As the largest organ of our body, our skin gets exposed to harsh weather, unforgiving UVs, and other irritants that leave our complexions less than radiant. While taking good care of our skin with natural products is paramount, our lifestyle also plays an important role in how our epidermis looks and feels. That includes exercise, stress-levels, and perhaps the most obvious — what we eat.
Having a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and healthy plant-based fats can do wonders for our skin. That’s because vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants all have essential roles when it comes to keeping our skin moisturized and protecting it from damage related to aging. Essential fatty acids found in nuts and seeds are especially important as they contribute to building up our skin’s protective layers and they also help maintain its lipid membrane.
All types of nuts and seeds are a great source of healthy fats but one of our favorites is tahini. If you’ve never heard of it, you’re missing out!
Tahini, a widely used ingredient in Middle Eastern cooking, is made from sesame seeds ground to a paste. Think of it as a sesame butter. While commercial versions of tahini are usually made with white hulled sesame seeds, you can use unhulled, raw, sprouted, or even toasted sesame seeds to prepare your own version at home. Each type of sesame seed confers a distinct texture, flavor, and color to your tahini. Raw sesame seeds will give it a milder taste and a nice creamy color and texture while other types of seeds will give your tahini a deeper flavor and hue.
While there are many types of tahini out there, its main ingredient — sesame seeds — boasts immense benefits for our skin.
Why Tahini Is Good for Your Skin
Sesame seeds are packed with nutrients that not only benefit our health but also contribute to making us shine from the inside out. These tiny seeds contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help keep our skin smooth, hydrated, and free from breakouts. Let’s take a look at some of them and their particular positive effects on our complexion:
Sesame seeds contain a vast amount of gamma-tocopherol, which is a type of vitamin E that actually makes up 30 to 40 percent of the total vitamin E content in our skin, muscles, and adipose tissues. This type of vitamin E plays an important role in preventing photoaging in our skin — that’s the sunspots, irregular pigmentation of our complexion, and wrinkles we want to avoid. Vitamin E found in tahini also protects us from cutaneous inflammation, skin lesions, and skin cancers.
It turns out that calcium is not only good for building strong bones, it can do wonders for our skin! Only two tablespoons of sesame seeds contain a whopping 273 milligrams of calcium, that’s about a fourth of the daily recommended amount. Calcium in our epidermis (our skin’s outer layer) is involved in getting rid of old skin cells and producing new ones, thus promoting unobstructed pores and clear skin. This mineral is also instrumental in the production of sebum, which helps our skin stay moisturized and supple.
Tahini is rich in thiamine and niacin. These two B-vitamins have essential roles when it comes to hydrating and repairing our skin. They also contribute to giving us a healthy glow because they can even out our skin tone, fight free-radicals that accelerate aging, and prevent dry and blotchy skin.
Consuming tahini will give you a good dose of zinc. This mineral regulates the development of the fibers that support the structure of our skin called elastin. This means that zinc helps our skin stay supple and youthful. Getting plenty of zinc is also important for our skin as it prevents breakouts and heals scarring and skin lesions.
Sesame seeds contain sesamol, sesamin, and sesamolin, three types of powerful antioxidant compounds that have incredible effects on our skin. Not only do these bioactive compounds fight free-radicals that prompt skin aging but they also protect our skin from cancerous melanoma and enhance the positive activity of vitamin E on our epidermis. The result? Soft and smooth healthy skin that defy aging.
Now that you know how amazing tahini is for your skin, you might be wondering how to include more of it in your daily life. Not to worry, we’ve got you covered!
Since tahini is a traditional ingredient in Middle Eastern cooking, we recommend you try these delicious Baked Falafel Balls With Flax and Tahini Sauce, these 15-Minute Harissa Eggplant Kebabs With Cucumber Mint Relish, this Creamy Chickpea Soup With Black Tahini and Za’atar, this Sprouted Meyer Lemon Basil Hummus, or this Israeli Shakshuka With Tofu.
Tahini is also a great ingredient to add to salad dressings and dips like this Curried Tahini and Potato Dip, this Perfect Pea Purée, and this Creamy Ginger Tahini Dressing. You can try this Chickpea Fusilli in Hemp Tahini Sauce and this Hippie Macro Glow Bowl With Maple Turmeric Tahini Dressing as well.
Looking for creative meals ideas featuring tahini? Check out these 15 Tasty Tahini Recipes You’ll Love, these 15 Vegan Recipes That Show You Can Do More With Tahini Than Make Hummus, and these 5 Ways to Use Tahini in Your Vegan Meals.
Last but not least, you can include tahini in desserts too. Check out this Salted Tahini Caramel, these Midnight Black Sesame Tarts, this Tahini Cookie Dough Ice Cream, these Raspberry and Tahini Puffed Millet Squares, and these delicious Tahini Blondies With Blueberry Chia Jam Swirl.
What are your favorite ways to enjoy tahini? Let us know in the comments!
Want to find more info and recipes that will help you get beautiful, radiant skin? Here are a few articles that might interest you:
- Inexpensive Vegan Foods That Brighten Your Skin
- 15 Vegan Recipes That’ll Make Your Skin Glow
- Here’s What You Need to Be Eating for Naturally Clear Skin
- Foods to Apply to Your Skin or Eat For Clear Skin
- These 8 Foods Will Completely Change Your Skin and Make it Glow
- 5 Foods More Beneficial for Your Skin Than Chemical Treatments
- The Worst Foods for Your Skin (and What to Eat Instead)
We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 10,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!
Lead image source: Carrot Fritters With Tahini Yogurt Sauce