Sesame Soy Dressing Packed with Sesame Seeds Nutrition

By: Dorine Lam, RDN, MS, MPH

Sesame seeds are physically small but nutritional powerhouses. Read about how they can help in your health and how to use them in our recipe.Sesame seeds have been cultivated for more than three millennia and are thought to be the first crop grown specifically for their seeds. It is extremely hardy, making it a great crop in areas where other crops are difficult to grow. While not actually a nut, it can still trigger a reaction in those with allergies, so those with serious nut allergies should use caution with sesame seeds.

The tiny little sesame seed is packed with beneficial compounds, making sesame seeds nutrition one of the highest in density. Sesame seeds are a great source of several minerals, including copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium, iron, and selenium.

Copper has been shown to ease symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, due to its importance as an anti-inflammatory. It also plays a critical role in the function of both collagen and elastin, essential building blocks of blood vessels, bones, and skin. Copper is also vital to helping the body absorb and use iron, a vital component in the production of hemoglobin, which enables red blood cells to deliver oxygen throughout the body.

Magnesium is critical to literally hundreds of physiological functions. It is critical to normal nerve function and can help ease asthma-related airway spasms, can reduce the frequency of migraines, ease the symptoms of restless leg syndrome, and improve sleep in menopausal women. Magnesium has also been shown to help control blood sugar levels in those with diabetes or prediabetes. Sesame seed oil has also been shown to improve the efficacy of certain diabetes medications.

You know calcium is good for your bones and teeth, but calcium’s benefits don’t stop there. It protects the colon from toxins, can reduce the frequency of migraines, and can ease PMS symptoms.

Most people think of osteoporosis as a menopausal women’s disease, but it is also a serious problem in men as well. Nearly a third of all hip fractures happen to men, and more than one in every ten men will experience a fracture caused by the disease. A study of nearly 400 men over the age of 45 found that men with low levels of zinc were more likely to develop the disease. The zinc in sesame seeds can help improve bone health.

As a sprinkle or in sauce or dressing, it is easy to incorporate sesame seeds nutrition into your meals.Sesame seeds are one of the best sources of phytosterols, which have been shown to help levels of cholesterol in the blood. Ounce for ounce, sesame seeds contain more phytosterols than pistachios, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds, and has four times the phytosterol content as Brazil nuts.

One of the most interesting compounds found in sesame seeds may well be an organic compound known as sesamol. Sesamol may help protect DNA from radiation, including ultraviolet radiation from the sun as well as radiation used to kill cancer. This protective ability may be able to help prevent cancers, including secondary cancers that can be the result of radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

Finally, sesame seed oil has antibacterial and astringent properties that may help protect your oral health through a practice known as oil pulling. Oil pulling simply means swishing the oil around the mouth for several minutes. Sesame seed oil has been shown to reduce Streptococcus bacteria, a common bacteria that can cause serious illness.

Our sesame soy dressing is an easy way to enjoy the sesame seeds nutrition packed inside these nuggets of health.Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons grape seed oil, olive oil or any nut oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, finely mined
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Add all ingredients to glass jar with lid, close lid tightly and shake a few times.

© Copyright 2016 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.