11 Sesame Seeds Benefits (plus Nutritional Info, Recipes & More)

Sesame seed benefits include helping to manage diabetes, to lose weight and to prevent some diseases, like atherosclerosis, hypertension and Parkinson's. It is rich in antioxidants and can therefore be very beneficial to your health.

Sesame is a seed from the Sesamum indicum plant and is known for its high nutritional value. It is rich in protein, polyunsaturated fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, vitamin E and fiber.

There are many types of sesame seeds, and they can be found in many colors, like white, balck, yellow, gray, brown and red, depending on the region where they were cultivated. Sesame seeds can be consumed natural or toasted, and added to salads to recipes for bread, cookies or sauces.

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Health benefits

The many benefits of sesame seeds are:

1. Reducing cholesterol

Sesame seeds contain soluble fibers and compounds like sesamin and phytoestrogens, which help to reduce LDL and triglyceride levels and increase HDL. 

Therefore, sesame seeds can help to maintain health and prevent the development of cardiovascular diseases, like atherosclerosis, stroke or heart attack. 

2. Managing blood pressure

Sesame is rich in polyunsaturate fatty acids, sesamin and vitamin E. They contain anti-inflammatories and antioxidants, which promote blood vessel relaxation and help to manage blood pressure. They are a great diet addition to patients with high blood pressure. 

3. Combating constipation

Sesame seeds contain lignans, a type of soluble fiber that helps to increase stool volume. These can help to promote easier bowel movements and prevent constipation. 

4. Promoting weight loss

Sesame seeds are rich in protein, healthy fats and fiber. These nutrients help to keep you full and reduce your calorie intake, which can lead to weight loss. 

5. Helping to relieve arthritis 

The sesamin present in sesame seeds have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which can help to reduce pain and improve joint mobility in people with arthritis.

6. Promoting wound healing

Sesame contains antioxidant properties that help to protect tissue from oxidative damage after an injury. Therefore, consuming sesame seeds or massaging sesame seed oil in affected areas can help to speed up healing. 

7. Preventing cancer

Sesamin is the main active ingredient in sesame seeds. It is rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to manage oxidative stress and help to prevent the development of cancer. 

8. Improving menopause symptoms

Consuming sesame seeds on a daily basis can help to improve the health of women in menopause. They help to manage cholesterol levels, prevent the development of osteoporosis and promote estrogen production. This can help to reduce symptoms like hot flashes and headaches. 

9. Helping to control diabetes

Sesame seeds are recommended to help manage pre-diabetes and diabetes. They contain great amounts of fiber and protein that help to prolong digestion. This can help to control blood sugar levels. 

These seeds contain a compound called pinoresinol, which limits the activity of some enzymes that are necessary for sugar absorption.

10. Maintaining healthy bones

Because it contains great amounts of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium, sesame seeds help to maintain bone health and prevent illnesses like osteoporosis. 

11. Preventing neurological abnormalities

The lignans present in sesame seeds are biologically active compounds with neuroprotector effects. They can help to prevent cognitive and neuron abnormalities that come with aging. For these reasons, they may be effective in preventing diseases like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and senile dementia. 

Nutritional composition

The following table outlines the nutritional composition of sesame seeds: 


Quantity per 100 g of sesame seeds 

1 tablespoon of sesame seeds (10 g)


573 calories

57.3  calories


17.7 g

1.77 g


49.7 g

4.9 g



2.3 g


11.8 g

1.1 g


97 mcg

9.7 mcg

Vitamin E

0.25 mg

0.02 mg

Vitamin B8

25.6 mg

2.56 mg


975 mg

97.5 mg


14.6 mg

1.4 mg


351 mg

35.6 mg


629 mg

62.9 mg


468 mg

46.8 mg


7.75 mg

0.77 mg


34.4 mcg

3.44 mcg


4.08 mg

0.40 mg


8008 mcg

800 mcg

It is important to mention that the benefits mentioned above can be achieved when sesame seeds are a part of a healthy, balanced diet.

How to consume

Sesame seeds can be consumed in their natural form or toasted. They can be used to make pastes, bread, cake or cookies.

Sesame seeds can also be added to yogurt, rice, salads, granola bars, cereal, oatmeal, smoothies, juices and hummus. 

To take advantage of all of the benefits of sesame seeds, you should consume 1 to 2 tablespoons per day. This quantity varies with age, health status and tolerance, and therefore you should consult a dietitian to determine dosing. 

People with diabetes can consume sesame seeds with their meals. Because they are rich in fiber, protein and fats, this sesame seeds can help to reduce the time carbohydrates are absorbed in the gut. This can help to manage blood sugar levels. 

How to absorb the nutrients

To absorb the nutrients present in sesame seeds, you should toast them, soak them or germinate these seeds before consuming. These procedures help to remove the phytic acid and oxalic acid in the seeds, which are anti-nutritional and reduce nutrient absorption.

Sesame seed recipes

Some recipes that include sesame seeds include:

1. Sesame seed paste

Sesame seed paste, also known as tahini, which can be spread over bread or used to make sauces that season other meals, like falafels. 


  • 1 cup of sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil

How to prepare:

To make tahini, toast the seeds in a frying pan, being sure not to burn them. Then allow them to cool and pour into a food processor with the olive oil. Mix until a paste is formed. 

You can continue to add more olive oil until you reach your desired consistency. Then season with salt and pepper to taste. 

2. Sesame seed cookies

Sesame seeds cookies are a great snack option, and can be eaten with coffee or tea. 


  • 1.5 cups of whole wheat flours
  • 0.5 cups of sesame
  • 0.5 cups of flaxseeds
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil 
  • 1 egg 

How to prepare:

Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix by hand until a dough is formed. Then spread out the dough using a roller and cut into smaller cookies. Place in an oiled pan and poke the cookies several times with a fork. Bake in a preheated oven at 350ºF for 15 minutes, or until golden. Then remove from the over and wait to cool before eating. 

3. Salad with sesame seeds

Adding sesame seeds to salads is another great way to obtain the benefits they have to offer. Meat or tofu can be added to the salad. 


  • Lettuce leaves as desires
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds
  • 50 g of fresh corn
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Half an avocado
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

How to prepare:

Wash the lettuce and let it soak in water and vinegar for 5 minutes. Then chop the salad into strips and cut the avocado in small pieces. Place the lettuce and avocado in a bowl and add the other ingredients. Season with lemon juice and olive oil. 

Contraindications for use

There is not enough scientific evidence to support the safety of sesame seeds in pregnant or breastfeeding women, therefore consumption should be monitored by a doctor. 

People who take medication to manage diabetes or high blood pressure should eat sesame seeds cautiously, as they can alter these medications' effects.