Sesame seeds are tiny, oil-rich seeds that grow in pods on the Sesamum indicum plant.
Unhulled seeds have the outer, edible husk intact, while hulled seeds come without the husk.
The hull gives the seeds a golden-brown hue. Hulled seeds have an off-white color but turn brown when roasted.
One of the first oil seeds known to humankind, sesame seeds have been widely employed in culinary as well as traditional medicines for their nutritive, preventive, and curative properties.
Sesame seeds are an important sources of phyto-nutrients such as omega-6 fatty acids, flavonoid phenolic anti-oxidants, vitamins, and dietary fiber with potential anti-cancer as well as health promoting properties.
Sesame seeds have been used in folk medicine for thousands of years. They may protect against heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.
However, you may need to eat significant amounts — a small handful per day — to gain health benefits.
Organic raw sesame seeds are also great in cereals, spreads, hummus, granola, candy, and crackers and also sprinkled onto salads, fish dishes and even soups!
Sesame seeds are also delicious when toasted; the process really enhances their flavor.
Cuisines from Japan (sushi), China (dim sum), and many Indian, Cuban, Korean, and Middle Eastern dishes (tahini and halvah) often rely on sesame seeds for their unique flavors and textures, not to mention the wonderful nutritional benefits.