Tahini is a paste made from toasted, ground sesame seeds. It has a light, nutty flavor. It’s best known as an ingredient in hummus but widely used in many dishes from around the world. You can find it in many of the dishes we recommend too!
A Breakdown of the Nutrition in Tahini:
Two tablespoons (30 grams) of tahini contains the following:
- Protein: 6 grams
- Fat: 16 grams
- Fiber: 2 gram
- Thiamine: 26% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 22% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 22% of the DV
- Manganese: 22% of the DV
- Magnesium: 8% of the DV
- Iron: 14% of the DV
- Calcium: 12 percent of calcium
Also, approximately 50% of the fat in tahini comes from monounsaturated fatty acids which have anti-inflammatory properties.
Tahini’s Support for Bone Health & Arthritis
A study published in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases saw patients with arthritis (in the knee) were divided into two groups and given either glucosamine plus Tylenol twice a day, or 40 g per day of tahini 2 tablespoons of tahini.
The group consuming tahini reported less pain, and did not experience the side effects associated with Tylenol.
The calcium and magnesium content in tahini is beneficial for maintaining healthy bones. Leafy greens & raw cacao is also a great source of magnesium (check out our Chocolate Tahini muffins). Adequate magnesium intakes are associated with a greater bone density and have been effective in decreasing the risk of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Some reviews of studies even showed that magnesium improves bone mineral density in the neck and hip.
Anti-cancer like Effects & SERM’s
SERMS are selective estrogen receptor modulating compounds- these include legumes, soy, green beans and flax. These compounds have gotten a bad wrap online- well mostly just soy specifically. However, the stuff written online is a bit misguided. Let me explain. Lignans have a similar structure to estrogen which means they can bind to “estrogen receptors”. Many people online state that this causes interference with receptors. While it does interfere- all of the current data we have on this indicate it’s a beneficial interference.
The sesamin and sesamol lignans in tahini can bind to estrogen receptors, which protect against hormone-related cancers cancers. In addition, the interference of SERM’s can actually be protective against harmful compounds in our environment called xenoestrogens – an example is BPA.
Bottom Line: Tahini is a great addition to the diet to support bone health and improve nutrients in the diet