Sesame seeds (til) for weight loss

We already know seeds are whole foods (like eggs and milk). But what’s special about sesame seeds is that they are great for weight loss (especially if you have PCOS).

The evidence is wonderful and in this post, I’ll tell you why you MUST include this in your diet and how to take it.

1. Anti-inflammatory effect of sesame seeds

What is obesity? It is nothing but a long-term, low-level chronic inflammation.

Inflammation is your body trying to heal itself from invaders, injuries, and toxins. And since sesame seeds are proven to reduce inflammation (1, 2, 3) you must consider having it no matter where you’re in your fitness journey.

2. A wonderful source of Zinc – the fat-loss nutrient

It has now been demonstrated that overweight and obese individuals lack in many micro-nutritients and one of the major nutrients is zinc.

The nutritional deficiency is especially greater among overweight individuals if they have been through any – yes, any restrictive diet plan – no matter how popular it is (4, 5, 6).

The problem is diet plans compound the nutritional deficiency problem. In simple words, they make the weight problem even worse. Basically, the worst mistake you can make to get fit is to get on a diet. However, chances are that you’ve already tried a ton of diet plans like Keto, Intermittent fasting, low carb, etc. And your body might be struggling with a lot of nutritional deficiencies due to such restrictive diets.

Zinc helps you get in shape

In a controlled study, researchers created two groups out of 40 obese people, where one group was given Zinc supplementation (30 mg/day) while the other was given a placebo (7).

No significant changes were made in diet or activity levels of any group.

After 15 weeks, the group given the Zinc supplementation lost an average of 4.60 kgs whereas the placebo group lost an average of 1.48 kgs.

Zinc group lost 5.12 cm (almost 2 inches) off of they waist. Whereas the Placebo group lost 1.49 cm
Additionally, the Zinc group lost 4.88 cm (almost 1.92 inches) off of their hip circumference whereas the placebo group lost 0.48 cm.

Although having a multi-mineral pill (like Shilajit) is a good idea, there’s nothing like having Zinc from a natural source.

For reference, three tablespoons of sesame seeds provide almost 20% zinc of the RDI (Reference daily intake).

3. Boost metabolism with Vitamin B and selenium

Metabolism is your body using up food energy instead of storing it as fat. A better metabolism means less toxins and weight loss. These nutrients play a critical role in energy metabolism in your body.

If you’re having thyroid issues then adding selenium to your diet has been found to help weight loss (8).

But you also need a host of other micronutrients and that’s where sesame seeds pack a solid punch as they provide Vitamin B, calcium, magnesium, and manganese. And some trace minerals like Molybdenum, copper etc.

The beauty is these elements are provided to you in natural form which is better than consuming any pill.

4. Gives you good fatty acids and keeps you full

Obesity has been linked with low levels of Omega-3. The truth is supplementation with Omega-3 alone might not produce any weight loss for you immediately.

However, long-term supplementation can help you feel fuller and reduce your hunger and control your cravings (9). This in turn can boost your weight loss.

Additionally, these fats help in the metabolism process. Remember, a better metabolism means less toxins in your body.

5. Provides antioxidants to flush toxins

When you burn fat in your body you release a lot of free radicals and toxins. These toxins hinder metabolism. In short, losing weight obstructs your body’s efforts to lose further weight.

Sesame seeds are rich in antioxidants like Vitamin E and lignans which also support you during the exercise.

6. Adds fiber and protein to your diet

Proteins and fiber are essential for weight loss. Adding more protein to your diet forces your body to spend more energy instead of storing it. Plus, protein builds muscles and gives your body an attractive shape.

Whereas fiber is essential to help you feel fuller. Fiber prolongs the time it takes for food to travel through the intestines and also boosts the signals from your gut that tells you that you’re full.

Plus, high intake of fiber reduces your risk of cardio-vascular diseases.

WHO suggests having more than 25g of fiber for adults every day. And just 30 gms (3 tablespoons) of sesame seeds adds 3.5g of fiber to your diet.

How to take sesame seeds

  • Although you can eat them raw and for better absorption of minerals, roast them. This way you’ll get the maximum nutrition and benefit.
  • For weight loss I’d recommend you take 2-3 spoons of roasted sesame seeds 2-3 times a day with meals.

How you shouldn’t eat sesame seeds

  • Eating them raw may reduce nutrient absorption.
  • Eating with tea, coffee, or any caffeine supplement may reduce absorption.
  • Eating laddus (balls) with lots of sugar or jaggery may add calories and defeat the purpose.
  • Avoid taking them prior to the intense workouts.

1) Narasimhulu CA, Selvarajan K, Litvinov D, Parthasarathy S. Anti-atherosclerotic and anti-inflammatory actions of sesame oil. J Med Food. 2015 Jan;18(1):11-20. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2014.0138. PMID: 25562618; PMCID: PMC4281857.
2) Monteiro EM, Chibli LA, Yamamoto CH, Pereira MC, Vilela FM, Rodarte MP, Pinto MA, do Amaral Mda P, Silvério MS, Araújo AL, de Araújo Ada L, Del-Vechio-Vieira G, de Sousa OV. Antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities of the sesame oil and sesamin. Nutrients. 2014 May 12;6(5):1931-44. doi: 10.3390/nu6051931. PMID: 24824289; PMCID: PMC4042560.
3) Narasimhulu CA, Selvarajan K, Burge KY, Litvinov D, Sengupta B, Parthasarathy S. Water-Soluble Components of Sesame Oil Reduce Inflammation and Atherosclerosis. J Med Food. 2016 Jul;19(7):629-37. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2015.0154. Epub 2016 Jun 27. PMID: 27348418; PMCID: PMC4948257.
4) Damms-Machado, A., Weser, G., & Bischoff, S. C. (2012). Micronutrient deficiency in obese subjects undergoing low calorie diet. Nutrition journal11, 34. https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2891-11-34
5) Kimmons, J. E., Blanck, H. M., Tohill, B. C., Zhang, J., & Khan, L. K. (2006). Associations between body mass index and the prevalence of low micronutrient levels among US adults. MedGenMed : Medscape general medicine8(4), 59.
6) Marreiro DN, Fisberg M, Cozzolino SM. Zinc nutritional status in obese children and adolescents. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2002 May;86(2):107-22. doi: 10.1385/bter:86:2:107. PMID: 12008974.
7) Khorsandi, H., Nikpayam, O., Yousefi, R., Parandoosh, M., Hosseinzadeh, N., Saidpour, A., & Ghorbani, A. (2019). Zinc supplementation improves body weight management, inflammatory biomarkers and insulin resistance in individuals with obesity: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial. Diabetology & metabolic syndrome11, 101. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13098-019-0497-8
8) Cavedon, E., Manso, J., Negro, I., Censi, S., Serra, R., Busetto, L., Vettor, R., Plebani, M., Pezzani, R., Nacamulli, D., & Mian, C. (2020). Selenium Supplementation, Body Mass Composition, and Leptin Levels in Patients with Obesity on a Balanced Mildly Hypocaloric Diet: A Pilot Study. International journal of endocrinology2020, 4802739. https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/4802739
9) Munro IA, Garg ML. Prior supplementation with long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids promotes weight loss in obese adults: a double-blinded randomised controlled trial. Food Funct. 2013 Apr 25;4(4):650-8. doi: 10.1039/c3fo60038f. Epub 2013 Feb 11. PMID: 23396496.

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