Eat This: Tahini Health Benefits

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Many of us continue to look for ways to improve our diet for our health. Inevitably, this means finding recipes that are good for us, and sticking to them. However, this can get boring for even the simplest palate. If you’re looking to mix up your diet, but keep eating healthy, then consider adding tahini to your cooking routine.

Tahini is made from sesame seeds that are hulled, toasted, and ground into butter. You can find it in North African, Greek, Iranian, Turkish, and Middle Eastern cuisines. While not all fad diets are created equal, the Mediterranean diet is rich in nutritious and delicious meals that are good for your health and body. Tahini is a major ingredient in dishes like hummus and baba ghanoush—a dip made from eggplants.

A serving of tahini is just two tablespoons. While small, those spoonfulls contain 178 calories, 16 grams of fat, 6 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein, and 0 grams of sugar. While 16 grams of fat may seem offputting, 14 of those grams are mono- and poly-unsaturated fats which are excellent for hearth and overall health.That petite serving also provides 30% of your daily thiamin needs, 24% of your magnesium, 22% of your phosphorus, 14% of your iron, and 12% of your daily-recommended calcium intake.

Sesame seeds also contain lignans sesamin and sesamol, which have shown to help lower cholesterol levels. In a study published in Nutrition Research, participants consumed 1.5 ounces of tahini a day and saw a 6.4 to 9.5 percent drop in their LDL cholesterol in only four weeks. The high magnesium content in tahini is also beneficial for healthy bones. Adequate magnesium intakes are associated with better bone density and help decrease a person’s risk for osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.

The best ways to eat tahini are indulging in hummus or baba ghanoush. Eat both with cut up veggies for a delicious and satisfying snack. Hummus and baba ghanoush are also excellent on sandwiches instead of traditional condiments like mayonnaise or mustard. You can also sneak tahini into salad dressings, soups, smoothies, or quinoa bowls for a seriously nutritious meal. If you’re looking for more ways to boost your diet, or have specific health concerns you’d like to address, contact your doctor at the Medical Alliance of Southern New Jersey today to find options that work for you.