Published: 09/12/2005 - Updated: 08/13/2019
Author: Dra. Loredana Lunadei
Sesame (Bennis in West Africa), is cultivated in large areas in the world and in large part is used for the extraction of oil. The seeds, of various colors, have approximately 50 percent fat and 20 percent protein. They are also rich in calcium and contain useful amounts of carotene, iron and vitamin B. Sesame seeds can be a nutritious addition to the diet.
The scientific name is sesame Sesamum indicum L., PEDALIACEAE Belongs to the family, is considered the oldest crops known to man. It is an erect plant annual growth of about 50-60 cm high, cultivated for its small seed flat and oval, which contains edible oil. Its leaves are intact, 8 to 12 cm long, oblong or lanceolate. Seeds are produced in pods. The plant requires warm temperatures for their growth.
Benefits of sesame
The sesame, thanks to its nutritional properties, is recommended for persons who carry out a vegetarian diet.
Sesame originated in India and Africa, from where people transported it to America by slaves, who used their seed to thicken and flavor to dishes.
Today, sesame seeds are one of the most oilseeds used in international cuisine and pastries, especially in the East.
The sesame seeds have a high amount of protein as well as being rich in methionine, an essential amino acid. The fat contained in it are 'good fats', i.e., unsaturated fats, which together with its contents in lecithin makes the sesame seeds in a food that helps reduce blood cholesterol levels.
Also they are a source of various minerals like calcium, which is involved in the formation of bones and teeth, 100 grs. Sesame contain 1500 mg. of easy to assimilate calcium, surpassing whole milk which contains only 120 very low uptake. It also contains iron, which plays many important functions in the body, and zinc, mineral involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
Sesame seeds also have good amounts of fiber, so their consumption is beneficial to the regulation of intestinal function.
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Not only the seed
The most common way to acquire and consume it is in the sesame seeds. They may already be included in products such as bread or toasted sesame crackers, or can be added to dishes. They are delicious sprinkled on fruits (except citrus), salads and pasta or rice dishes, thanks to the unique flavor and texture. The recommended amount is 2 tablespoons of seeds daily.
Another of the most frequent finding is in oil. This is derived from cold pressing of seeds. It should be noted that in order to benefit all property that has sesame oil is important to purchase unrefined.
It is also interesting to know that there are many different ways to include sesame in the diet, in the form of tahini, a sesame paste of creamy consistency, easy to prepare, or gomasio, name given salt of sesame or sesame sauce, suitable to accompany almost any food because of its mild and pleasant flavor.
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