Expert Reviews on Beneficial Properties of Sesame Oil

Sesame oil is less popular than sunflower or olive oil, although it benefits health.

What you need to know about sesame oil

Sesame oil is a product that is obtained by pressing sesame seeds, raw or roasted. Sesame (Sesamum indicum) belongs to the Pedaliaceae family, a group of plants grown for their edible seeds. It is cultivated in most countries with tropical, subtropical and southern climates. Depending on the variety, sesame grows 0.5-2.5 m in height. The seeds are in small boxes that open when dry. The shelled seeds are usually cream or pearly white in colour and are about 3mm long.

The colour of sesame oil varies from light yellow to brown. It has a pronounced nutty aroma and a sweetish taste with a slight bitterness. Oil from raw seeds is often used fresh for dressing and cooking, and oil from roasted seeds is used as a seasoning. It is also added to various facial and hair cosmetics and is used in folk medicine.

Sesame oil is a source of essential nutrients that positively affect skin and hair health. It contains proteins rich in lysine, tryptophan, and methionine, vitamins A, C, and E, PP (nicotinic acid), and group B. Its benefits for the face include strengthening skin cells and protection from the sun and damage, deep hydration, nutrition, softening skin, anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory effects and thorough cleansing of pores.

For hair, the advantage lies in antibacterial action, protection from aggressive environmental factors, and free radicals that cause early ageing. Sesame oil helps improve hair growth, moisturize and nourish the scalp, form a protective film, and restore dry and damaged hair. It is also an effective remedy for hair loss, itching caused by dandruff, and split ends.

It can help cope with sunburn, swelling in the area around the eyes, the first signs of age-related changes, rashes, blackheads, and acne.

There are no contraindications to using sesame oil; it is essential to consider individual needs.

Sesame oil is often added to face and hair masks. It is also included in many lipsticks. This product gives the effect of hydration, nutrition and radiance.”

Sesame oil calories and nutritional value

1 tablespoon of sesame oil contains:

  • 120 kcal
  • 13.6 g vitamin K
  • 1.9 g saturated fatty acids

Benefits of sesame oil: 5 properties

Sesame oil contains antioxidants and other plant compounds that may benefit heart health, reduce arthritis symptoms, and help heal wounds and burns.

1. Has a rich composition

Sesame oil contains cholesterol-lowering nutrients, and the natural antioxidants sesamol and sesaminol protect cells from free radicals.

One study in rats found that sesame oil supplementation prevented heart cell damage and increased antioxidant activity.

2. Supports Heart Health

Sesame oil contains 82% unsaturated fatty acids, including omega-6. These are polyunsaturated fats that help in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. As a result of experiments on rats, it was found that sesame oil can help reduce the risk of developing heart disease and slow down the formation of cholesterol plaques in the arteries. In 48 adults who consumed 4 tablespoons of sesame oil every day for a month, their LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels decreased more than those who swapped sesame oil for sunflower oil.

3. Reduces blood sugar levels

Several studies have been conducted to determine how sesame oil affects blood sugar. In one, diabetic rats were put on a diet containing 6% sesame oil. It lasted 42 days and caused a significant decrease in this indicator compared to rodents not given such a product. Another experiment was conducted in humans: 46 people with type 2 diabetes took sesame oil for 90 days. As a result, it reduced haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels (a measure of long-term blood sugar control) and fasting blood sugar compared to those who drank a placebo.

4. Helps in the treatment of arthritis

As part of the study, which lasted 28 days, rats were given sesame oil. The result showed that oxidative stress markers and arthritis symptoms, such as joint pain, were reduced in rodents. In another experiment, scientists compared the effects of sesame oil with a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory gel: 104 participants with knee arthritis applied sesame oil or ointment for four weeks. The results showed no significant difference between oil and drug treatments. However, more data is needed to make final conclusions.

5. May promote healing of wounds and burns

Animal studies have shown that sesame oil enriched with ozone can help treat wounds and burns when applied to the skin. Ozonated water, also used to treat injuries, quickly loses its effectiveness. Ozonated oil can be safely stored longer. Scientists believe that the antioxidant and antibacterial properties of sesame play an essential role in wound healing, however, more research is needed.

Harm of sesame oil

Sesame is a potent allergen. Therefore, people prone to allergies should consult a doctor before adding sesame oil to their diet. Also, if you plan to use cosmetics containing sesame oil, try them on a small area of ​​the skin to avoid hives and more severe consequences.

The product may not be suitable for those who follow a low-calorie diet and plan to normalize weight – sesame oil contains many calories. People with high blood pressure and diabetes should also consult a specialist first.

Expert commentary

1. What are the benefits of sesame oil for the body?

Like many vegetable oils, Sesame oil primarily contains fatty acids—primarily omega-6 and omega-9—as well as vitamin E, lignans, and the antioxidants sesamol and sesamolin. The oil has an antioxidant effect, can help balance hormones, and supports the immune system.

Sesame oil is trendy in Ayurveda, where it is used for external body oiling, warming effects, and abhyanga massage, which is most often used due to its dense structure.

2. What problems can it help solve? For example, with a lack of calcium?

Sesame serves as a good source of calcium, but this applies to the sesame itself or to the sesame paste (tahini). These nutrients pass into the oil in residual quantities, but its main components are omega-6 -9 and vitamin E.

Like many products, Sesame oil helps diversify the diet and support our immunity. Still, it alone can only solve any problem using an integrated approach. Nevertheless, its strengths are its antioxidant properties due to the content of lignans, the ability to support the cardiovascular system, and participation in the metabolism of lipids in the body, which means that sesame oil maintains normal cholesterol levels and regulates the formation of bile.

3. How do you use it correctly, and what products do you combine it with for maximum benefits?

Sesame oil is often used in oriental dishes. However, I recommend adding it to fresh vegetable salads and prepared meals. It is better not to heat this oil, despite the advice about its heat resistance; all its valuable substances are preserved when cold pressed, and the oil is used up.

4. For what diseases or conditions should you stop using it, and what side effects are there?

Sesame oil can cause allergies, so those prone to reactions to seeds and nuts should treat it with special attention.

Sesame oil helps increase blood clotting; that is, for those prone to the formation of blood clots or have varicose veins, it is better to either minimize or eliminate sesame oil.

Generally, it pays to use common sense when consuming vegetable oils, especially those high in omega-6. Since the modern diet is most often depleted in omega-3 and oversaturated with omega-6, leading to inflammatory processes. And, of course, do not heat sesame oil or fry it, as it becomes a source of carcinogens.

5. What should you look for when buying sesame oil in a store? What should it be like?

The oil can be made from light or dark sesame seeds. From fried and not fried. It can be produced by hot pressing or cold pressing. The healthiest oil will be cold-pressed raw seed oil, ideally from dark seeds. Of the light ones, it will be less rich in taste, but this oil is more common in our country.

Oil made from roasted seeds will be more flavorful, but the concentration of nutrients will be reduced compared to raw seeds.

Sesame oil can be stored unopened for a long time (about two years), but from the moment it is opened, this period is reduced. Only consume rancid oil if it has already been opened, even if the expiration date has yet to pass.

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