I mentioned in a post a couple of weeks ago that sesame seeds were a fantastic choice. I thought it was time to expand on why.
There have been various studies done in animals and test tubes that have indicated that consumption of sesame seeds can provide anti-inflammatory action, reduce oxidative stress and provide protection against cartilage degeneration. This is due to a compound called 'sesamol'. A recent study in humans has confirmed some of these findings in clients with osteoarthritis. 50 people with knee OA were divided into 2 groups, a sesame group and a control group, who were given 40g of sesame per day. By the end of the study, there was a significant difference between the two groups in relation to clinical signs and symptoms.
Further to this, the type of fat found in the seeds is mono-unsaturated fat, which is great for improving general health and reducing inflammation associated with a variety of medical conditions. They're also a good choice of calcium as well.
40g of sesame seeds though? This is quite a lot - approximately 5 tablespoons! This straight away adds in more than 1000kJ as well, a significant amount for someone trying to lose weight!
What do I recommend? Until there is further human studies which further support these results, adding in some extra sesame seeds, or using tahini (sesame seed paste) in smaller quantities is a great way of including sesamol... and i'll keep you posted about further studies which may warrant such high doses of this super seed!
Chloe McLeod is a dietitian at BJC Health.
This blog focuses on diet & nutrition generally and diet & nutrition in relation to the treatment of arthritis and arthritis-related diseases. Contact us if you'd like our help in managing diet-related health issues.