More than having religious importance during Makar Sankranti, Til/Sesame also has a vast array of benefits. According to Ayurveda, use of Sesame Seeds in winter is highly beneficial for our health. Below are some of the many health benefits Sesame Seeds have to offer:
1. Improves Oral Health - The fatty acids in sesame seeds, when broken down and released in the mouth through chewing, can have impressive astringent and antibacterial effects. Consuming sesame seeds has been directly associated with reducing the presence of the most common bacteria negatively impact oral health.
2. Reduces Hypertension - Hypertension is one of the biggest symptoms of ill-health in today’s day. The natural oils and fatty acids in the seeds prevent the development of several cardiac conditions. In addition, these seeds are rich in Magnesium, which reduces blood pressure. In one moderate serving, sesame seeds can provide up to 25% of the recommended intake of magnesium.
3. Keeps the Heart Healthy - The high fiber content of sesame seeds is highly beneficial for the heart. It works to reduce levels of bad cholesterol in arteries and blood vessels. Therefore, it prevents conditions like heart attacks, stroke, and atherosclerosis.
4. Manages and Controls the Effect of Diabetes - Many studies have shown that magnesium can have a positive effect in controlling the symptoms of diabetes. The fatty acids present in the seed, and the extract of the seed, can facilitate better functioning of the medication prescribed to diabetics, including Glibenclamide. This is specifically true for those who suffer from type 2 diabetes. It makes the drug more effective in the body, and it also regulates insulin and glucose in the blood.
5. Facilitates Hair and Skin Care - Zinc is a crucial component in the formation of collagen, a compound that strengthens and vitalizes skin, hair, and muscle tissue. The effects of Zinc in Sesame are so acute that it has been known to reduce the appearance of marks such as burns, on the skin. It also keeps the skin looking young and fresh, and prevents premature signs of aging showing on visible parts of the body, such as the face.
6. Improves Bone Health - Sesame seeds contain an impressive amount of essential minerals such as Phosphorous, Zinc, and Calcium. While it is commonly known that calcium is essential for bone growth and for maintaining bone density, the effects of zinc and phosphorous cannot be ignored. Consuming moderate amounts of sesame seeds every day can prevent the body from developing deficiencies that impact bone health. Furthermore, sesame seeds are a dietary recommendation for people who are already suffering from bone diseases. These seeds repair bones that could have been weakened by the onset of debilitating conditions such as Osteoporosis or by bone injury. In addition, they also strengthen the bone and can facilitate the creation of new bone matter. Overall, it is the perfect antidote to weak bones.
Here's to the spring that awaits, to the colourful kites and all the lovely festive treats. Here's wishing all of you a happy Makar Sankranti!