Cold and dry winter weather brings with it dryness, itching and peeling of our skin. This dry weather not only affects skin but also affects hair, lips, eyes, hands and feet. We can minimize this damage and seasonal discomfort by using this little fountain of youth called Sesame seeds! Create warmness/comfort in your body and look more beautiful this winter season!
Sesame seeds can be red, white, black, brown, and yellow. The color difference is based on the plant variety within the species, Sesamum indicum. Sesame is used in multiple forms – powder, paste, oil or whole seeds.
Why are Sesame seeds so special?
1. It’s a fountain of youth:
Based on scientific research, vitamin E has been shown to increase lifespan and promote healthy neurons. Sesame seeds contain tocopherols, the major “vitamers” of vitamin E. The intake of natural vitamin E is anti-aging (helps against collagen cross linking and lipid peroxidation, which are both linked to aging of the skin).
2. Antioxidant properties:
Sesame seeds also have antioxidant properties (specially black sesame seeds). The scientific research done on brown pigment of sesame seed shows that it possesses excellent antioxidant activity. These antioxidants fight with free radicals and slow down the aging process in the body.
3. Promote healthy and beautiful skin:
Sesame seeds are full of zinc, an essential mineral for producing collagen and giving skin more elasticity. Zinc also helps to repair damaged tissues in the body.
4. High in nutritional value:
Sesame seeds are a rich source of minerals, calcium, zinc, magnesium, iron, manganese, copper as well as Vitamin B1 & Vitamin E. Regular consumption of sesame seeds nourishes body internally.
5. Boosts immunity:
The antioxidants in sesame seeds fight free radicals, thereby strengthening the immune system.
6. Rich in calcium:
Sesame seeds are rich source of calcium. Calcium promotes healthy hair and nails. It is also essential for strong and healthy bones.
7. Improves digestion:
Being rich in dietary fibers, black sesame seeds supports healthy gut flora, and favor digestion. Healthy digestive system leads to healthy skin and body.
Sesame is one of the most widely used Ayurvedic medicines. In India, sesame seeds have been a part of their culture since ancient civilization. In India the benefits of sesame seeds are widely recognized and integrated into daily lives, as part of tradition, festivals, rituals and food.
Benefits and ways you can use sesame seed ‘Oil’:
1. Skin conditioner:
Massage over your body with warm sesame oil before jumping in the shower. You won’t need to moisturize afterwards.
2. Scalp massage:
Regular scalp massage with warm sesame oil will nourish your hair. It also act as a natural conditioner. Leave the oil in overnight and then wash it out in morning shower. You can make combinations of healthy oils along with the sesame oil for scalp massage.
3. For better sleep:
Massaging your feet with warm sesame seed oil before going to sleep. It will improve your sleep quality. It will also remove roughness of the feet.
4. For oral health:
In Ayurveda, sesame seed oil is used for ‘Oil pulling’ (swishing of oil in mouth for some time). It has been said to prevent teeth decay, bleeding gums, dry throat. It also strengthens the teeth, gums and jaw.
Benefits and ways you can use sesame ‘Seeds’:
Sesame seeds nourish our organs and blood. Blood transfers the nutrition to skin and hair. Sesame seeds and oil will nourish and protect our body both internally and externally.
Sesame seeds can be used in a variety of ways for example:
– You can sprinkle sesame seeds on your salads.
– Add sesame seeds to your breakfast cereals, smoothies.
– Add sesame seeds to your soups.
– Bake in bread.
– Make paste and use as a dip (e.g. Tahini – a Mediterranean recipe).
– Tahini sauce can be used in burgers, sandwiches, etc.
– If you are a fan of nutty flavors, enjoy one teaspoon of sesame seeds raw or roasted everyday.
– You can make some sesame chutney (powdered roasted sesame seeds mixed with some Indian spices).
– In India, Ladoo (a dessert) is made with sesame seeds and jaggery in the winter season on the occasion of a festival called Makar Sankranti.
– Ayurveda recommends use of sesame seeds and sesame oil only in winter season.
– Sesame seeds are warm in nature, that is they increase heat in our body. It is better to avoid use of sesame seeds and oil during warm seasons.
Note: If you have any allergy to nuts and seeds you should avoid the use of sesame seeds or sesame oil and consult your doctor before making any significant changes into your diet.