Seeds of all varieties—from chia and flax to sesame and sunflower—seem to be popping up everywhere these days. Learn the nutrition basics of flavorful seeds with ideas for how to incorporate into your diet. By: Patricia Bannan, MS, RD
Photo: Lee Harrelson
Sesame seeds aren’t just for hamburger buns. Popular in many Asian dishes, sesame seeds add a nutty taste and a delicate crunch to whatever you’re making. They’re also used to make sesame paste or tahini, which can be spread on crackers or toast and often used in Middle Eastern dishes to make hummus and falafel. These powerhouse seeds provide calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, B vitamins, and dietary fiber. Due to their antioxidants, a recent animal study showed sesame oil may help lower inflammation and improve brain health.
How to eat: Add them to salads, stir-frys, coatings for fish or chicken, or sprinkle them on breads or steamed vegetables. You can also try using tahini paste instead of mayonnaise on sandwiches and wraps.