Sesame seeds are tiny, flat oval seeds with a nutty taste and a delicate, almost invisible crunch.
They were one of the first crops processed for oil as well as one of the earliest condiments. The addition of sesame seeds to baked goods can be traced back to ancient Egyptian times
They come in a variety of colours including white, yellow, black and red. But the most common varieties available in the western world are white.
When the hulls remain on the seeds, one tablespoon of sesame seeds will contains about 88 milligrams of calcium. When the hulls are removed, the calcium content is reduced by 60%.
The term "sesame butter" can sometimes refer to tahini made from sesame seed kernels, or it can also be used to mean a seed paste made from whole sesame seeds—hull included.
Not only are sesame seeds an excellent source of copper and a very good source of manganese, but they are also a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc, molybdenum, selenium, and dietary fiber.
In addition to these important nutrients, sesame seeds contain two unique substances: sesamin and sesamolin. Both of these substances belong to a group of special beneficial fibers called lignans, and have been shown to have a cholesterol-lowering effect in humans, and to prevent high blood pressure. Sesamin has also been found to protect the liver from oxidative damage.