What are Black Sesame Seeds?
Black sesame seeds are small, flat seeds, dark in color, that are used in cooking or for their medicinal properties. The use of sesame seeds and sesame oil dates back thousands of years. They have a sweet and nutty flavor. Black sesame seeds are often used in Middle Eastern, Indian and Chinese Asian cooking and are quite high in nutritional value. The seeds are harvested and dried during early fall and then used for culinary or medicinal purposes. Sesame seeds were one of the first substances used to make cooking oil.
Sesame seeds contain approximately 50% oil and 25% protein. The oil of theses seeds contains about 47% oleic and 39% linoleic acid. Foods prepared with sesame oil have long shelf life, because the oil contains an antioxidant called sesamol. Having said that, it is ideal to consume sesame in its whole form than as oil. The residual sesame meal left after the oil pressing is rich in protein and used as an excellent protein supplement for live stock.
Vitamins & Minerals
Black sesame seeds are high in calcium, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, vitamin B1, zinc and dietary fiber, and phosphorus. These minerals help to support healthy bones, muscles, blood, and nervous system. Copper strengthens blood vessels, joints, and bones, is helpful in relieving arthritis, and promotes healthy skin and hair. Magnesium supports vascular and respiratory health. It also contains zinc and calcium, which also improve bone health. In addition to these important nutrients, sesame seeds contain two unique substances: sesamin and sesamolin. Both of these substances belong to a group of special beneficial fibers called lignans, and have been shown to have a cholesterol-lowering effect in humans, and to prevent high blood pressure. Sesamin has also been found to protect the liver from oxidative damage. Black sesame seeds are a very good source of Vitamin E, which is known for hair and skin care. The lecithin and protein in these seeds are scientifically proven to have beneficial effects on growing hair.
Black Sesame Seeds and Grey Hair
Taking black sesame seeds can heal all the chronic illness after 100 days, improve skin tone on body and face after 1 year, reverse gray hair after 2 years, and regrow teeth after 3 years.” says the Compendium of Materia Medica, the largest and most comprehensive medical writings in the history of Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).
There are two types of sesame seeds – black and white sesame seeds. Both of them contain almost the same composition. So, what is the difference between them? By comparison, white sesame seed is better for edible purpose but the black version is preferable if used for medicinal purpose. To be specific, the tonic black one is good at nourishing the liver and kidney and improving hair growth and hair color while white one is expert in relaxing bowel, nourishing yin and moisturizing to the skin. Besides, black sesame has high nutritional value. As a result, it is widely used in treating hair loss and grey hair, inhibiting the growth of skin cancer cells from UV rays, lowering blood pressure, helping weight loss, improving fertility, and so on. It helps in producing blood cells and improves blood circulation, which carries the nutrients more effectively to all of the hair, skin and body.
Chinese medicine believes that herbs and foods that are black coloured are particularly good for the kidneys. Black sesame is rich in certain oils and is taken regularly, about 1 tbsp daily to prevent greying and restore normal hair colour. Black sesame seeds can be dry roasted and consumed.
According to Ayurveda, sesame is heavy to digest. The seed hulls contain oxalates, an anti-nutritive factor, the levels of which are greatly reduced if the seeds are soaked and rinsed (i.e., in the sprouting process). Hence it is ideal to sprout the seeds to enhance the flavour and digestibility.
How to Sprout Black Sesame Seed
Soak the black sesame seeds overnight.
The next day, drain and rinse the seeds.
Cover and keep till it begins to sprout.
Sprouts will start to appear in1-2 days depending on the weather.
Consume them just as they begin to sprout else they will taste bitter.