Sesame seeds and oil for the blood vessels

Sesame seeds have always been an important food for humans. For thousands of years, Eastern peoples have eaten sesame seeds because of the excellent nutritional value and health-promoting properties of the oil-rich seeds. The white to purple flowering sesame plant (Sesamum indicum), which grows 50 to 100 cm tall, is widely cultivated in tropical areas around the world. China, India, Sudan, Ethiopia, Mexico and Burma are currently the largest producers of sesame seeds. Sesame seeds are used, whether or not roasted and ground, in bread, cake, snacks, halvah, hummus, tahini, gomasio, soup, salad and hot meals. The fragrant sesame oil is valued for its long shelf life. The antioxidant-rich oil is exceptionally resistant to oxidation. Sesame oil is widely used as a seasoning in Indian and Chinese cuisine and is especially suitable for cold use.

Nutritional value sesame

Sesame seeds are a good and cheap source of fats, proteins, fiber, minerals, vitamins and valuable phytonutrients. The creamy white or brown-black sesame seeds contain 44 to 53% fats (of which 40% monounsaturated oleic acid, 45% polyunsaturated linoleic acid and 10% saturated fat), 18 to 25% high-quality protein (comparable to soy protein) and 14% carbohydrates. Sesame seeds also contain a lot of (particularly water-soluble) fiber (12 grams per 100 grams) and have a high content of minerals (copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, molybdenum), beta-carotene and vitamins ( thiamine, pyridoxine, folic acid, vitamin B3, riboflavin, vitamin E, choline). In addition, sesame seeds contain valuable medicinal substances including lignans, phytosterols, polyphenols (including proanthocyanidins, resveratrol) and phospholipids. The ingredients are more available from ground sesame seeds and sesame oil than from the whole seeds.

Health effects

The following health effects are attributed to sesame seeds and sesame oil based on in-vitro and in-vivo studies:

  • Strong improvement in antioxidant status; improvement of vitamin E status (especially gamma-tocopherol);
  • Cholesterol reduction;
  • Inhibition of atherosclerosis, better fibrinolysis;
  • Normalizing influence on blood pressure;
  • Inflammation inhibition;
  • Better glycemic control and less oxidative stress in diabetes;
  • Protection of the liver (and other organs) against oxidative damage caused by, among other things, alcohol, cisplatin, iron and lead;
  • Better protection against cardiovascular diseases, cancer, osteoporosis, neurodegenerative diseases and (other) aging processes.



Sesame oil and sesame seeds therefore have important health effects. It is not without reason that they have been regarded within Indian and Chinese medicinal traditions as medicinal foods that counteract the aging process and alleviate inflammatory diseases such as arthritis. Sesame oil is also an excellent home remedy for ailments such as constipation. In case of constipation, the oil can be added to meals or, for a faster and better result, taken on an empty stomach. Sesame oil is also said to be an excellent massage oil for sore muscles and joint pain. Given the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of the oil, that could well be true.

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