Sesame seeds are the seeds of Sesamum indicum, an annual tropical plant which is probably native to Africa. The sesame plant is cultivated throughout Asia as well, and the seeds play a vital role in many ethnic cuisines. Sesame seeds are used whole, ground into pastes such as tahini, or pressed for their rich, nutty oil. They should be stored in a cool dry place in an airtight container when they are not in use, and oil should be refrigerated.
Nutritional Information & Health Benefits
Here are some of their nutritional highlights of sesame seeds:
- Contain unique antioxidants called sesamin and sesamolin
- Good source of Niacin and folic acid (B-complex vitamins)
- Rich source of monounsaturated fats (oleic acid)
- High in protein and amino acids
- Excellent source of trace minerals, most notably copper and magnesium
- Contain phytosterols, which may help improve blood cholesterol levels
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