Sesame seeds are a unique combination of biologically active substances and has been known in Eastern nations for centuries. The fact that even today it is among the most prized and widely used plants proves its fruitful impact.
Africa is considered to be the place of origin of the plant. Nowadays it is widespread in India, China, Myanmar (Burma) and Sudan, where nearly 70% of the world's production comes from. The rest is cultivated around the world.
Sesame seeds and their priceless qualities have been familiar to man since time immemorial. There are white and black sesame seeds. They were once put in the pharaohs' bread, and in China, thousands of years before Christ, sesame oil was burnt to obtain soot for the preparation of the reputable India ink.
In the nations of the East, sesame seeds are used as a way to strengthen the body. They contain proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, vitamins, fibers, phytosterols, lignans. They also contain precious minerals, such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, phosphorus, selenium, iodine and others.
In the past, every ancient Greek soldier carried with them a small supply of sesame seeds, to give him strength and energy. It also served as an aphrodisiac.
The remarkable thing about its composition is that there are 18 amino acids found in its proteins - 8 essential and another 2, essential for children. The lipids found in sesame on the other hand are a source of polyunsaturated fatty acids, such is oleic, linoleic, arachidonic and alpha-linolenic.
Sesame seeds contain another unique addition - the substances sesamin and sesamolin. They are capable of lowering cholesterol and increasing Vitamin E reserves. Sesamin protects the liver from the adverse effects of oxygen.
The copper in sesame seeds plays a key role in the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant enzyme systems. Because of this, sesame seeds provide relief for rheumatoid arthritis. The magnesium in them, on the other hand, maintains cardiovascular and respiratory health.
The calcium fights osteoporosis and migraines, while the zinc is crucial for the bones. Besides lowering cholesterol levels, devotees claim that the seeds extend life. Because of this and its countless other benefits, sesame seeds can proudly be called the seeds of life.
They can be taken as a medicine, as a spice or in the form of halva. However you decide to take it, you won't regret it. Enjoy the unique taste of sesame, in combination with its benefits.