Sesame oil is full of antioxidants. Along with vitamin E and phytosterols, it contains lignans, sesamol, and sesaminol. These compounds help fight free radicals in your body, which may reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases.
Potential health benefits of sesame oil include:
Heart Health: Sesame oil has a balanced ratio of omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids. Omega-3 and omega-6 are polyunsaturated, while omega-9 fatty acids are monounsaturated. Research shows that a diet containing these healthy fats lowers your risk of developing heart disease.
Some studies show that consuming sesame oil may help reduce your LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, which play a role in protecting your heart.
Reduced Inflammation: Many cultures have used sesame oil in traditional medicine as an anti-inflammatory. Traditional Taiwanese medicine has used it to treat joint pain, toothaches, cuts, scrapes, premenstrual cramps, and more.
Regulated Blood Sugar Levels: Sesame oil may help regulate blood sugar levels. One study found that adults taking sesame oil had reduced fasting blood sugar (your blood sugar after a night of sleep) and hemoglobin A1c (your average blood sugar level over the past two to three months).
Hair Health: The sesamin and vitamin E in sesame oil may benefit your hair. One study found that a supplement containing the two antioxidants improved hair strength and shine.
Stress and Depression Relief: Sesame oil has an amino acid called tyrosine. Tyrosine boosts serotonin, which can help fight feelings of stress and depression.
Sun Damage Prevention: Some research shows that the antioxidants in sesame oil may protect skin against UV damage. Sesame oil resists up to 30% of UV rays, while other oils only resist up to 20%.
Potential Risks of Sesame Oil
While there are many potential benefits of incorporating sesame oil into your diet, there are a few potential risks to keep in mind. These risks include:
Sesame Allergies: Sesame is now the ninth most common allergen, with approximately 0.2% of the U.S. population allergic to it.
Weight Gain: Although sesame oil contains heart-healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, too much oil can lead to unwanted effects. Sesame oil is high in calories, which can lead to weight gain if eaten in excess.