What is Tahini and is it good for you?
Tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds. Sesame seeds are jam-packed full of good stuff. However, unless you’re super-diligent with your chewing, most of them are going to pass straight through you. Which means all their goodness passes straight through as well.
This is one of the reasons why tahini is so good. In grinding up the sesame seeds and making them into a paste, it’s easier for you to absorb the nutrients.
The nutrients in sesame seeds
Protein: sesame seeds have about 20 percent protein. As with all vegetarian sources, their amino acid profile is not ideal. However, they can be very useful in a vegetarian diet.
Fibre: sesame seeds are 10 percent fibre
Fat: at 55 percent, they’re high in fat. However, the vast majority of this is mono- and poly- unsaturated. They contain a small amount of Omega 3s, but mostly have Omega 6 essential fatty acids.
Carbohydrate: in amongst all that protein, fibre and fat there’s not a lot of room for carbs, only 0.9 percent.
Minerals: potassium, magnesium, manganese, small amounts of calcium and they’re one of the few vegetarian sources of zinc.
Vitamins:vitamin E, as well as small amounts of some B vitamins
Antioxidants: sesame seeds contain a group of antioxidants called lignans. These have been shown to reduce cholesterol and improve heart health.
A full nutrient breakdown is available here.
Recipe for making your own Humus
Makes: 3 cups
600g Pureharvest Organic chickpeas, soaked overnight, drained, rinsed
3 garlic cloves, crushed
100ml Pureharvest Organic Olive Oil
2 tbs Pureharvest hulled tahini paste*
1 tsp ground cumin
Juice of 1 lemon
Toasted Turkish bread, to serve
Place the chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, tahini paste, cumin and lemon juice in a food processor and process until combined. Add 1/4 cup (60ml) of water and process again until quite smooth.
Place hummus in a bowl and serve with toasted Turkish bread.
Should you include tahini in your diet?
Yes, yes, yes and YES. Tahini is a gorgeous, useful food for both vegetarians and carnivores alike.
Tahini is particularly useful because of the fats it contains, the minerals and also the antioxidants.
Although its exact origin is unknown, it is believed that it originated in Africa more than 5,000 years ago. Now it is cultivated mostly in tropical and subtropical areas of the world for its edible seeds.
Nutrition and Health Benefit:
Sesame seeds contain high amounts of unsaturated fat, for example, omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids, which increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels.
They also contain antioxidant substances called lignan. Among those lignans, there are unique substances only sesame seeds have, such as sesamin and sesamolin. These substances are known to lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol level, and enhance liver function.
Sesame seeds are a rich source of vitamin E, which also acts as an antioxidant. It also contains the vitamins A, B1, B2, B3 and B6.
They are also a good source of protein, minerals and dietary fiber as well.
It is known that the nutrients of sesame seeds are better absorbed if they are ground or pulverized before consumption because they are likely not to be digested and absorbed due to its hard skin.
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