Grey hair is caused by the depletion of melanin, which is responsible for the pigment in hair, skin and eyes, making blondes lighter and brunettes darker.
Many of us are looking for a magic pill to darken grey hair. And may be it does exists.
Dr Vasant Lad in ‘The Complete Book Of Ayurvedic Home Remedies’ stresses that eating sesame seeds for healthy hair. Ayurveda believes that the health of the bones, hair, and nails is connected. The vitamins and minerals that help to keep your bones healthy are also essential for the health of your hair and nails. So if your hair is unhealthy, it may suggest that the health of your bones may be affected.
But of course people who lose hair may or may not have weak bones. Hair loss is not always due to vitamin or mineral deficiency. It can be caused by stress, long-standing illness, pollution, harsh hair products, and no head massage – Yes I give a lot of importance to head massage, which is a means of delivering nutrients to grow your hair.
Inspired by the aforementioned ayurvedic book, I started researching on sesame seeds and came across black variety, which is supposedly a magic cure for black hair
Black Sesame Seeds Reverse Greying & Promote Healthy Hair
In traditional Chinese Medicine black sesame seeds are considered as one of the best anti-aging foods. Along with nourishing the scalp and stimulating hair growth, black sesame seeds can promote melanocyte activity to produce melanin – the pigment responsible for hair and skin colour.
With a rich nutty flavor, sesame has one of the highest oil content of any seed. They come in different varieties and may be black, brown, red, and tan in colour. The nutritional composition of all sesame seeds is almost similar. Except that black variety has exceptionally high amount of antioxidants and anti-aging benefits.
Research suggests that antioxidants present in the black sesame seeds can counteract or neutralize the effect of free radicals that damage cells and cause aging (including grey hair, hair loss and wrinkles).
Sesame seeds are a good source of hair nourishing vitamins and minerals such as copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, vitamin B1, amino acids, selenium, melanin, and dietary fiber. Plus, these tiny seeds also contain natural antioxidants – sesamin, sesamolin, and sesamol.
Chinese Medicine considers the hair and skin to be an external mirror of the body’s internal state of health. The hair is said to be nourished by the Blood and the skin receives moisture from the body’s Yin. When the Yin is affected it can cause dry or itchy skin. And when blood is deficient it may cause hair loss and grey hair.
Black Sesame Seed can nourish the body organs, the Blood and the Yin, bringing nutrition to the hair and skin. While you apply creams, oils and hair masks, regularly eating a tablespoon of black sesame seeds will help solve the root of the problem.
Health Benefits of Black Sesame Seeds
1. Encourages Bone Health and Prevents Osteoporosis: Sesame seeds are a good source of bone-forming minerals (calcium, phosphorous, magnesium). One tablespoon of unhulled seeds contain about 88mg of calcium, more than a glass of milk. Plus the high zinc content increases bone mineral density.
2. Helps you sleep Better: Sesame contain the stress-relieving minerals magnesium and calcium. It also contains amino acid tryptophan that help produce serotonin, which assists moods and helps you sleep better by restoring the normal sleep pattern.
3. Skin beautifying: The oleic acid in sesame seed offers skin softening as well as cell regenerating benefits. And the linoleic acid helps restore skin barrier and prevents moisture loss from your skin. While the high phytosterols are great for reducing redness and itching and combating weather damaged skin.
3. Relieves arthritis: The high copper content in sesame seeds helps in reducing pain and swelling associated with arthritis. In addition, this mineral keeps your bones and joints flexible and healthy.
4. Prevents Cancer: Sesame seeds contain anti-cancer compounds including phytic acid, magnesium and phytosterols. And the phytosterol content of sesame (especially the black sesame seeds) is the highest of any commonly consumed seeds and nuts.
6. Protects Liver: The antioxidants in the black sesame seeds protect the liver from oxidative damage, helping you maintain healthy liver function.
6. Alleviates Anemia: Black sesame seeds have higher iron content than other varieties, so they’re highly recommended for people suffering from anemia.
7. Good for cardiovascular health: The lignans (sesamin and sesamolin) present in the sesame seeds are believed to reduce blood cholesterol levels and prevent high blood pressure. Also, magnesium and calcium are important essential minerals that help regulate blood pressure.
9. Prevents Asthma: The magnesium in the sesame seeds help to prevent airway spasm in asthma patients.
10. Improves eye health: As per traditional Chinese medicine, eyes are closely related to liver healthy. When liver is affected the eyes become tired and dry and vision may become blurred. Black sesame seeds are a natural tonic for liver, which in turn is believed to nourish and support eyes’ function.
How To Enjoy Black Sesame Seeds
- Dry roast lightly under a low flame just for few minutes. Their flavour becomes more pronounced on roasting. Sprinkle over salad, sandwich, stir-fry, or simply eat a handful as a snack.
- You can also soak or sprout sesame seeds. Soak overnight, drain the water and eat. Or let them sprout for 2 to 3 days.
- Til Ke ladoo or Sesame candy is traditional sweet dish of India. Made with sesame and jaggery (unrefined sugar), til ke ladoo is enjoyed by people of all age groups. Here is the recipe: Sesame Ladoos
- You can even make a black sesame soup, which is actually a dessert, made with black sesame seed, rice, and sugar
Note: The seed hull contains phytic acid, an anti-nutritive factor, which can interfere with the absorption of certain nutrients. Soaking and roasting them can greatly reduce the phytic acid content and also improve the flavour and digestibility.
How much to eat: Recommended daily dose of black sesame seeds is from 10 to 15 grams or one level tablespoon.
Storing Instruction: Always store sesame seeds in airtight containers, in cool dark place to avoid them turn rancid.