|Source :||TETRA Nutritional Consultation Centre|
Sesame is made up of some 50% fat, including linoleic acid which is highest in content. There is a misconception that fat are totally bad for us. Linoleic acid is a polyunsaturated fat. Since our body cannot produce this essential fatty acid, it is imperative for us to get it from external sources. Polyunsaturated fats can reduce blood cholesterol and dilute our blood to lower the risk of vessel stenosis.
Sesame also contains sesamin and rich vitamin E. These anti-oxidants can inhibit the activity of free radicals generated by the aging process, air pollution, chemicals, smoking, drinking and stress, and thus protect the body from harm. The risks of cellular lesions or cancers caused by cytometaplasia, aging or genetic mutation are also reduced.
Sesame is known to promote bowel movement. This is because it has a high fibre content (16.8g of fibres in every 100g of sesame). Non-water soluble fibres can stimulate intestinal wriggle and defecation. They keep the intestines smooth and healthy. Water soluble fibres, on the other hand, bond with intestinal cholesterols and discharge them with feces. This process helps lower our blood cholesterol level and reduces the chance of developing cardiovascular diseases.
Sesame is rich in minerals like calcium, iron and zinc. Calcium keeps our bones and teeth healthy and maintains a good blood pressure. Iron is one of the minerals required for producing haemoglobin in the erythrocyte. This substance assists the transportation of oxygen to all cells to guarantee normal cellular functions, and delivers carbon dioxide back to the lungs where it is exhaled. Potassium has a positive effect on the contraction of smooth muscles, skeletal muscles and cardiac muscles. It also contributes to excitement of nerve cells and tissues. Potassium is very important for balancing bodily moisture and pH. It indirectly affects the regulation of blood pressure.
Packed with unsaturated fats and other nutrients which are good for the heart, sesame is nonetheless high in total fat. Regular and excessive intake will cause weight increase and higher blood triglycerides. To avoid negative impacts, we should eat appropriate portion.