Nuts and seeds can be used to prepare some of the most delicious meals and snacks. Nevertheless, even though the unsaturated fats they contain are very healthy, seeds also have a high calorie content, so they should be consumed in moderation. The good news is, however, that most seeds provide large amounts of nutrients even if added to foods in small quantities. Nuts, seeds and pastes/oils obtained from nuts and seeds contain high amounts of vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, omega 3, iron, calcium, amino acids, vitamins B, potassium, zinc, copper and other minerals. One of these highly nutritious seed-based foods is tahini.
Tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds with a taste similar to peanut or almond butter that can be combined with many herbal dishes and is used in many recipes,
The health benefits of tahini
Rich in minerals
As little as two tablespoons of tahini provide 15 percent of the recommended daily iron intake. It can be conveniently added to salads, or mixed into oatmeal for extra iron content. Tahini is also rich in copper and zinc, minerals that are important for the hair, nails and skin. Tahini added to green vegetables or seaweed provides extra minerals.
2 tablespoons of tahini contain 8 grams of protein, which is far more than the amount of protein found in almond butter, and is equal to the amount in peanut butter. Like many other kinds of seeds, sesame seeds are incredibly rich in amino acids, substances that support the synthesis of proteins in the body, and perform vital functions from keeping muscles strong and healthy to helping neurotransmitters function properly. Amino acids also help regulate blood sugar.
Tahini is low in saturated fat
Some fats, such as coconut and cocoa butter contain natural saturated fats that provide lots of benefits to the body, but their consumption should be limited because of their high cholesterol content. Tahini is very low in saturated fats compared to the total amount of fat it contains (about 2.5 grams of saturated fat in 2 tablespoons).
Easy to digest
Some nuts, such as peanuts, can be difficult to digest. Also, some people are allergic to nuts, so they can’t enjoy the nutrients in foods containing nuts. Tahini is much easier to digest, its nutrients are easy to metabolize, and it provides the body with the nutrients it needs. Easy digestion is important for health, as the body can only benefit from food that can be digested within a certain amount of time. Listen to your body and include seeds into your diet, if nuts are not entirely beneficial to you.
Replacement of dairy products
One of the best ways to replace dairy products is to use tahini; the creamy consistency of the paste also makes it suitable to replace mayonnaise.
Sweet and salty dishes
Tahini may be added to many different types of sweets, adding a flavor that is more delicate than that of peanut butter or almond butter. As an example, mix tahini, berries, a tablespoon of oatmeal, cinnamon, and apples or bananas for a delicious and nutrient-filled breakfast or snack.
Tahini can be a base for many kinds of food
For a healthy sandwich, choose tahini as a base for spreads, mixing it with raw or cooked vegetables. You may also mix tahini with a little water or lemon juice, black pepper and garlic to make a tasty salad dressing.
While many kinds of nuts and other seeds are very healthy as well, tahini is probably one of the most versatile and incredibly nutritious seed-based food.