In most households, you will often find a bottle of sesame oil stored in a corner of the kitchen shelf.
Sesame oil is available in two different varieties – light sesame oil which is extracted from ripened sesame seeds, has a pretty amber colour and can be used for deep-frying.
And dark sesame oil which is extracted from roasted sesame seeds, is brownish in colour and can be used for stir-frying and pickle making.
It is valued for its medicinal properties. It is said to be good for the skin, and often used for massages as it penetrates deep into the skin to provide nourishment and helps relieve stress.
It is considered to be good for the hair as well, and also used as a carrier oil for different cosmetics. Here are 7 impressive health benefits of sesame oil:
1. High source of unsaturated fats
Sesame oil primarily contains unsaturated fats. According to the nutritional value chart of sesame oil, per 100 grams contain 40 grams monounsaturated fats, 42 grams polyunsaturated fats and about 14 grams saturated fats. All cooking oils contain a mix of all the three types of fats, the varying amounts of which determine how healthy or harmful it is for us. According to a study done by Harvard medical school, not all fats are enemies of our heart. Unsaturated fats, especially polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), may significantly reduce the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD).
2. Helps in rheumatoid arthritis
While sesame oil may not contain as much nutrients as the seeds because some amounts of it are lost during the extraction process, they still retain most beneficial properties. It is particularly known for its zinc and copper contents, which help in the production of red blood cells, blood circulation and metabolism. Copper is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties, and helps reduce arthritis pain, swelling of joints and strengthens the bones.
3. Antioxidants to the rescue
Sesame oil contains a chemical compound known as lignans, which are commonly found in plants. Lignans are known for their unique chemical and physiological properties, and especially credited with being a powerful antioxidant. Sesame oil also contains Vitamin E, another powerful antioxidant. Because of these reasons it doesn’t turn rancid easily and is commonly used in beauty treatments.
4. Lowers blood pressure
It is not without reason that in the ancient times sesame oil was used commonly in cooking. According to a study, sesame oil lowers blood pressure, decreases lipid peroxidation, and increases antioxidant status in hypertensive patients.
5. Noteworthy for the skin
Sesame oil is valued because of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is commonly used in beauty treatments for the skin because it is an excellent moisturiser, promotes regeneration of healthy skin, has anti-aging properties, and is considered to be a natural SPF. It is also used extensively as a massaging oil because of its warming property and its ability to seep deep into the skin.
6. Helps fight stress and depression
Sesame oil contains an amino acid known as tyrosine, which is directly connected to serotonin activity. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter which impacts our mood. An imbalance of it could lead to depression and stress. According to experts, consuming foods that help in the production of serotonin helps in feeling positive, keeping chronic stress at bay. Sesame oil is a good example of that.
7. Oil pulling for oral health
Oil pulling is an ancient technique which is followed for promoting oral health and removing plaque. A tablespoon of oil is taken on an empty stomach and swished around in the mouth for 20 minutes and then spat out. It is believed to remove toxins from the body. Sesame oil is commonly used for this practice because of its medicinal properties.
The more you understand yourself, the more silence there is, the healthier you are. —Maxime Lagacé