Sesame oil is one of the oldest known crop oils to be manufactured in the world. Not only is it used in cooking, but this nutrient-rich oil is also used in Ayurveda as well as for general skin treatments. In India, sesame oil, called til oil or gingelly oil is extensively used for cooking, particularly in the southern states. But sesame oil’s nutty flavour and distinct aroma has also made it a favourite condiment among other cultures and cuisines, particularly Middle-Eastern, and South-East Asian cooking.
However, sesame oil’s most prized benefit is the rewards it offers to your health, particularly heart-health. Consuming high-quality, pure sesame oil helps fend off a number of cardiovascular problems, and also assists in lowering existing problems and heart conditions. Let’s take a look at some well-known and also surprising benefits of til oil.
Fat content:One of the reasons sesame oil is so much better than other oils, is because it is very rich in mono unsaturated fats (MUFA) and poly unsaturated fats (PUFA) – the kind that are good for the heart. These fats particularly help in reducing cholesterol, and uniquely, sesame oil is one of the few vegetable oils that does so. High levels of Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol is one ofthe leading causes of a host of cardiac conditions, including hypertension, transient ischemic attack (mini-stroke) and even heart attack. A diet rich in PUFAs is known to curb the growth of cholesterol, and in this regard, sesame oil beats even the heart healthy Olive oil. Whereas a tablespoon of olive oil contains 1.4 grams of PUFAs, sesame oil contains four times the amount, i.e. 5.6 grams. Not only that, a large percentage of these PUFAs is the coveted Omega-3 fatty acids, that are extremely important for heart health.
Anti-oxidants are chemicals that neutralize the effect of free radicals in the body. The body is continuously producing free radicals during the process of metabolism. Over time, these free radicals cause much damage to cells and tissues, causing inflammation, disease and sometimes even cancer. Sesame oil is rich in two powerful anti-oxidants: sesamol and sesamin – unique chemicals found nowhere else that help in repairing and building the body’s cells, tissues and systems, include the heart and its functions, to keep it healthy.
Minerals: Sesame oil is very rich in trace minerals that are vital to maintaining great health. In particular, it delivers a good amount of manganese, copper, calcium, magnesium, zinc and iron, along with many others, fulfilling a great percentage of the body’s RDA for these nutrients. Of these magnesium is particularly important for the heart and for diabetics; whereas copper and zinc work to increase blood circulation, thereby reducing the heart’s workload.
In fact, sesame oil’s combination of PUFAs, anti-oxidants and trace minerals make it one of the world’s healthiest oils to consume. The best part is, sesame oil is extremely hardy, not turning rancid or toxic when stored over long periods, and has a very high smoking point – making it ideal for deep frying. Its delectable flavour can also be enjoyed raw – as a salad dressing or for mixing podi. If you haven’t yet, try out sesame oil today to enjoy new flavours in your everyday meals!