Foundation Diet and Health
Diet and Health
QR Code
The best perspective for your health
This page was translated through Google Translator

Sesame, black (raw, organic?)

Raw black sesame is considered the original form of sesame. It is particularly rich in valuable nutrients and building materials. Organic quality?
Macronutrient carbohydrates 25.81%
Macronutrient proteins 19.52%
Macronutrient fats 54.67%

The three ratios show the percentage by weight of macronutrients (carbohydrates / proteins / fats) of the dry matter (excl. water).

Ω-6 (LA, 21.4g)
Omega-6 fatty acid such as linoleic acid (LA)
 : Ω-3 (ALA, 0.4g)
Omega-3 fatty acid such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
 = 57:1

Omega-6 ratio to omega-3 fatty acids should not exceed a total of 5:1. Link to explanation.

Here, essential linolenic acid (LA) 21.38 g to essential alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) 0.38 g = 57:1.
Ratio Total omega-6 = 21.38 g to omega-3 fatty acids Total = 0.38 g = 57:1.
On average, we need about 2 g of LA and ALA per day from which a healthy body also produces EPA and DHA, etc.

Black sesame ( Sesamum indicum nigrum) has a more aromatic taste than light sesame seeds . Sesame is one of the foods richest in selenium and contains a lot of calcium. However, it is also a strong allergen, which is why it must be declared even in the smallest quantities.

Use in the kitchen

In addition to processing into sesame oil, black, brown, yellow or white sesame seeds are also used for cooking, seasoning soups and salads and for refining baked goods (Turkish flatbread, bagels or crispbread) and desserts. As a gluten-free pseudo-cereal, sesame gives smoothies, muesli bars or muesli ( Erb-Müesli ) an energy-giving and aromatic note. Black sesame seeds taste a little more bitter and intense than light sesame seeds. In Europe, light sesame seeds are much better known than their dark relatives.

Although peeled seeds are better for some fine desserts, unpeeled sesame seeds can also be used for other dishes. If you break the shell open with a mortar or grind the raw seeds, for example with a mill, they are easier to digest. Their own flavor also comes out better this way.

The whole, unroasted sesame seeds can also be processed into a paste. In Arabic cuisine, this sesame butter is used under the name tahini (tahina): prepared with black sesame seeds, tahini is something very special. In spice mixtures, unroasted sesame seeds are known as 'zahtar' in Jordan and 'dukka' in Egypt. 1

In many countries, sesame seeds are briefly roasted in a pan to intensify their nutty, aromatic taste. In the Far East, for example, sesame seeds are used as an ingredient in spice mixtures or sprinkled (sometimes mixed with salt as gomasio or gomashio) over sauces, salads or starters just before serving. The taste is very similar to roasted sesame oil (Chinese sesame oil).

It is best to use black sesame seeds raw, so that the valuable nutrients and building blocks are preserved. Sesame seeds can also be eaten germinated, which increases the amount of nutrients and makes them easier for the body to absorb. Soaking the seeds for 24 to 48 hours causes them to germinate a little. However, as soon as the root becomes clearly visible, the mild taste changes to bitter.

Vegan recipe for black sesame cake

Ingredients (14 servings) : 300 g black sesame, 500 ml rice milk (other plant-based drinks are also possible), 100 g ground buckwheat , 250 g grated almonds , 1 packet of baking powder , 80 g agave syrup (agave nectar), 120 ml neutral-tasting vegetable oil (e.g. rapeseed oil ).

Ingredients for the sesame cream: 50 g agave syrup and 100 g tahini .

Preparation: Soak the sesame seeds with rice milk for about 1 hour. Meanwhile, mix the buckwheat flour, ground almonds and baking powder well in a bowl. Puree the sesame-rice mixture well with a hand blender or mixer. Mix 2⁄3 of the mixture well with agave syrup and oil. Pour the dough into a greased dish and bake in a preheated oven for about 40 minutes at 160 °C.

In the meantime, mix the remaining sesame mixture with agave syrup and tahini. After cooling, spread the sesame cream on the cake. If you let the cake "set" for about an hour, it tastes even better. 2

Vegan recipes with black sesame (raw) can be found under the note: " Recipes that have the most of this ingredient ".

Not only vegans or vegetarians should read this:
Vegans often eat unhealthily. Avoidable nutritional mistakes

Purchasing - Storage

Light sesame seeds can be found in almost all supermarket chains such as Coop , Migros , Denner , Volg , Spar , Aldi , Lidl , Rewe , Edeka , Hofer, Billa etc. Black sesame seeds, on the other hand, can only be found in selected supermarkets. In any case, black sesame seeds can be bought in organic shops, health food stores, delicatessens or in some drugstores as well as in online shops. If possible, organically produced, fairly traded and unpeeled sesame seeds are preferred.

The availability of black sesame varies depending on the size of the store, catchment area, etc. Our recorded food prices for the DA-CH countries can be found above under the ingredient image - and by clicking you can see their development at various suppliers.

Found in the wild

In the tropical regions of Africa and Asia there are many wild species of Sesamum indicum . Sesamum radiatum is also called 'black sesame' or 'black benniseed' in English. This is a wild-growing sesame plant from West and Central Africa. In addition to the seeds, the shoots and young leaves are also eaten as a vegetable. 3

Storage tips

Sesame seeds are available all year round. They can be stored for several months in a cool, dark place. If kept in an airtight container, they will keep for about a year.

Ingredients - Nutritional value - Calories

Sesame has a very high energy content of 573 kcal/100g, which is primarily due to the fat content (50 g/100g). The fat contains a large proportion of the inflammation-promoting linoleic acid (omega-6 fatty acid) . The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is not particularly good at 57:1. However, it is still better than pressed sesame oil (138:1). 4

Sesame contains 18 g/100g of protein, which is a lot of protein, and an amino acid composition that is unusual for oilseeds. While essential amino acids such as lysine or leucine are not present in sufficient quantities, sesame is rich in sulfur-containing amino acids, such as methionine . It also contains sufficient tryptophan , at 0.39 g (156% of the daily requirement). 4,5 To improve the profile of essential amino acids, it is recommended to eat sesame and pseudocereals, amaranth or quinoa , as soon as possible.

Manganese is present in sesame seeds at around 2.5 mg/100g. Wheat germ (13 mg/100g) and hazelnuts (6 mg) have particularly high levels of this essential trace element. Manganese is very important for healthy cartilage tissue. A balanced diet that also contains nuts and seeds will cover your needs very well. 4

You often read that sesame contains a lot of selenium (up to 800 µg/100g). However, the selenium content can vary greatly depending on the growing region. According to the USDA, the selenium content of sesame is on average 34 µg/100g. However, compared to Brazil nuts with around 1917 µg/100g, this is rather low. Pearl barley has a similar selenium content (38 µg).

The recommended daily amount of selenium is not entirely uniform. 4 It ranges from 40 µg for adults, up to 70 µg per day. 6,7 The EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) recommends 15 µg/day for children (1-3 years); 70 µg/day for adults and adolescents over 15 years. Pregnant women should consume a little more, 85 µg/day. 7 Selenium is essential and, if the supply is optimal, can even have a preventive effect against cancer. However, an excess supply can also be reached quickly and can cause symptoms of poisoning.

Sesame seeds contain valuable fat-accompanying substances such as heat-stable tocopherols and vitamin E (490-680 mg/kg oil) as well as 0.55% sesamin and 0.5% sesamolin. The phenolic antioxidants sesamol and sesamolin largely prevent the oxidation of sesame (oil), although the unsaturated fatty acids they contain, oleic acid (monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid, 18:1, i.e. 18 carbon atoms) and linoleic acid (double-unsaturated omega-6 fatty acid, 18:2), are very sensitive to atmospheric oxygen. Vitamin E, which occurs primarily as gamma-tocopherol, significantly improves the oxidation stability of sesame (oil). 4

The complete ingredients of black sesame (raw), the coverage of the daily requirement and comparison values with other ingredients can be found in our nutrient tables. In the article Nutrients explained you will get a detailed insight into the topic.

Health effects

What is sesame good for? Phytosterols contained in sesame can lower cholesterol levels and improve HDL levels. High-density lipoproteins can protect against vascular deposits and prevent heart attacks and strokes. 8

What is black sesame good for? Black sesame can help to significantly lower blood pressure if consumed regularly. In a study that reached this conclusion, patients with high blood pressure consumed small amounts of black sesame flour every day for four weeks. 9

The phytoestrogens contained in sesame, the so-called lignans, are said to have a preventive effect against breast cancer. 10

The lecithin found in sesame strengthens cell membranes and is important for brain and nerve cells.

Sesame seeds are gluten-free and are therefore recommended as a dietary food for people with celiac disease (a disease of the gastrointestinal tract caused by gluten intolerance) or gluten sensitivity. Depending on the severity of the disease, look for products with the appropriate labeling, e.g. with the gluten-free symbol (usually a crossed-out ear of corn). Contamination by products containing gluten can occur during harvesting, cleaning, peeling, etc.

Over 180 different phytochemicals have been found in the sesame plant. These include many secondary plant substances with pharmacological effects. 15

Dangers - Intolerances - Side effects

Sesame is a strong allergen that must be declared. In Europe, sesame allergy is rare, but in Australia it is one of the most common food allergies. Cross-reactions can also occur, for example people who are allergic to peanuts often react to sesame. In sensitive people, the symptoms of a sesame allergy can be very severe and even trigger an allergic shock. In some cases, a contact allergy is also possible.

Risk of confusion

The flowering sesame plants could be confused with the plant genus of foxgloves ( Digitalis ) with their bell-shaped flowers.

Folk medicine - naturopathy

The high fiber content of whole sesame seeds is said to promote digestion when consumed regularly.

In traditional Chinese medicine ( TCM ), black sesame is highly valued. Whole seeds as well as cold-pressed sesame oil from black seeds are used.

Ecological footprint - animal welfare

Sesame seeds produced in Mexico have a CO 2 footprint of 0.63 kg CO 2 eq/kg (from the farm to the farm gate). Sesame seeds from China have 0.97 kg CO 2 eq/kg. Both values refer to a specific product. 14 These are not particularly high values. Vegetables (one of the most climate-friendly foods) have a CO 2 footprint of around 0.1-0.5 kg CO 2 eq/kg, depending on the cultivation method (and excluding the impacts of transport) . 19 The average CO 2 footprint of plant-based foods is around 0.66 kg CO 2 eq/kg, which is only 10.7% of the CO 2 emissions of animal products (6.15 kg CO 2 eq/kg). 18 To keep your carbon footprint small, it is best to eliminate animal products from your diet. 20

The Danish climate database CONCITO comes up with 5.14 kg CO 2 eq/kg for peeled sesame seeds . 16 This clearly shows how much impact food processing can have.

The water footprint of sesame seeds totals 9371 l/kg. Nuts have a comparable average water footprint. The largest part of this, both for sesame and nuts, is the so-called 'green water'. 17 Sesame needs a lot of water 21 and is even comparable to animal products. 22 However, data on the water consumption of sesame is scarce. Sesame is actually a cultivated plant that can survive well with little water; however, more water enables a higher yield.

Detailed explanations of various sustainability indicators (such as ecological footprint, CO 2 footprint, water footprint) can be found here .

Animal welfare - species protection

Sesame is generally seen as a self-pollinating plant, but its structure and attractiveness also show that it tries to attract cross-pollination. As part of a research project at the University of Rostock, a biologist in West Africa was able to show that wild and honey bees are important for a high sesame yield. Through pollination, farmers can increase their yields by up to 60%. 13 It can be assumed that sesame has good nectar and pollen values and is a good bee pasture and food source for insects.

Worldwide occurrence - cultivation

It cannot be said with certainty whether black sesame is really the origin or the original form of sesame ( Sesamum indicum ). In any case, sesame is the oilseed that has been known for the longest time: in 2350 BC it was cultivated in what was then Mesopotamia (Mesopotamia). However, the area of origin is believed to be in southeast Africa. 11 Today, many wild sesame species can be found in these two regions.

The main growing countries for black and darker colored sesame seeds are China and Southeast Asia. 12

Due to their similar shape and color, the seeds of black sesame ( Sesamum indicum nigrum ) can be confused with black cumin ( Nigella sativa ). However, the taste is very different.

Cultivation - Harvest

Sesame is a very undemanding plant and is very popular in small-scale, extensive (mainly organic) agriculture, e.g. in Africa. The annual, herbaceous plant requires hardly any fertilizer and gets by with very little water, as its long taproots reach deep into the earth. 3

Their height ranges from 10 cm to a maximum of 180 cm. The flower color can range from white to pink to dark pink.

Special breeding has made it possible to harvest before full ripeness, so that the seed capsules only open after a drying phase through intensive shaking.

Further information

What is sesame? Sesamum indicum nigrum was previously considered a separate species or rather the original species of sesame. Today it is considered a color variety of sesame ( Sesamum indicum) . Sesame belongs to the sesame family (Pedaliaceae), which is mainly found in the tropics, subtropics or dry locations.

Alternative names

Sesame is also known in some places as Vanglo, but this name is extremely rare. In English, black sesame is simply called Black Sesame. Sesame seeds are also called Sesame, Gingelly, Semsem or Benne. In Hindi, black sesame is called Kali til. 1

Other uses

In addition to its use as a food, sesame oil is particularly valuable for the cosmetics industry - for various cosmetics, body ointments and soaps. Sesame oil is also used for oral hygiene as a so-called 'oil pulling treatment'. The seeds are used in Ayurveda as a massage oil or for oil pouring.