12 Incredible Benefits of Sesame Oil

by John Staughton last updated -

 Likes  Comments

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 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, this 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 such as vitamin E and vitamin K (source: USDA), organic compounds, and other beneficial components in sesame oil is the reason why it is considered so healthy.

Sesame oil

Nutrition Facts

Oil, sesame, salad or cooking
Serving Size :
NutrientValue
Water [g]0
Energy [kcal]884
Protein [g]0
Total lipid (fat) [g]100
Carbohydrate, by difference [g]0
Fiber, total dietary [g]0
Sugars, total [g]0
Calcium, Ca [mg]0
Iron, Fe [mg]0
Magnesium, Mg [mg]0
Phosphorus, P [mg]0
Potassium, K [mg]0
Sodium, Na [mg]0
Zinc, Zn [mg]0
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg]0
Thiamin [mg]0
Riboflavin [mg]0
Niacin [mg]0
Vitamin B-6 [mg]0
Folate, DFE [µg]0
Vitamin B-12 [µg]0
Vitamin A, RAE [µg]0
Vitamin A, IU [IU]0
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) [mg]1.4
Vitamin D (D2 + D3) [µg]0
Vitamin D [IU]0
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) [µg]13.6
Fatty acids, total saturated [g]14.2
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g]39.7
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g]41.7
Cholesterol [mg]0
Caffeine [mg]0
Sources include : USDA

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.

Hair Care

Sesame oil has traditionally been used to improve hair health. A study conducted on the bioactive components of sesame oil revealed that black sesame oil can help retain the natural hair color and minimize hair loss. Furthermore, the anti-bacterial effects of gingelly oil can help eliminate the pathogens or foreign bodies that can attack your scalp or hair.

Diabetes

Research published in 2006 states that adding sesame oil to the diet can help manage the plasma glucose levels in hypertensive diabetics. It is also helpful in lowering high blood pressure.

Skin Care

Gingelly oil is rich in zinc, which is one of the most important minerals for your skin. It can increase skin elasticity and smoothness and reduce oxidative stress, thereby helping reduce the appearance of age spots and eliminating skin conditions, including premature aging.

A study conducted by Dr. Lily Zhong, California State University, Los Angeles, USA, revealed that applying sesame oil topically to the skin can help create a protective layer on the skin and save you from the harmful UV rays. In some places, sesame oil has even been used to treat fungal diseases on the skin. Moreover, sesame oil also shows chemopreventive effects in people suffering from skin cancer.

Protects Heart Health

Sesame oil is a heart-friendly and delicious oil because of its fatty acid content. According to research conducted on the ‘Effect of sesame oil on serum and liver lipid profiles in the rat’,  sesame oil is able to lower bad cholesterol levels as it contains a wide range of polyunsaturated fatty acids, including sesamol and sesamin. These fatty acids keep the cardiovascular system strong and the LDL 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.

Relieves Anxiety

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.

Oral Health

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.

sesame oil benefits and uses

Prevents Cancer

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.

Reduces Inflammation

Sesame oil is rich in copper, which 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.

Prevents DNA Damage

Sesame oil contains a dietary phytochemical called sesamol, which has antioxidant properties. According to a study published in the Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology journal, these antioxidant properties of sesamol help to protect you against DNA damage.

Infant Growth

Research conducted by the Department of Paediatrics, University College of Medical Sciences, Delhi, India, suggests that use of oils like herbal oils, mustard oil, sesame oil for massaging infants can help boost growth in them. Moreover, it also helps increase the blood circulation and induces proper sleep in infants.

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!

Rate this article
Average rating 4.0 out of 5.0 based on 1091 user(s).