15 Benefits Of Sesame Seeds and Oil

Here are 15 benefits of sesame seeds and oils that have long been overlooked, despite being a common ingredient in Indian cuisines.

Make the humble little til the latest addition to your grocery lists and enjoy the many health benefits of sesame seeds and oils.

Just as Diwali celebrations would be incomplete without silver-foiled kaju katlis, and Holi without a tall glass of thandai, one cannot imagine Makarsakranti celebrations without sesame delicacies such as til ladoos, chikkis, and gajak. Yes, the humble looking til, also known as the, “queen of seeds” is essential to Indian sweets and savouries.

In fact, many Indian festivals, religious prayers, and ayurvedic treatments would be incomplete without sesame.

Aside from its nutty flavour and satisfying crunchy texture, did you know this little seed is packed with many vitamins and minerals that are very beneficial to women?

The many benefits of sesame seeds and oils

The benefits of sesame seeds and oils have long been overlooked, even though they have been a common ingredient in the Indian kitchen and in other Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines for generations. 

The most common health challenges that Indian women face today are heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer, depression and obesity. There are many benefits of sesame seeds that help to improve these conditions.

There are two types of sesame seeds available in the Indian market, white and black or (kala til) and they are high in nutrients such as protein, fibre, and heart-healthy fats. These seeds are also packed with essential vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, vitamin E, and B vitamins.

sesame seed oil benefits

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Sesame seeds help lower oxidative stress and contributes to the prevention of health issues such as cardiovascular and neurological disorders, thanks to their antioxidant capabilities. Other benefits include:

  • Good source of calcium and iron – to fight anaemia and osteoporosis, common conditions found in women (according to the latest NFHS report, 57 % of Indian women were found to be anaemic.)
  • Helps with arthritic pain – The compound sesamin has anti-inflammatory effect that protects knee cartilage.
  • Helps to control blood sugar – high in protein and healthy fats help control blood sugar
  • Black sesame seeds aid digestion –They are a good source of fiber and unsaturated fatty acids that help to cure constipation.
  • Stabilizes blood pressure – Sesame seeds are rich in magnesium that helps prevent hypertension. Polyunsaturated fats and the compound sesamin present in sesame oil are known to keep blood pressure levels in check.
  • Seed cycling helps with PCOS – The benefits of sesame seeds can help tame your PCOS troubles. According to latest reports, one in five women suffer from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS in India.

Common symptoms of PCOS include irregular periods due to hormonal imbalances, loss of hair, mood swings among others.

Seed cycling is a naturopathic remedy that entails the consumption of different seeds at different phases of the menstrual cycle.

It is believed that some of these seeds are rich in estrogen and others in progesterone, and are consumed at different phases of the menstrual cycle to balance hormones.

Sesame seeds help increase progesterone required during the luteal phase (the second half of the menstrual cycle, around day 15th to 28th) and may help regularize periods among women suffering from PCOS.

  • Menopause – The most common diseases that menopausal women face are heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, musculoskeletal disorders such as osteoporosis, arthritis, depression.

According to studies, “sesame seeds and oils benefit postmenopausal women by improving blood lipids, antioxidant status, and possibly sex hormone status.”

Benefits of sesame oil

benefits of sesame seed oil

Sesame oil is made from the seeds of the sesame plant (Sesamum indicum). Also known as gingelly oil, and is a popular cooking oil due to its hearty and nutty flavour.

The benefits of sesame oil are many in numerous because the oil is rich in healthy fats unlike many other common oils in the market. Sesame oil has been used in most Indian ayurvedic therapies for centuries.

  • Helps in anaemia – Sesame seeds are rich in iron, copper, and Vitamin B6 which aid in red blood cell formation.
  • Lowers Cholesterol – Sesame oil is high in omega-3, omega-6 (both polysaturated) and omega-9 (monosaturated) fatty acids, which help to lower cholesterol.

According to research, eating a diet rich in these fats lowers your risk of heart disease. It may also help lower “bad” cholesterol like LDL and triglycerides.

  • Fights inflammation – Sesame oil is an excellent ingredient for fighting inflammation in the body, which is the root of many chronic illnesses.

Sesame oil has been utilized as an anti-inflammatory in traditional medicine in many Asian countries. Traditional Taiwanese medicine, for example, utilizes it to treat joint pain, toothaches, cuts, scrapes, premenstrual cramps, and other conditions.

  • Oral Health – The oil is commonly used for oil pulling because of its medicinal properties.  Oil pulling is an ancient ayurvedic technique to fight tooth decay.
  • Regulates Blood Sugar – Sesame oil may aid with blood sugar control. Studies show that adults who consumed sesame oil had lower fasting blood sugar than before.
  • Hair Health – The benefits of sesame oil help control your messy mane by providing deep nourishment to the scalp. Sesame oil is packed with vitamin E which improves hair health and texture. It helps moisturize the scalp and rejuvenate hair follicles.
  • Stress and Depression relief  – Sesame oil has an amino acid called tyrosine, which boosts serotonin in the brain and helps fight feelings of stress and depression. Serotonin is a mood regulator and is called the body’s “feel good chemical”
  • Protects the skin – Warm sesame oil is used as a base oil in many ayurvedic treatments because of its many healing properties, it helps reduce stress, improve blood circulation, and has antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

The anti-inflammatory properties of the oil help heal skin redness, soreness. The oil works wonders for the dry skin, especially during winters, helping it maintain its elasticity.

Best way to consume sesame seeds and how to eliminate anti-nutritional factors

sesame seed benefits

Sesame seeds can be sprinkled on top of foods raw or roasted, or sesame seed oil or tahini can be used in a variety of recipes. Like all seeds, sesame too has anti-nutritional factors such as phytochemicals that impede absorption of nutrients.

Thus, the best way to get the most out of your seeds is to soak them in water for 4–5 hours to reduce the phytic acid content. The seeds then can be added to smoothies, yogurt, rice dough, or vegetables etc.

Roasting – roasting is another efficient method to preserve and maximize the nutritional benefits of sesame seeds. Roast the seeds for 20 minutes on low to medium flame, one can add jaggery and ghee to make chikkis and ladoos.

Every food has a negative impact if taken in excess. All nuts and seeds are a high source of healthy fats, but they are high in calories nonetheless and should be taken in moderation.


Although there are many benefits of sesame oils and seeds, like all foods, they can lead to allergies. Common allergy symptoms include mild lip swelling, itching, acidity, irritating bowel movement.

People with a weak digestive system or diverticulitis should avoid consuming sesame.

Recipes with sesame

Enjoy the benefits of sesame seeds and oils by trying out these recipes! Try these dips for your next house party.


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Image Source: New Africa Studio and kerdkanno, via Getty Images, free on Canva Pro

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