Tahini is not only known for its uses in hummus, but also for its health benefits. So what exactly are the health benefits of tahini?
If you’ve ever looked at the ingredient list on your favorite hummus, you probably noticed that tahini was most likely one of the first ingredients. What is tahini, and why is it so good for you? I’m here to help you explore the health benefits of tahini.
What is Tahini?
Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds. Most often, it is used in Middle Eastern or Mediterranean dishes like hummus. However, there are so many ways to use tahini on a daily basis! Aside from hummus, it can be used in salad dressings, pasta sauces, and even baked goods and desserts. This ingredient is very versatile in the ways it can be used, and it offers several health benefits.
The Health Benefits of Tahini
Like many other nut or seed butters, tahini is filled with fats. However, tahini is filled with polyunsaturated fats — the good kind of fats that we want to include more of in our diets. These healthy polyunsaturated fats help keep you full throughout the day! In addition, they also help keep your brain functioning properly, lower bad cholesterol, and decrease the risk of serious heart disease.
Not only is tahini high in healthy fats, but it’s also loaded with important vitamins and minerals. Take calcium, for example. Just 1 tablespoon of tahini provides almost 23 mg of calcium1, which keeps your bones nice and strong. So if you’re unable to consume dairy, which tends to be full of calcium, tahini is a great non-dairy source of this mineral. Copper, magnesium, and phosphorus are other important nutrients needed for bone and joint health, and tahini is loaded with all of them!
Tahini can also keep your immune system strong and healthy because of its high amounts of zinc, iron, copper, and selenium. In addition, the high levels of iron help the flow of oxygen throughout your body, which generates energy and prevents fatigue.
Tahini’s not only good for internal purposes, but for external ones, too! Sesame seeds, the main ingredient of tahini, are rich in B vitamins, zinc, amino acids, and fatty acids. These all contribute to glowing skin and healthy hair. Vitamin E and healthy fatty acids prevent dryness by decreasing inflammation and keeping your skin and hair moist2. The amino acids and zinc help repair damaged skin tissue to give your skin a healthy, youthful glow.
In conclusion, tahini is full of health benefits that are necessary to sustain optimal health.
Why You Should Consider Eating Tahini
If you’ve overlooked tahini in the past, consider adding it to your diet. Tahini not only tastes delicious, but the high amount of nutrients within it will help keep your body feeling happy and healthy! Above all, Soom Tahini is nut-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, and paleo-approved, making it a great choice for anyone to consume!
Marisa Urda, RD LD
Registered Dietitian, Licensed Dietitian
- Food Composition Databases Show Foods — Seeds, sesame butter, tahini, type of kernels unspecified. Ndbnalusdagov. 2018. Available at: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3740?man=&lfacet=&count=&max=50&qlookup=tahini&offset=&sort=default&format=Abridged&reportfmt=other&rptfrm=&ndbno=&nutrient1=&nutrient2=&nutrient3=&subset=&totCount=&measureby=&Qv=.16&Q7019=1&Qv=16&Q7019=1.
- Essential Fatty Acids and Skin Health. Linus Pauling Institute. 2018. Available at: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/essential-fatty-acids.
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