7 good reasons to make tahini a regular product in your kitchen
It will protect your heart, it will balance the sugar levels, it will protect you from diseases and in addition to all this – it will blend elegantly with both sweet and salty. We have summarized all the good that tahina has to offer you
Tahini: fattening or healthy?
On the one hand, raw tahini contains about 60% fat and in 100 grams of tahini you can find over 600 calories. On the other hand, the tahina contains respectable amounts of unsaturated fat, protein, minerals such as: calcium, zinc, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, potassium and B vitamins.
Tahini is an essential component of high-fat diets, such as a ketogenic or paleo diet. In other types of diets, when the main goal is weight loss, it is recommended not to exceed 2 tablespoons of tahini per day.
Please note: real tahini is made of 100% ground sesame. But it must be remembered that there are significant differences between manufacturers.
There are 2 main types of tahini:
Normal, white tahini – made from white sesame.
Whole sesame tahini – as the name suggests, made from unpeeled sesame.
The main differences between the two types are expressed both in their nutritional values and in their taste. So for the benefit of those who haven’t tried it yet, here it is:
Rich in calcium
As mentioned, tahini is an excellent source of calcium, especially for vegans. As a matter of fact, two tablespoons of raw tahini made from whole sesame seeds have about 230 mg of calcium – almost a quarter of the recommended daily calcium intake for women up to the age of fifty. The high calcium and magnesium content in the tahini – helps, among other things, to build and strengthen bones.
Rich in antioxidants
The tahini is rich in antioxidants called lignans, which help prevent free radical damage that can cause a variety of diseases. The lignans contained in tahini may, among other things, reduce the risk of cancer and protect the liver from free radical damage.
Improves the lipid profile in the blood
Studies show that consuming sesame and tahini may lower cholesterol and triglycerides, which are major risk factors for heart disease.
A study conducted on fifty people with osteoarthritis found that the subjects who consumed three tablespoons of sesame seeds daily, for two months, in addition to the standard treatment, showed a significant decrease in cholesterol and triglycerides compared to those who received treatment but did not consume sesame.
Another study, conducted over six weeks on 41 people with type 2 diabetes, found that in the subjects who replaced part of their breakfast with two tablespoons of tahini, there was a significant decrease in triglyceride levels compared to the control group.
The tahini contains a generous amount of monounsaturated fat, which helps lower cholesterol, in addition to phytosterols and lignans – which have also been found to be effective in treating “bad” cholesterol (LDL).
Has anti-cancer properties
The sesame seeds, from which the tahini is made, contain compounds that may have anti-cancer properties. Among other things, they contain antioxidants such as sesamin and sesamulin, which according to several studies carried out on animals, may eliminate cancer cells and slow down the growth rate of cancer tumors. However, more studies on humans are needed to confirm the conclusions.
It has antibacterial properties
The tahini and sesame have antibacterial properties, probably due to the large amount of antioxidants they contain. One particularly promising study found that sesame seed extract was effective against 77% of the drug-resistant bacteria samples tested.
It helps fight inflammation
Many times, chronic inflammations are the source of disease development. The good news is that certain nutrients may fight inflammatory conditions, such as sesame seeds – the main component of tahini. Studies show that the antioxidants contained in the tahini may relieve inflammation and pain associated with injuries, as well as lung infections.
It is good for skin health
The tahini is rich in healthy fats that increase the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A and vitamin E, which are essential for preventing signs of aging. It also contains zinc, which is essential for the creation of collagen, which is responsible for the elasticity of the skin.
In other words – eating tahini can contribute to flexible and glowing skin.
Not only with hummus
Although it usually goes with hummus, the truth is that it can be combined with a long list of foods, salty and sweet. Here are some ideas:
Salad dressing – tahini goes well as a dressing for chopped salad or cut vegetables. You can use raw tahini, or mix equal amounts of tahini and water, together with lemon juice and garlic.
Spreads in a variety of colors – in addition to the traditional tahini spread, you can grind the tahini together with a variety of toppings. For example, boiled or baked beets (which creates a purple and attractive tahini for children), lots of parsley for a green tahini, baked sweet potato for an orange and sweet tahini or roasted red pepper for a reddish tahini.
Sinaia – an incredibly delicious Middle Eastern dish, which consists of minced meat, tomatoes and pine nuts slathered in tahini sauce.
It also has vegan versions, containing vegetables such as cauliflower or when artichoke hearts replace the meat.
Halva spread – which can be prepared simply: mix equal amounts of raw tahini and silan (Date syrup).