Eating sesame seeds Advantages and Disadvantages

Science has proven that eating black sesame seeds regularly has 7 major benefits, but you should also be wary of its side effects.

sesame seeds
sesame seeds



Black sesame and white sesame are both seeds of herbaceous plants, belonging to the Pedaliaceae family. It is one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world, found throughout the tropics and some temperate regions, and is widely used in cooking and traditional medicine.

What are the benefits and side effects of black sesame seeds that can be found everywhere?


Wide range of uses for black sesame seeds

Each sesame seed pod contains hundreds of seeds of various colors, ranging from creamy white to charcoal black, depending on the cultivar. Black sesame seeds have a slightly more nutmeg flavor than white ones, but both are excellent sources of phytonutrients, antioxidants, and dietary fiber.

Black sesame seeds often appear in diets around the world. China has had various foods and delicacies made with sesame seeds and oil since ancient times. Sesame seeds can be used as fillings in pastries and as an auxiliary ingredient in dishes. In daily life, people often eat sesame products: sesame powder, sesame paste, sesame crisps, sesame paste, etc.

Sesame seeds are also used in many traditional dishes in other countries. For example, halwa is a popular Middle Eastern candy; in Japan, black sesame seeds are commonly sprinkled on sushi rolls; and black sesame seeds are also popular in Korean cooking.

In addition to the dietary industry, sesame oil is also widely used in the medical field. For example, the “Compendium of Materia Medica” says: “Use of black sesame oil is the most important, followed by white sesame oil.” Under the influence of the concept that medicine and food had the same origin at that time, it was really not a big deal for sesame to be used as medicine.

sesame seeds
Black sesame seeds


Nutritional information of black sesame seeds

According to the USDA Food Composition Database, micronutrients in 2 tablespoons (18 grams) of black sesame seeds include:


Calories: 100 calories

Low carb: 4 grams

Fiber content: 2 grams

Protein: 3.2 grams

Fat: 9 grams


Black sesame seeds are a very nutritious food because they contain no cholesterol, sodium, or sugar. 2 tablespoons of black sesame seeds contain many important vitamins and minerals, and the proportion of nutrients necessary for the human body every day is:


Thiamine (vitamin B1): 12%

Riboflavin (vitamin B2): 3%

Folic acid (vitamin B9): 4%

Niacin (vitamin B3): 4%

Vitamin E: 2%

Calcium: 14%

Phosphorus: 9%

Zinc: 13%

Manganese: 19%

Iron: 15%

Magnesium: 15%

Copper: 82%


Benefits of black sesame seeds

Protect digestive system

Black sesame seeds are a good source of dietary fiber. Two tablespoons of black sesame seeds can provide 8% of the daily dietary fiber requirement. Fiber is the part of food that the body cannot digest or absorb. It remains intact in digested food and can soften stools and help prevent constipation.

Black sesame seeds can help the digestive system work properly and have also been shown to help relieve irritable bowel syndrome, such as hemorrhoids, diverticulitis, and other gastrointestinal disorders. Additionally, dietary fiber has been scientifically proven to reduce colon cancer.

Provide healthy fats

Another benefit of black sesame seeds is that they are a rich source of healthy fats. The body needs the energy provided by fat to carry out many important biological and physiological processes related to the heart, muscles, blood cells, and nervous system. The body also needs fat to absorb fat-soluble nutrients.

Black sesame seeds contain 50% to 60% high-quality fat. Black sesame seeds contain 4 grams of polyunsaturated fatty acids and 3.4 grams of monounsaturated fat per 2 tablespoons. Replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fat may help lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and reduce your risk of heart disease.


Keep your bones strong

The calcium in black sesame seeds is the most important mineral for bone health. In addition, black sesame seeds contain many other minerals, such as magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, copper, iron, and zinc, which can maintain bone density and help keep bones strong.

50% to 60% of the body’s magnesium is found in bones. Maintaining adequate magnesium can help postmenopausal women reduce the risk of osteoporosis. 85% of the body’s phosphorus is in the form of osteophosphate. Phosphorus deficiency can cause calcium loss, leading to severe bone disease.

The body needs calcium to support the strength of bones and tissues, and a lack of calcium can increase the risk of osteoporosis and fractures. In addition, the copper, iron, and zinc in black sesame seeds help synthesize collagen and protect bones.

Supplement antioxidants

The oils in black sesame and sesame seeds can help prevent disease through antioxidant effects. Sesame seeds contain the phenylpropyl compound sesamin. Sesamin is an antioxidant that fights harmful free radicals. Free radicals, such as pollutants, are by-products of the body’s metabolic functions and may also come from the environment.

Antioxidants may play an important role in preventing degenerative diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, and aging, according to a study published between July and December 2014.

The antioxidant activity of sesamin can help fight tumors, lower cholesterol levels, and lower blood pressure. In addition to sesamin, sesame seeds also contain vitamin E, another important antioxidant nutrient.


Slow Alzheimer’s disease

Insomnia is a common symptom of magnesium deficiency. Maintaining magnesium levels in the body can aid stress response systems and hormone regulation, helping promote sleep.

Magnesium’s role in supporting sedative effects and aiding sleep may be related to GABA in the brain. GABA (also known as gamma-aminobutyric acid) is a neurotransmitter that promotes a feeling of rest and regulates sleep cycles. Studies have shown that GABA transmitters can also slow down Alzheimer’s disease.

Magnesium also keeps another excitatory neurotransmitter, glutamate, within healthy limits.


Relieve anxiety and stress

Anxiety is a common disease, and according to statistics, about 15% of the population suffers from anxiety disorders. Stress and anxiety are often accompanied by mood disorders and depression, which may be caused by insufficient magnesium intake.

Magnesium is required for the synthesis of dopamine, which affects a person’s mood.

The magnesium in black sesame seeds has a positive effect on reducing premenstrual syndrome and mild anxiety. Adequate magnesium also helps create healthy serotonin in the brain and spinal fluid.


Prevent heart disease

Arteriosclerosis is a disease in which plaque builds up along the inner walls of arteries. Because elevated LDL is a risk factor for atherosclerotic disease, lowering cholesterol is thought to reduce the development of atherosclerosis and the risk of heart disease it causes.


Due to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of black sesame seeds, scientists have studied the relationship between sesame seeds and arteriosclerosis. Sesame oil has been shown to have outstanding potential in reducing high cholesterol and inflammation, reducing the risk of atherosclerosis, and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The researchers recommend further research into the potential use of sesame oil as an alternative or supplement to traditional treatments such as statins and metformin.


Black sesame seeds’ side effects

Black sesame seeds
Black sesame seeds

Medications have side effects, and so do foods. Side effects of black sesame include kidney stones and allergies, and people with these two risks should avoid eating large amounts of black sesame.


Kidney stone risk

Like all seeds, sesame seeds, including products made from them, contain oxalic acid, a natural antinutrient. Oxalic acid can combine with calcium in the human body and interfere with the body’s absorption of calcium and iron.

Oxalate is usually excreted from the body after it is formed, but under certain conditions it may accumulate in your kidneys, forming calcium oxalate fragments. These fragments can develop into larger crystals – kidney stones.

Sesame Allergy

Sesame is a food allergen. If your body’s immune system overreacts to sesame, avoid sesame and sesame products. Symptoms of allergic reactions develop rapidly, from mild to severe. Symptoms may include:

Blushing, rash, hives

Swelling of throat, eyes, face

Trouble breathing, speaking, or swallowing

Cramps, diarrhea, or vomiting

Blood pressure drops, loss of consciousness

More severe allergic reactions can be life-threatening and require immediate emergency medical treatment. All dried fruit and seed ingredients have this risk, and people with allergies need to pay special attention.


Black sesame seeds, which can be seen in all kinds of diets, have become one of indispensable ingredients in people’s daily diet due to their rich aroma and rich nutrition. However, nothing should be overdosed, and the same goes for black sesame seeds. It is recommended that the daily consumption be controlled at about 2 tablespoons.
We will continue to share more cutting-edge scientific information in the fields of brain health and mental health and introduce lifestyle habits and dietary patterns that promote brain health and mental health.


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