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Food as Medicine: Sesame Seeds

The tiny but mighty sesame seed is often used as a garnish on dishes and desserts, but the sesame seed is more than a flavor enhancer. Toasted, pressed into oils, blended into pastes and incorporated into cuisines around the world, the sesame seed contains vitamin B1, protein, and dietary fiber. It also has phosphorus, iron, magnesium, calcium, manganese, zinc and copper. Recent research has shown that the seeds have both antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties. As such, its use in health food has increased dramatically, specifically in products for liver and heart protection as well as tumor prevention. Beyond the commonly known vitamins and minerals, sesame seeds also contain sesamin and sesamolin. Both substances are unique to sesame seeds, and belong to a group of fibers called lignans. Lignans are known to have a cholesterol lowering effect in humans and also prevent high blood pressure while increasing vitamin E stores in animals. We've taken all the good these tiny seeds offer and incorporated it into a sesame seed dressing for vegetables, talk about delicious and nutritious.


Sesame Seed Dressing for Steamed Vegetables


  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 4 tablespoons toasted black sesame seed, ground into powder

  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seed oil, heated

  • 1 tsp honey

  • 1 tsp vinegar of choice

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Mix the ground sesame seed and crushed garlic.

  • Pour the hot oil over the mixture so it sizzles, stir well.

  • Add in honey and vinegar, mix well.

  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  • Toss with steamed (or boiled vegetables) that have been blanched (shocked in ice water so they keep their vibrant color).



Andargie M, Vinas M, Rathgeb A, Möller E, Karlovsky P. Lignans of Sesame (Sesamum indicum L.): A Comprehensive Review. Molecules. 2021;26(4):883. Published 2021 Feb 7. doi:10.3390/molecules26040883

Pathak N, Rai AK, Kumari R, Bhat KV. Value addition in sesame: A perspective on bioactive components for enhancing utility and profitability. Pharmacogn Rev. 2014;8(16):147-155. doi:10.4103/0973-7847.134249

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