Tahini (Sesame Seed Paste)
Tahini is to Middle Easterners what peanut butter is to Americans. Tahini is a sesame seed paste made from the sesame seeds.
Sesame seeds are 25 percent protein and are especially rich in methionine and tryptophan, often lacking in adequate quantities in many plant proteins.
Tahini contains 2.9 grams of protein per tablespoon, 0.9 grams of fiber, and 8.1 grams of total fat.
Tahini also contains the B vitamins, and a tablespoon contains 153.6 mg calcium and 3.07 mg iron. Additional minerals include 57.9 mg magnesium and 93.12 mg potassium per tablespoon.
Phytosterols, also called “plant sterols,” are compounds found in plants that have a an almost identical chemical structure to cholesterol, and when present in the diet in sufficient amounts, are believed to
When consumed, plant sterols attach to sites called micelles, where cholesterol is normally absorbed. This effectively blocks the cholesterol, forcing it to exit the digestive system unabsorbed. The net result is a decrease in the amount of cholesterol the body takes in from the diet.
Among the phytosterols present in seeds commonly eaten in the United States, sesame seeds have the highest total phytosterol content (400-413 mg per 100 grams).
Of the nuts and seeds typically consumed as snack foods, sunflower seeds and pistachios were richest in phytosterols (270-289 mg/100 g), followed by pumpkin seeds (265 mg/100 g).