blatner says. “Lignans have a delicate estrogen-like impact, so they might additionally assist menopause-related signs.”

The lignans in sesame seeds are even identified to have health-promoting properties together with anti-aging and anti-diabetes results, per a December 2019 assessment within the journal ​Molecules.

4. Sesame Seeds Are Rich in Healthy Fats

Each ounce of sesame seeds accommodates 5.9 grams of polyunsaturated fats and 5.1 grams of monounsaturated fat. But simply because they’re rich in healthy fats does not imply sesame seeds are fattening or dangerous for you.

Unsaturated fat are thought of wholesome fat as a result of they will cut back irritation, enhance blood levels of cholesterol and regular coronary heart rhythms, per the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. They are primarily present in plant meals. Sesame seeds even comprise some omega-3 fats, which is a sort of polyunsaturated fats that the physique can’t produce itself. Omega-3 is related to a decrease danger of untimely demise amongst older adults.

Research reveals that the kind of fats you eat is extra vital than whole fats consumption, per a June 2018 article in BMJ.​ For occasion, consuming meals excessive in unsaturated fats (like sesame seeds) as an alternative of saturated fats can assist lower your danger of coronary heart assault and stroke, based on the Mayo Clinic.

Sesame Seeds Protein Content

One ounce of entire toasted sesame seeds gives 4.8 grams of protein (hulled sesame seeds comprise 5.7 grams of protein per ounce). You can’t depend on the sesame seeds present in a bagel or piece of bread as a sole supply of protein since these bread staples usually comprise only a sprinkle of seeds, and could also be excessive in unhealthy, refined carbohydrates. Instead, add one to a few tablespoons of sesame seeds to a morning protein smoothie or mix tahini paste (which is made with sesame seeds) into hummus for a high-protein snack or meal.

When it involves wholesome sesame seeds, a bit goes a great distance. Because greater than 70 p.c of the energy in sesame seeds come from fats (which is larger in energy than carbohydrates and protein, per the USDA), moderation is vital to keep away from consuming too many energy.

Eating only one to a few tablespoons of sesame seeds per day means that you can reap the dietary advantages with out going overboard. Consider the sesame seeds’ vitamin information for 1 tablespoon (entire, roasted seeds): 80 energy, 6.8 grams of fats, 2.4 grams of protein, 3.7 grams of carbohydrates and a pair of grams of fiber.

Those with meals allergic reactions must also train warning when consuming sesame seeds. If you expertise any redness, itching or digestive pains from consuming meals made with sesame seeds, see an allergist.

Sesame allergy is the ninth commonest meals allergy within the United States. Approximately 0.23 p.c of American youngsters and adults are allergic to sesame, per the nonprofit Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE).

“In April 2021, sesame formally grew to become one of many prime 9 meals allergens, becoming a member of tree nuts, peanuts, eggs, soy, fish, shellfish, milk and wheat,” Blatner says. “By January 2023, all meals corporations must embrace on the label if their product accommodates sesame.”

Proteins in sesame bind to particular IgE antibodies made by an allergic particular person’s immune system, triggering the immune system and resulting in signs that may be gentle or very extreme, per FARE.

Sesame might be listed by a number of names on a label. If you are allergic to sesame, you need to keep away from meals that comprise sesame or these substances:

  • Benne, benne seed, benniseed
  • Gingelly, gingelly oil
  • Gomasio (sesame salt)
  • Halvah
  • Sesame flour
  • Sesame oil
  • Sesame paste
  • Sesame salt
  • Sesame seed
  • Sesamol
  • Sesamum indicum
  • Sesemolina
  • Sim sim
  • Tahini, Tahina, Tehina
  • Til

Just a few examples of meals which will comprise sesame embrace Mediterranean delicacies (which generally makes use of sesame oil), baked items, bread crumbs, granola, chips, crackers, dipping sauces, falafel, hummus, sushi, tempeh and vegetarian burgers.

Sesame seeds have been discovered to negatively intervene with the drug tamoxifen in lowering tumor measurement however beneficially work together with tamoxifen on bone well being in mice, per a March 2011 research within the Oman Medical Journal.

Tamoxifen is usually used to deal with breast most cancers that has unfold to different components of the physique in women and men, per the U.S. National Library of Medicine. It’s additionally used to deal with early breast most cancers in girls who’ve already obtained radiation, surgical procedure or chemotherapy.

If you are taking tamoxifen or some other sort of remedy, discuss to your physician about potential meals interactions.

The Best Ways to Eat Sesame Seeds

You do not must look far on the bakery to note sesame seeds. These seeds present visible enchantment and a bit further vitamin to baked items akin to rolls, multi-grain bread and bagels. Buying bulk sesame seeds on the grocery store, nonetheless, offers you the liberty so as to add these tiny seeds to stir-fry, vegetable platters and different dishes.

These nutrient-rich seeds are sometimes utilized in baking, and are additionally made into tahini, a dipping sauce that’s served with greens, falafel or bread.

Sesame seeds are extremely tiny — it takes about 1,000 of them to make a 1-ounce serving. However, they will add main vitamin to your dish. Follow these tricks to embrace sesame seeds in your weight loss program extra ceaselessly.

Try tahini paste:​ Enjoy sesame seeds within the type of tahini, which is a butter-like paste comprised of sesame seeds. “Tahini is a superfood staple,” Blatner says. “It has all of the well being advantages of sesame seeds, akin to plant protein, wholesome fats and fiber, plus it tastes nice and could be very simple to make use of. It’s greatest often known as the ingredient added to hummus, nevertheless it’s superior in any dips, dressings, sauces and spreads.” For occasion, attempt including tahini to your go-to Caesar dressing, Ranch dip, stir-fry sauce and even mayo.

Add seeds to your snacks:​ You can incorporate sesame seeds into smoothies and path combine. Also attempt garnishing your favourite salad or greens with sesame seeds for a crunchy, nutty style. Yes, you’ll be able to eat uncooked sesame seeds — and to maintain your dish as wholesome as potential, search for uncooked or roasted sesame seeds and be cautious of salted seeds, as extra sodium can result in hypertension, coronary heart illness and stroke, per the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Keep contemporary sesame cool:​ Store uncooked sesame seeds in a cool, dry place to forestall them from going rancid, per FoodPrint. You can retailer sesame seeds within the fridge to increase their freshness. To toast sesame seeds, unfold them on a small, rimmed baking sheet and roast at 350 levels Fahrenheit for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring sometimes.

Alternatives to Sesame Seeds

There are a number of different forms of seeds that contribute to a nutritious diet with fiber, nutritional vitamins, minerals and wholesome fat.

For occasion, seeds are typically good sources of iron, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, per the Cleveland Clinic. All of the next make a wholesome addition to your weight loss program:

  • Flaxseeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Hemp seeds

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