What is Tahini?
Let’s talk about a condiment native to the cuisines of the Middle East, Eastern Mediterranean, South Caucasus, as well as parts of North Africa – Tahini. If you haven’t heard of Tahini, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Tahini is basically a paste or butter made from ground sesame seeds. It forms the base for popular dishes in the Middle East like Hummus and Baba Ghanoush.
Nutritional Benefits of Tahini
Tahini is an extremely nutritious food with a high content of unsaturated fats as well as protein, zinc, iron, magnesium, copper, selenium, and it is also one of the best sources of calcium. It contains 426 mg of calcium per 100 g serving. It is important to note that when it comes to calcium, there is a big difference between tahini from hulled vs. unhulled sesame seeds.
Tahini and Calcium
There is much higher calcium content in the tahini made from unhulled sesame seeds. However, this also comes in the form of calcium oxalate which is also a more difficult form of calcium for the body to absorb. The more commonly available tahini is made from hulled sesame seeds which, despite having lower calcium content, contain calcium in a form that is more easily absorbed by the body.
Incorporating tahini into your daily diet has a lot of health benefits notably due to its calcium content. It helps ensure adequate amounts of calcium consumption for strong teeth and bones without the added complications of more commonly associated calcium rich sources like milk which, due to high levels of pasteurization and homogenization, is not well absorbed or even utilized in our body. Regular milk also contains toxins like growth hormones and antibiotics.
Health Benefits of Tahini
The calcium in tahini would also help protect the colon from cancer-causing agents. Its ability to maintain bone health can be useful for women who are going through menopause or anyone suffering from conditions like rheumatoid arthritis which can cause bone loss. It prevents migraines and is also great for maintaining hormonal health during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. It is also a great choice for vegans and vegetarians as a calcium rich food.
Easy to incorporate into your daily routine, tahini is beneficial for everyone. Being extremely high in fats, tahini has a high calorie content so moderation is advised to get the best of its nutritional value.