Eating sesame seeds can lower cholesterol, manage diabetes; know all benefits | Health - Hindustan Times

Ancient Wisdom Part 33: Eating sesame seeds can lower cholesterol, manage diabetes; know all benefits

By, New Delhi
Dec 12, 2023 02:59 PM IST

Sesame seeds can be added to a variety of winter snacks from laddoo to fritters. Consuming these tasty tiny superfoods can also keep chronic diseases at bay.

Note to readers: Ancient Wisdom is a series of guides that shines a light on age-old wisdom that has helped people for generations with time-honoured wellness solutions to everyday fitness problems, persistent health issues and stress management, among others. Through this series, we try to provide contemporary solutions to your health worries with traditional insights.

Apart from its culinary uses, sesame oil is full of health benefits.
Apart from its culinary uses, sesame oil is full of health benefits.

Crunchy, flavourful and aromatic, sesame seeds or Til is truly a desi comfort food for Indians in biting cold. Be it til ke laddoo or chikki that indulge our sweet tooth or crispy fritters, burgers or toast that enhance the flavour and appeal of our snack, sesame seeds indeed are nutritional superheroes that elevate and enrich a dish with their distinct appeal. Sesame seeds have been revered since times immemorial. (Also read | Ancient Wisdom Part 32: Moringa can help you live longer, control diabetes; know all benefits and how to consume)

Unlock exclusive access to the latest news on India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now! Download Now!

As per an Assyrian legend, it is said that Gods had wine made from sesame seeds when they created the world. Both the varieties of sesame - white and black seeds find mention in the ancient texts of Ayurveda where the latter are described to be of superior quality than the former. The fascinating journey of the ancient oilseeds also touches upon Middle East, Africa and Asia where they were highly valued. Sesame seeds were one of the first crops processed for oil as well as one of the earliest. condiments.


Ancient Wisdom Part 1: How to consume ginger for easing constipation; know tips and tricks

Ancient Wisdom Part 2: Neem datun can work wonders for your dental health; here's how to use it

Ancient Wisdom Part 3: How to consume fenugreek seeds for reducing belly fat; know many benefits of methi

Ancient Wisdom Part 4: Peppermint oil can naturally relieve joint pain, headache; know other benefits

Ancient Wisdom Part 5: 4 ways amla can control blood sugar in people with diabetes

Benefits of sesame seeds

Apart from its culinary uses, sesame oil is full of health benefits. Sesame seeds are used as mild laxative. Its compounds have been found to protect liver from oxidative damage. In earlier times, people also believed sesame healed the wounds due to its naturally anti-bacterial properties. It is anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory. In experiments by some Ayurvedic physicians in Holland, the oil was used in the treatment of several chronic diseases including hepatitis, diabetes and migraines. Sesame seed oil is known to maintain good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol. It also offers protection as dental issues like gingivitis and relieves chronic sinusitis. It also helps relieve psoriasis and dry skin ailments.

"Sesame seeds, though diminutive, pack a punch when it comes to nutritional benefits. These tiny seeds are rich in essential nutrients, offering a balance of healthy fats, protein, fibre, and an array of vitamins and minerals. Its noteworthy components include calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc. Incorporating sesame seeds into your diet can contribute to overall well-being, supporting bone health, providing energy, and complementing a diverse nutrient intake," says Dietitian Vidhi Chawla, creator of Fisico Diet and Aesthetic Clinic.

Lowers cholesterol

Sesame seeds or til has two unique compounds called sesamin and sesamolin which have cholesterol lowering properties and prevent high blood pressure


Cephalin, a phospholipid from sesame seeds has wide medical and pharmaceutical applications. It is mildly laxative, emollient and demulcent.

Skin health

Sesame seeds are good for skin and enhances skin with moisture and warmth. They are rich in anti-inflammatory properties and can help prevent skin infections.

Dental issues

Sesame seeds help in removing dental plaque and boosts oral health.

Cancer prevention

Sesame oil contains a large amount of linoleate in triglyceride form that selectively inhibit malignant melanoma growth.


Ancient Wisdom Part 6: Many benefits of onions for eye health; how to add them to your diet

Ancient Wisdom Part 7: Wonderful benefits of ajwain for weight loss

Ancient Wisdom Part 8: Coriander can lower cholesterol; know how to add it to your diet

Ancient Wisdom Part 9: Nutmeg or jaiphal can treat cold and cough, nausea; the right way to consume the spice

Ancient Wisdom Part 10: Pistachios can lower blood sugar; how to add them to your diet

How sesame seeds were consumed in ancient times

An interesting legend has it that when merchants from ancient Egypt went to Africa savanna, they were fascinated with the unique aroma and taste of sesame seeds so much so that they were willing to trade a cow for a sesame seed so as to bring the oilseed to Egypt for cultivation. Once sesame seed reached Egypt, it was used to the fullest from skincare routines, medical treatment, cooking, cosmetics and even preserving mummies.

"The history of sesame seeds is intertwined with ancient civilizations, where they were esteemed for their versatility. Consumed in various forms, including being ground into tahini or pressed for oil, sesame seeds were more than a culinary choice—they held medicinal and cultural significance. From Asia to the Middle East, sesame seeds were an integral part of ancient diets, showcasing their timeless appeal," says Chawla.

How to add sesame seeds to the diet in winter

As winter sets in, incorporating sesame seeds into your meals can offer not just nutritional benefits but also a touch of warmth. Their nutty flavour makes them a versatile addition to a myriad of dishes.

  • Sprinkle them on salads for a delightful crunch
  • Stir them into hot soups to enhance texture
  • Add them to baked goods for an extra layer of nutrition

The versatility of sesame seeds makes them an easy and flavourful choice for the colder months.


Ancient Wisdom Part 11: How ashwagandha can help beat stress, know benefits of ancient herb

Ancient Wisdom Part 12: How to eat almonds for weight loss, managing diabetes; know all benefits

Ancient Wisdom Part 13: Weight loss to preventing cancer; many benefits of figs

Ancient Wisdom Part 14: Preventing sugar spikes to heart health, many benefits of green peas

Ancient Wisdom Part 15: How to add cloves to your diet for easing constipation, improving digestion

Who shouldn't have sesame seeds

"While sesame seeds are celebrated for their health benefits, caution is warranted for certain individuals. Those with sesame seed allergies should approach their consumption carefully and seek guidance from a healthcare professional. Additionally, individuals with specific medical conditions, such as kidney stones, should be mindful of the oxalate content in sesame seeds. Tailoring dietary choices to individual health needs ensures a safe and beneficial incorporation of sesame seeds," says Chawla.

Interesting facts about sesame seeds

  • Sesame seeds boast a cultivation history spanning over 3,000 years, showcasing their adaptability and resilience across diverse climates and cultures.
  • Beyond their nutritional value, sesame seeds contribute to sustainable agriculture practices. Requiring minimal water compared to other crops, sesame cultivation aligns with environmentally friendly farming, making it an eco-conscious choice.

Catch every big hit, every wicket with Crick-it, a one stop destination for Live Scores, Match Stats, Quizzes, Polls & much more. Explore now!.

Catch your daily dose of Fashion, Taylor Swift, Health, Festivals, Travel, Relationship, Recipe and all the other Latest Lifestyle News on Hindustan Times Website and APPs.
Share this article
Story Saved
Live Score
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, May 28, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On