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Health | Sesame seeds to help knee osteoarthritis

by Denise Kelly


Apparently nearly one in two people will develop symptomatic knee osteoarthritis by the age of 85 years old. That’s not very encouraging is it? So what are our options?


Total knee replacement surgery is one, although implants are expected to last about 15 years or so, hence why many sufferers wait as long as possible before swapping out their own knees for new ones made of metal and plastic.


During the painful years, though exercise and glucosamine supplements may help to some extent, most people turn to over the counter pain relievers for daily relief. Such medications can come with side effects, especially with long-term use.


So, what’s your option number two? Seasame seed oil! It is most likely to be in your cupboard already and maybe you were not even aware of its incredible benefits for your pain. Sesame seed oil has been studied for years now and the results are extremely positive. Groups of participants suffering from severe knee pain were reported to have three times the pain relief over a three-month period, as the group taking prescription medication to help with the pain.


Why does it work so well?


There is an ingredient in sesame seeds called sesamin, and it is this that has powerful health benefits. Sesamin is a lignan, a group of chemical compounds found in plants.


According to studies, sesamin may help prevent the inflammatory activity of insulin, help promote weight loss, inhibit the proliferation of cancerous tumor cells, reduce LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol but, more importantly in the case of osteoarthritis, sesamin could be a possible therapeutic strategy because of its beneficial effect on cartilage and its reduction on inflammation.


Sesame seeds are rich in nutrients, including monounsaturated fats, which can decrease your risk of heart disease. They contain minerals like copper, calcium, manganese and zinc – all minerals that can boosts your immune system and have a positive effect on bone mineral density.


How do we easily add them into our diets? And should they be hulled or unhulled? Or seed or oil?


With different types of sesame seeds, seed products, and oils, there’s a variation in nutrition value. The nutritional value of a food can change depending on how it’s cooked. For example, toasting sesame seeds leads to slightly higher calcium levels.


Raw, unhulled sesame seeds provide the most robust health benefits. However, whole seeds don’t break down as well during digestion.


Crushing the seed (which is how tahini and sesame butter are made) helps its nutrients be digested more easily.


It’s easy to incorporate these gorgeous seeds into your diet with a little creativity. You could add them to a smoothie, toast and sprinkle on top of soups and salads, stir fry them, or mash and add them to home made hummus. Simple!


Sesame seeds appear to be a safe and inexpensive remedy for knee pain. If you want to avoid the high cost and risks associated with knee replacement surgery, try adding them to your diet for a few months while tracking your progress before you opt for surgery. Surely it’s worth a try? As an added bonus to your own home experiment, you may even find your skin and hair improving too!

Posted in Food, Health, Lifestyle.