Even if you haven’t heard of tahini, you’ve probably already tasted it. In fact, tahini should be the main ingredient in your favorite hummus. Tahini sauce is essentially ground roasted sesame seeds, which offer plenty of health benefits. Think peanut butter, but healthier! Thanks to the sesame seeds, tahini health benefits include the ability to improve skin health, regulate cholesterol, balance hormones, and provide the body with essential vitamins and nutrients.
Tahini Health Benefits
1. Provides the Body With Healthy Fats and Amino Acids
Those little sesame seeds are loaded with healthy fats – up to 55%. When made with quality oil, tahini supports healthy metabolism and balances blood sugar. Tahini health benefits also provide the body amino acids at about 20% protein. Tahini provides the body with polyunsaturated fats and other nutrients, including phenolic compounds and amino acids. Sesame seeds provide the body with more protein than most other nuts and seeds. (1)
2. Provides the Body With Essential Vitamins and Minerals
Tahini health benefits include the ability to provide the body with essential vitamins and minerals, including thiamine, copper, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, manganese and zinc. Copper plays a vital role in nerve, bone and metabolic health. Adding tahini to your daily diet can help prevent both a copper deficiency and an iron deficiency. Tahini health benefits also include anti-cancer properties. Much like flax seeds, studies have shown that the lignans in sesame seeds have anti-cancer effects.
3. Helps Regulate Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
Tahini health benefits include the ability to naturally regulate blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Sesame seeds contain sesamolin and sesamin, which can help prevent cardiovascular diseases, including acute coronary syndrome. Sesame seeds also contain phytosterols that that reduce cholesterol levels. Studies have shown that phytosterols can be used to treat arteriosclerosis. Thanks to it’s ability to lower high blood pressure, tahini health benefits include improved heart health. (2)
4. Helps Balance Hormones
Tahini health benefits include the ability to naturally balance hormones. The phytoestrogens in sesame seeds mimic estrogen. Foods that contain phytoestrogens can help balance hormones, maintain strong bones and lower the risk of diseases, including cancer and osteoporosis. Studies have also shown that phytoestrogens can help reduce menopause symptoms such as hot flashes and mood swings. (3)
5. Helps Improve Skin Health
Tahini health benefits include the ability to improve skin health. Sesame seeds contain Vitamin E, B vitamins, amino acids and fatty acids, all of which play a role in preventing premature aging and promoting healthy skin. Sesame oil can also be used to treat burns, dryness and other skin problems, thanks to its natural anti-fungal and antibacterial properties.
6. Boosts Nutrient Absorption
Tahini health benefits include the ability to boost the body’s nutrient absorption. Research has shown that the nutrients in tahini can help fight inflammation, reduce oxidative stress and prevent age-related diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
Tahini vs. Peanut Butter
While peanut butter is more popular, tahini may be the more nutritious choice. Many brands of peanut butter are highly processed and can lead to a peanut allergy. Tahini also provides the body with more vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytosterols than peanut butter. (8)