Entering the door to a healthier you is as simple as saying "open sesame." In fact the saying itself originates from the flowering plant sesamun indicum opening its pods to expose the seeds. Sesame is the world's oldest condiment known to man, tracing its origins to India where Hindu legend places the gods discussing the formation of the world over sesame wine. However, it wasn't brought over to the Americas until the 17th century. The seed is natural to tropical climates where it has flourished since prehistory. Highly valued for its rich oil and resistance to rancidity, the plant quickly spread globally. Nowadays, the largest commercial producers of sesame are India, Mexico, and China.
The benefits of sesame seeds make it obvious why the seed has been domesticated for well over 3000 years. Each precious seed contains a rich supply of minerals essential for many functions in the human body. Copper helps to strengthen blood vessels, magnesium aids with vascular and respiratory systems, calcium for bones and migraine prevention, and lastly zinc for bone health. Furthermore sesame seeds help to lower cholesterol and also aid in preventing high blood pressure, proving big things really do come in small packages.
Sesame seeds have a nutty taste and a subtle crunch that translates into many different dishes. Tahini or sesame paste tastes great on fruit with a bit of honey for a sweet snack. Or alternatively on veggies with a dash of sea salt and miso for a savory treat. Additionally you can add the seeds to homemade baking like muffins. Crushed sea salt and roasted sesame seeds are a fantastic flavor enhancer when used sparingly and can be added to a stir fry along with whole seeds to add a nutty flavor and a great texture to the dish. Lastly steamed vegetables can be a bit boring, but adding some lemon and sesame seeds can elevate the flavor in a simple yet effective way. Use your imagination and sprinkle some sesame seeds onto your food to add that boost of flavor and health benefits that is sure to help you grow and evolve towards a healthier future.