In the Middle East, Israel and Northern parts of Africa sesame seeds are used to make Tahini and Halva. Tahini and Halva are the two main products which use sesame seeds in Israel. Over the last few years, mainly due to their high nutritional value, sesame seeds contributed to the popularization of Tahini and Halva in the culinary world, and are incorporated into many foods and products
Sesame originates from the savanna of Central Africa, Egypt, India as well as in the Middle East and China. There are over 3,000 known species of sesame seeds, that can be differentiated by their size and color
In Egypt, Papyrus manuscripts (dating from 1552 BC) detail the healing powers of the sesame seeds and its value as an energy source. Hippocrates described the many nutritional values of sesame in his writings, and an ancient Chinese Medicine book from 300 BC describes the physiological effects of the sesame seeds as a source for energy, antiaging and serenity.
Sesame has been known as a nutritional, tasty and high quality product for 6,000 years. History shows that sesame has been consumed in countries around the world such as: Egypt, India, China and the Middle East
Sesame seeds are rich in nutritional fibers which are soluble and insoluble. These fibers contribute to the healthy function of the intestines, aid in digestion, prevent constipation, create a wholesome feeling and balance the sugar and cholesterol level in our blood. Research has proven that a diet rich in fibers can protect against high blood pressure, cardiac diseases and certain types of cancer.
Sesame which grows in Mexico, will be different in its composition than sesame that is grown in Sudan and Ethiopia. The sesame seeds absorb the minerals and vitamins from the different soils and environments it is grown in, thus determining their nutritional value.
The nutritional value of sesame seeds is determined based on a number of factors: different species, seasons, soil properties, amount of precipitation and the different planting areas.
Sesame is an annual plant, it can endure dry weather and drought condition, and is able to grow even in conditions that do not allow other plantations to grow. Therefore, it is a known crop in dry and warm areas. Sesame is grown on rich soils that are characterised by high concentrations of minerals, especially calcium, magnesium and iron- where the seeds get their high nutritional value
Whole grain sesame is full of vitamins: vitamin B-1 is essential for creating energy and in the activity of the nervous system, vitamin E acts as a powerful antioxidant that protects the cell membranes against harmful oxidation processes. It’s activation slows down aging activities, and prevents diseases
Protein makes up 24% of the seeds ingredient. These proteins are considered of high quality and are easily digested. Research shows that, in comparison to dairy products, consumption of protein from sesame seeds assists in lowering cholesterol levels.
Sesame seeds are rich in natural antioxidants, which contribute to the neutralization of harmful acts by free radicals. From research, it is learned that the activities of antioxidants in sesame seeds aid in a decrease in chronic diseases such as cancer and atherosclerosis.
In the food pyramid, sesame seeds exist in the lipid group. The seeds make up over 55% of “healthy fats”, composed mostly of monounsaturated fatty acids and a small amount of saturated fatty acids.
similar to peas, sesame seeds grow inside pods. The fruit consists of walls divided by a partition into two parallel cells, both containing seeds. When the shell breaks, the sesame seeds fall to the grown and are later collected