The health benefits of sesame oil include its ability to improve hair and skin health, help in bone growth, reduce blood pressure, maintain good heart health, as well as manage anxiety and depression. It also helps to protect infant health, cure dental problems, prevent cancer, improve the digestive process, and lower inflammation.
What is Sesame Oil?
Sesame oil or gingelly oil, which comes from sesame seeds, is a lesser-known vegetable oil. It is, in fact, one of the healthiest alternatives to normal vegetable oils. Sesame seeds, known by the scientific name Sesamum indicum, are small yellowish brown seeds that are primarily found in Africa, but they also grow in smaller numbers on the Indian subcontinent.
Sesame oil has gained quite a bit of popularity in recent years because it is relatively inexpensive to extract (simple hot water flotation or a variety of pressing techniques). However, sesame oil is best acquired when the seeds are completely ripe, which means that the outer shells burst. The problem is the manual processing that sesame seeds require, because of which there will always be more demand than supply. The impressive amount of vitamins, minerals, organic compounds, and other beneficial components in sesame oil is the reason why it is considered so healthy.
Health Benefits of Sesame Oil
Let’s take a closer look at what health benefits can actually be enjoyed when you add this oil to your diet.
Sesame oil has traditionally been used to improve the health of hair. It can help retain the natural hair color and minimize hair loss. Furthermore, the anti-bacterial effects of sesame oil can eliminate the pathogens or foreign bodies that can attack your scalp or hair.
Gingelly oil is rich in zinc, which is one of the most important minerals for your skin. It can increase skin elasticity and smoothness, helping reduce the appearance of age spots and eliminating skin conditions, including premature aging. Sesame oil can also be used as a sunscreen because it creates a protective layer on the skin, which is another way of protecting the body from foreign substances or toxins that get in through the skin. In some places, sesame oil has even been used to treat fungal diseases on the skin.
Protects Heart Health
Like most vegetable oils, sesame oil is helpful and delicious because of its fatty acid content. It contains a wide range of polyunsaturated fatty acids, including sesamol and sesamin. These fatty acids keep the cardiovascular system strong and the LDL (bad) cholesterol levels low, thereby preventing atherosclerosis. This means that you are better protected from a heart attack and stroke if you add sesame oil to your diet.
Improves Bone Quality
Copper, zinc, and calcium present in sesame, are integral to bone growth in the body. This means that by adding sesame oil to your diet, you can increase the rate of bone growth and development. This oil will also speed up any healing or regrowth of bones. As you get older, sesame oil can help you avoid osteoporosis and various age-related weaknesses in the bones.
Tyrosine, in gingelly oil, has been directly connected to serotonin activity in the brain. This can help boost the mood by flooding the body with enzymes and hormones that make a person feel happy. In other words, when you are suffering from anxiety or depression, sesame oil can give you a positive boost and turn your mood around.
Sesame oil is highly recommended by dental professionals because of a process called oil pulling, which involves putting oil in your mouth and then swishing it around before spitting it out. With sesame oil, this process has been directly linked to whiter teeth, lower levels of dental plaque, and protection against certain streptococcus mutants that can make us very ill. The powerful anti-bacterial effect of this oil is the main reason for this boost in dental health.
Gingelly oil contains an organic compound called phytate, which has been directly linked to a reduction in the development of cancer. Furthermore, the magnesium level in sesame oil is unusually high, and this essential mineral is directly linked to lowered chances of colorectal cancer. The calcium content is also very beneficial for preventing colon cancer.
Boosts Circulation & Metabolism
High copper and zinc content mean that the body is able to function at its optimal levels, mainly because copper is required for the production of red blood cells. With a significant percentage of copper in sesame oil, your body is sure to get the right amount of blood flowing to the organs and tissues, ensuring a healthier lifestyle.
Copper is a natural anti-inflammatory substance that can help reduce the inflammation and discomfort of various conditions such as gout and arthritis. It reduces the swelling of joints and strengthens the bones and blood vessels. This keeps your frame strong and sturdy for many years without any painful inflammation.
Uses Of Sesame Oil
- Sesame oil is used in cooking, and it is most commonly used in Asian cuisines, including Chinese, Japanese, and Southeast Asian dishes, as well as in Middle Eastern cuisines.
- Sesame oil has also been used in massages, due to its beneficial effects on the body and skin.
- It is a highly sought after oil, even as a carrier oil for various cosmetic products.
Word of Caution: If you are taking anticoagulant or blood-thinning medications, you should speak with your doctor before adding sesame oil to your diet. It lowers your blood pressure and thins the blood. So, combining those could be potentially dangerous. Otherwise, enjoy it in any way you like. Happy cooking!