Tahini is known for its health benefits, so what exactly are tahini health benefits?
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 listed. But what exactly is tahini, and why is it so good for you? I’m here to help you explore the health benefits of tahini.
Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds. Most often, it is used in Middle Eastern or Mediterranean dishes like hummus, but don’t let that fool you – there are actually several different ways to use tahini in your everyday lives. Aside from hummus, it can be used in salad dressings, pasta sauces, and even baked goods. Or, you can just eat it straight from the jar with a spoon! This spread is very versatile in the ways it can be used, and it offers several health benefits, as well.
Like many other nut or seed butters, tahini is filled with fats. However, no need to worry, because tahini is filled with polyunsaturated fats, which are the good kind of fat that we want to include more of in our diets. These healthy polyunsaturated fats not only help keep you full throughout the day, but they also keep your brain functioning properly, lower bad cholesterol, and decrease the risk for 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 helps keep your bones nice and strong. Not only that, but tahini is a great non-dairy source of calcium, making it a great option for those who cannot consume dairy. Other important nutrients needed for bone and joint health include copper, magnesium, and phosphorus, and luckily, tahini is loaded with all of those nutrients! Tahini can also keep your immune system strong and healthy, due to the fact that it contains high amounts of zinc, iron, copper, and selenium. In addition, the high levels of iron help the flow of oxygen throughout your body, giving you lots of energy and preventing that feeling of fatigue.
Not only is tahini good for the insides of our bodies, but it is also good for the outsides, as well. Sesame seeds, the main ingredient of tahini, are rich in B vitamins, zinc, amino acids, and fatty acids, which all contribute to glowing skin and healthy hair. The healthy fatty acids and high levels of Vitamin E prevent dryness by decreasing inflammation and keeping your skin and hair moist2, while the amino acids and zinc play a role in repairing damaged skin tissue to give your skin a healthy, youthful glow.
If you’ve overlooked tahini in the past, perhaps it’s time to give it a chance in your diet. Tahini not only tastes delicious, but the high amount of nutrients within it will help keep your body feeling happy and healthy! Soom tahini is peanut-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, and paleo-approved, making it a great choice for anyone to consume! Check out soomfoods.com for product info, recipe ideas, and to purchase your very own jar of tahini spread today!
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.