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6 Great Reasons to Eat Tahini

December 11, 2013

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Tahini is a thick paste made from ground sesame seeds. It’s often confused with sesame butter, which is made from slow-roasted sesame seeds.

While sesame butter is commonly spread on toast, you’ve probably seen tahini used in Mediterranean or Middle Eastern dishes like hummus or baba ganoush. It’s creamy, delicious, and like most nut and seed purees (I’m looking at you, almond butter) it’s completely addicting.

Because of its high fat content tahini is often seen as an unhealthy food choice, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ve got six great reasons why you should add tahini to your diet today. 

  1. Sesame keeps your bones and blood vessels strong – sesame seeds are very high in the essential minerals calcium, copper, and magnesium. A tablespoon of sesame seeds has 88mg of calcium, which can contribute to bone health. And did you know that copper provides relief for rheumatoid arthritis? It helps provide strength and elasticity in blood vessels, bones, and joints. While copper and calcium have your bones covered, magnesium supports vascular and respiratory health.
  2. It’s easy on your tummy – whole sesame seeds can be hard to digest because the body has a hard time breaking down the hull on the outside of the seed. When the seeds are ground into tahini they have the opposite effect. Tahini is easily passed through the digestive tract, and it is even thought to aid in the digestion of other foods that are a bit trickier to digest. It’s highly recommended for those with digestive issues.
  3. Sesame aids in anemia prevention – People who are anemic are deficient in iron and should be careful to add extra iron into their diet. Instead of taking daily supplements, consider eating tahini instead. Just one tablespoon has almost 2mg of iron. That’s nearly 15% of the recommended daily intake.
  4. It makes hair shine and skin glow – Tahini contains just about every type of vitamin B your body needs, which play a big part in healthy cell division and red blood cell health. B vitamins also contribute to immune health and nervous system health, all of which produces healthy skin and hair. Not only is eating tahini good for your skin, you could even improve your complexion by making a tahini face mask
  5. Your muscles will love it – Tahini is 20% pure protein, so it’s a great post-workout snack when you need to retain muscle strength. Whip up a batch of hummus with garbanzo beans and tahini and pack it with some raw carrots or crackers next time you head to the gym. 
  6. Detoxes your body from the inside out – Last but certainly not least, tahini is a great detoxifying agent for your liver. It’s high in healthy fats like omega-3, which work hard to keep your liver clean and functioning in tip-top shape!  

There are so many great ways to eat tahini. You could spread it on a slice of sprouted grain toast for breakfast, mix it with some lemon juice and garlic to create a salad dressing, or add a spoonful or two to the food processor when you’re making hummus. You can also mix it with roasted eggplant to make a creamy baba ganoush dip!

Do you eat tahini often? What are your favorite recipes?