The history of sesame
Sesame has been cultivated for 5000 years. Hippocrates emphasised its high nutritional value and contribution to our overall well-being. The Chinese used it to control metabolism and the Persians included it in their medicinal remedies. Its value also becomes apparent from the fact that the Assyrians used it in commercial transactions as currency of value equal to silver!
The nutritional value of tahini
Tahini (crushed sesame seeds) is rich in Vitamin E and also contains Vitamin B, selenium and zinc.
- Antiaging properties: 11 vitamins contained in sesame and its by-products (tahini and halva) boost the immune system and slow down the aging process.
- Arteriosclerosis: fatty acids, Vitamin E and sesamine contained in tahini lower cholesterol levels and protect against arteriosclerosis and heart attacks.
- Anticarcinogenic action: It is believed that sesame, which is rich in antioxidant agents (Vitamin E, selenium, sterols) protects cells against the damage caused by free radicals. Experiments with mice have shown that consumption of sesamine acts protectively against breast cancer.
- Beauty elixir: Sesame oil, contained at 55% in tahini, is rich in Vitamin E, protects the skin from environmental damages and it is also used in cosmetics thanks to its firming properties. Vitamin B, which is also contained in sesame, inhibits the appearance of wrinkles while trace elements like selenium and zinc help fight off free radicals. Furthermore, both vitamins prevent hair loss and contribute to the overall health of our hair.
- Prevention against diseases: It appears to have positive effects in the prevention of Alzheimer’s diseases, Parkinson’s disease and Cataract. Vitamin B also contributes the good function of the metabolism and the peptic system, while, combined with sesame, it also helps the good function of the liver.
- Lastly, it is an excellent source of protein for pregnant and breast feeding women.