Sesame oil or Gingelly oil is an edible oil made from seeds of the flowering sesame plant. It’s scientific name is Sesamum indicum which belongs to the Pedaliaceae family. These plants are native to India and Eastern Africa.
The different varieties of sesame oil are
- Raw, cold-pressed sesame oil: this is generally pale yellow in color.
- Toasted sesame oil: roasted sesame seeds are used to make this type of oil and hence it has a dark brown color.
- Indian sesame oil or Gingelly oil: this oil is darker in color since seeds are processed at higher temperatures.
Sesame oil has considerable health benefits. It’s nutty flavour and unsaturated fat has made it a popular cooking oil. This oil is popular in Asian cuisine, whether it is South Indian, Chinese, Japanese or Korean.
Nutrients in Sesame Oil
Like any other Vegetable oils, sesame oil is also high in calories and fat. But the majority of the fats in sesame oil are mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids. It contains antioxidants, Vitamin E and Vitamin K. A small amount of omega-3 fatty acids, but majorly omega-6 fatty acids are found in this oil. Per tablespoon of sesame oil contains 5550 mg of omega-6 fatty acids, 119 calories, 13.5gms fat.
Sesame oil has potential health benefits and has been used in folk medicine for thousands of years. It is advisable to eat sesame seeds in significant amounts to gain health benefits. They may protect against heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, certain cancers and obesity. It’s a good source of fibre and support in digestive health.
1. Protects Heart health
Sesame oil is rich in omega-6 fatty acids which is a type of polyunsaturated fat that is essential in heart disease prevention. Research shows that it can slow the development of plaque in your arteries. If you add this oil to your diet it may protect you from a heart attack or a stroke.
2. Stabilizes blood sugar
Sesame oil helps in controlling blood sugar level, especially for those with diabetes. It may even play a role in long-term blood sugar regulation.The presence of magnesium has been linked to combating diabetes.
3. Lowers blood pressure
Sesame oil has been used commonly in cooking since ancient times. This oil lowers blood pressure and improves the lipid profile in mild-to-moderate hypertensive patients.
4. Reduces inflammation and help treating arthritis
Sesame oil is rich in copper, a natural anti-inflammatory substance. It helps reduce arthritis pain, swelling of joints and strengthens the bones. They are loaded with copper, zinc, magnesium, iron and calcium, which help in the production of red blood cells, improving blood circulation and metabolism.
5. Good source of antioxidants
The antioxidants present in sesame seeds have the ability to fight damage by free radicals that can harm your skin. They also protect against radiation-induced DNA damage. Sesamol, an antioxidant present in sesame oil prevents the appearance of small pores and wrinkles on the face. Healing of wounds and burns, protection against UV rays can also be attributed to the presence of antioxidants.
6. Improves cholesterol profile
Sesame oil may lower your cholesterol levels when used in place of oils high in saturated fats. The regular intake showed great reductions in LDL(bad cholesterol) and triglycerides.
7. Promotes skin and hair health
Sesame oil contains vitamin E, which helps to protect skin cells from the damage UV rays, pollution, and toxins. It also contains several essential fatty acids. These acids are effective moisturizers that can help keep your skin supple, soft, and hydrated. It also has a good amount of zinc which allows skin to produce collagen. This inturn helps in repairing skin damage and works on skin elasticity. The antioxidant, sesamol present in sesame oil helps in reducing wrinkles and slows down aging. Drinking small quantities of oil in an empty stomach may work wonders on your skin and overall health. Compounds in this oil also increases hairshine and strength.
8. Relieves chronic pain
Topical application of this oil may relieve pain. Massaging with sesame oil helps to reduce arm and leg pain. It penetrates to joint area effectively and quickly improves blood circulation.
9. Improves sleep quality
It helps in improving sleep quality thus improving quality of life. A massage with sesame oil increases blood circulation and also helps infants in getting proper sleep. For people with insomnia , a gentle message of your soles before bedtime with this oil may help. This will promote healthy sleep in no time.
10. Aids in weight loss
Sesame oil consumption helps in fat loss. Sesame seeds are loaded with potent amino acids like tryptophan and fat-burning polyphenols like sesamin and sesamol. This may help you burn belly fat and lose weight in a healthy way.