Women have always been bothered by hormonal changes from preteens to puberty, to childbearing, perimenopause, and menopause. But as we age, the more our hormones go bonkers. One of the things that we can do to ease menopausal symptoms is to eat a healthy diet rich in certain nutrients. In this article, we will tackle one healthy food that middle-aged women should start including in their diet—sesame seeds. Here are the health benefits of sesame seeds for menopausal women.
15 Health Benefits of Sesame Seeds
- Good Source of Fiber. Three tablespoons or 30 grams of unhulled sesame seeds can provide 3.5 grams of fiber. That’s 12% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI).
- Lowers Cholesterol and Triglycerides. Sesame consists of 15% saturated fat, 41% polyunsaturated fat, and 39% monounsaturated fat.
- Nutritious Source of Plant Protein. 30 grams of hulled seeds supply 5 grams of plant protein.
- May Help Lower Blood Pressure. Sesame seeds are high in magnesium, which helps lower blood pressure. It also has lignans, vitamin E, and antioxidants that help prevent plaque build-up in the arteries.
- May Support Healthy Bones. Sesame seeds contain calcium, magnesium, manganese, and zinc that’s good for bone health. It’s in the hull that we find a higher concentration of calcium.
- May Reduce Inflammation. Long term, continuous consumption fights inflammation.
- Good Source of B Vitamins. It contains B Vitamins like Thiamine (B1), Niacin (B3), and B6.
- Aids red blood cell formation. Because of its iron, copper, and Vitamin B6 content.
- Aids in blood sugar control. Low in carbs while high in protein and healthy fats to control blood sugar.
- Rich in antioxidants. Rich in a form of Vitamin E called gamma-tocopherol that protects against heart disease.
- Supports immune system. Contains nutrients that are for immunity, like selenium, zinc, copper, iron, and Vitamins B6 and E.
- Soothe arthritic knee pain. The compound sesamin has anti-inflammatory effect that protects cartilage.
- Supports thyroid health. Both hulled and unhulled seeds contain selenium.
- Aids hormone balance. Especially beneficial during menopause.
How Do Sesame Seeds Benefit Menopausal Women
Menopausal women, or those in their 40s, would benefit from incorporating sesame seeds in their diet.
That is because sesame seeds contain phytoestrogens. These are plant compounds that are similar to the female hormone called estrogen. When estrogen levels drop during menopause, sesame seeds might help in counteracting menopausal symptoms like hot flashes.
Additionally, compounds in sesame seeds may help reduce risk of certain diseases like breast cancer that can happen during menopause.
Reducing Menopausal Symptoms
As we age, we experience a lot of aches and pains. But as women, we experience more because of our waning estrogen levels.
Menopause can make us feel a lot uncomfortable things. Some women even experience depression and anxiety. So if we can reduce the symptoms with some super foods, why not right?
Cooking with Sesame Sesame Seeds and Sesame Oil
In my case, I have long consumed sesame seeds and sesame oil because I like them. And I watch K-Dramas, so I always crave for rice with sesame oil.
Meanwhile, there are many Bacolod pasalubong products that contain sesame seeds. Two of the most famous would be the world-famous piaya and the pinasugbo.
Would you like to cook dishes with sesame seeds? Here are some suggestions, although honestly, you can just easily add it to any dish that you cook.
Mongolian Fried Rice
- Cooking oil
- Garlic, chopped
- Onion, chopped
- Any cooked meats you have (leftovers)
- Julienned vegetables
- Salt and pepper
- Soy sauce
- Sesame seeds and sesame oil
- Cooked rice (or leftover rice)
- A small pack or can or pork and beans
- Peanut butter dissolved in hot water
- Red bell pepper, sliced
- Scrambled eggs (for garnish)
- Heat cooking oil and saute garlic and onions for about a minute. Add the meats and heat through. If these are raw meats, you need them to be cooked well. Season with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, add some soy sauce, sesame seeds, and sesame oil on the loosened rice. Mix and set aside.
- In the pan, add the vegetables, starting with the tough ones like carrots and Baguio beans. Stir-fry for a few minutes before adding the leafy ones. Season once again.
- Stir in the rice, pork and beans, and peanut butter sauce. Mix well. Add in the red bell pepper slices. Just add seasoning if it needs more flavour.
- Optional: Top with slices of scrambled eggs.
Other Dishes You Can Make at Home
With homecooking, you can experiment. You can add sesame seeds in your stir-fried dishes like chicken breasts, bean sprouts, or broccoli florets with oyster sauce. Or you can add some in humba (hong ba, pork hocks cooked in soy sauce).
One time, I even added sesame seeds in my homemade pork sisig! Nobody noticed it because they enjoyed the sisig anyway.
Snacks with Sesame Seeds
Meanwhile, here are some snack and other food items that you can mix with sesame seeds. Fully enjoy the health benefits of sesame seeds in your meals.
- hot or cold cereal
- granola and granola bars
- bread and muffins
- salad dressing