Tahini: The Secret Arab Paste you must Keep Eating this Season
By Amy Hensler/Arab American Contributing Writer
Many Americans are not familiar with the wonders of Tahini. This Arab paste has many uses in the cooking world, but it is also amazing for your health. Tahini is made from ground toasted sesame seeds, and the most common dishes that include it are: baba ghanoush, hummus, halva, kafta sauce, cauliflower sauce, and sauce for fish. There are even many other ways you can use Tahini, like in marinating chicken, making a yogurt or herb sauce, and garnishing your desserts!
Its secret health benefits all stem from the fact that Tahini is made with sesame oil. Most nutritionists like to use this healthy vegetable oil as an alternative for olive oil. Using it is a healthy way to add flavor to your cooking. Many Arabs might not be familiar with the health benefits, so read down below to find out why you need to keep eating Tahini this winter season!
1. Lowers Cholesterol
One of the benefits of using sesame oil, besides adding a wonderful nutty flavor, is that sesame oil helps to lower your cholesterol. It is rich in mono and polyunsaturated acids (PUFAs) which are healthy fats needed to lower cholesterol. It is also rich in two antioxidants: sesamol and sesamin. If you want to receive this health benefit, doctors recommend switching out all of your other oil products and exclusively using sesame oil.
2. Helps Your Baby Sleep
Having trouble getting your baby to sleep through the night? Want a natural remedy that’s sure to help? Delhi University College of Medical Sciences found that sesame oil improves blood flow which helps put babies to sleep. Just rub the babies feet with the oil before bedtime, and be amazed by the results.
3. Improves Oral Hygiene
Get rid of your expensive whitening strips and exchange them for sesame oil! Dentists recommend using sesame oil for many reasons. It helps protect your mouth from bacteria, plaque, and cavities, all while whitening your teeth. To use, just use a tablespoon of oil similar to how you would use mouthwash, and spit it out after 10 seconds.
4. Reduces Stress and Depression
According to a study conducted by the University of Albany in New York, sesame oil can help your mood because of the high levels of tyrosine it contains. Tyrosine is an amino acid that raises your dopamine levels, which helps keep your stress hormones at bay. Every time life stresses you out, just take a deep breath and massage the oil into your temples.
5. Protects Your Skin
Sesame oil can be used as a sunscreen when frequently applied. Because it locks in moisture, it can also be used to prevent wrinkles. This is because sesame oil contains zinc, which is a mineral that increases collagen and gives our skin more elasticity. Just rub the oil on your body, and make sure you reapply if using for sun protection.
6. Improves Hair Strength
Ditch the expensive hair treatments and use sesame oil instead. Sesame oil contains many beneficial vitamins that work to moisturize and strengthen your locks. To use, massage sesame oil into your roots and scalp and let soak for 30 minutes. Then, rinse with warm water and shampoo the next day.
7. Heals Your Cough and Sore Throat
This natural ingredient is beneficial in so many ways and in addition to the benefits mentioned above, tahini intake helps in healing a cough. To sweeten its taste, add either honey or molasses.
Along with being a delicious Tahini paste, sesame oil provides many health benefits that will save you money. So, next time you have a health problem, run to your pantry and try any one of these tips!