It is believed that the sesame plant has been used for thousands of years. The Chinese have been using it for about 2000 years now, yet most people still don’t know about it.
No one truly knows where this plant originated from, but one thing is for sure, it does have its unique traits.
What are Black Sesame Seeds?
Black Sesame Seeds are derived from the Sesame flowering plant known as Sesamum indicum, belonging to the genus Sesamum. It is a tall, upright-growing annual plant having deeply veined leaves and pink or white flowers.
The seeds tend to burst out of the seed capsules when they are ripe. Because of this tendency to scatter, the sesame seeds are harvested while they are still green.
Black sesame seeds are rich in nutrients such as calcium, iron, and magnesium. They are also a great source of fibre and protein.
Where can you find Black Sesame seeds?
Generally, countries like Sudan, Myanmar, and India are known to be the biggest producers of sesame seeds.
There are three types of sesame seeds- white, yellow, and black. But they all come from the same plant. It all comes down to the hulling process whereby the hull or the outer coverings of the sesame seeds are removed.
However, black sesame seeds are known to be more expensive as it supposedly has more health benefits than white sesame.
Black Sesame seeds Benefits
When it comes to benefits, black sesame seeds have the upper hand.
- Rich source of antioxidants: One of the most prominent distinctions is the presence of antioxidants. Black sesame seeds are rich in antioxidants which is extremely beneficial to help protect the body from free radicals. Free radicals are unstable atoms that damage the cells and cause illness. The presence of the chemical compound Sesamin, which is an excellent source of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, is known to reduce oxidative stress and plays an important role in countering cardiovascular ailments.
- Maintain blood pressure: Black sesame seeds are also rich in magnesium content. Magnesium is known to be very effective in reducing high blood pressure and keeping it in check.
- Black sesame for hair and skin care: Sesame oil is rich in nutrients such as iron, zinc, and fatty acids. These nutrients are known to be very effective in maintaining healthy hair and skin.
Black sesame seeds vs. White
As mentioned, there isn’t much difference when it comes to black and white sesame seeds. If we really have to distinguish between the two, the obvious distinction would be their colour.
Nevertheless, when it comes to black sesame seeds, they offer a more nutty and rustic taste as compared to its white counterpart. This is mainly due to the fact that white sesame seeds undergo the hulling process (removing of the outer layer) which makes it less bitter to the taste.
Black sesame seeds are also known to have more nutritional benefits than white sesame seeds although studies have yet to establish this.
Uses of black sesame seeds
When it comes to using black sesame seeds, there are a variety of recipes that comes to mind. Be it black sesame chutney, smoothie, or a mouthwatering ball of laddu (a spherical shaped Indian sweet), you can never get enough of these aromatic and nutty seeds.
Black sesame and India
Black sesame seeds, or Kala til as it is known in Hindi, are very popular in India and there are a host of recipes that incorporate these nutty and flavourful seeds.