Nuts & Seeds

Whole Raw Organic Sesame Seeds, Slow Food

Raw sesame seeds (from the Sesamum indicum plant), known for their high mineral, protein, and carbohydrate content, are useful for preventing osteoporosis and cardiovascular diseases. These oily seeds are also an excellent source of B vitamins.

Ispica Sesame, a Slow Food Presidium

The Ispica sesame plant can reach a height of about 150 cm and can produce up to 150 capsules, each containing 70 seeds. The seeds are small, amber in color, and have an intense flavor with a toasty note, even in their raw form. In Sicilian tradition, sesame is used to flavor dishes and to prepare bread, cookies, and cobaita (a traditional Christmas treat).
The producers who cultivate Ispica sesame as part of the Slow Food Presidium, on approximately 20 hectares, are located in Ispica and Scicli (Ragusa province) and in Rosolino and Noto (Siracusa province). The loamy-clayey and deep soils in this area allow sesame to thrive, especially in the hot summers.
The seeds, carefully selected and stored by the Presidium producers, are sown between April and May in soil that has been previously prepared and may have been fertilized with manure. Sesame often follows carrots, fava beans, or garlic, benefiting from the organic fertilization used for these crops. Crop rotation with legumes is practiced, and weeds are removed manually and/or through false sowing. Drip or runoff irrigation is used, and no phytosanitary treatments are applied.
From the second half of September, when the plants change color and before the capsules open, the harvest begins. The plants are cut, bundled, and then left to dry in the sun. This is followed by manual threshing and removing impurities from the seeds using special screens.

Benefits of Raw Sesame Seeds

Thanks to their high calcium content, raw sesame seeds are effective in preventing osteoporosis and are a valid alternative for those who cannot consume dairy due to food intolerances to strengthen bones and teeth. Raw sesame seeds are excellent natural supplements of zinc, which strengthens the immune system (a valuable aid in cases of mental fatigue and convalescence), and selenium, which counteracts the action of free radicals. The fats that make up these oily seeds are primarily unsaturated (omega-6 and omega-3), useful in preventing cardiovascular diseases.
Due to their nutritional significance, as well as their typical crunchiness and characteristic flavor, raw sesame seeds are widely used to decorate and enhance, nutritionally, various baked goods (bread, crackers, etc.), diet bars and meal replacements, muesli, vegetables, and even some desserts. They are generally appreciated in the macrobiotic diet. Raw sesame seeds are perfect for preparing flavorful and exotic breading for vegetables or chicken; simply substitute them for breadcrumbs.

Raw Sesame Seeds in Traditional Chinese Medicine

In traditional Chinese medicine, natural sesame seeds are of great importance. The most well-known benefits of raw sesame seeds according to traditional Chinese medicine are numerous.
The number one advantage offered by raw sesame seeds is their ability to combat aging and age-related diseases.
Sesame is considered a yin tonic, useful for moisturizing dry tissues and promoting bodily fluids; due to these properties, the seeds have also been used to aid in the initiation of lactation in mothers.
Traditional Chinese medicine asserts that raw sesame seeds move through the meridians of the liver, large intestine, and kidneys and the channels within the body through which vital energy or Qi travels. For the body to function properly and healthily, it is crucial for the flow of Qi to be regular and unobstructed.
Raw sesame seeds have a sweet taste, a neutral nature, and are often considered a yin tonic in Chinese medicine. Yin is responsible for cooling and hydrating the body. So when there is a deficiency of yin, there is an imbalance between yin and yang, which can affect health. This deficiency of yin can also affect the kidneys, and some signs of this problem include a sore throat, night sweats, and a red tongue. When it affects the liver, signs include red and dry eyes, irritability, and a rapid pulse.

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