BENEFITS OF TAHINI: A MACRO AND MICRO-NUTRIENT POWERHOUSE
Next up on the Phat Fudge Ingredient Highlight Series...Tahini!
As you know, quality ingredients are a non-negotiable for us, and we’ll spend the next hundred words showing you WHY we chose tahini as a cornerstone of Phat Fudge. You are going to walk away from this with more knowledge that you’ll know what to do with. File it under “useful facts to flex on your fellow wellness-seeking friends with”. Now sit back, open those pink knowledge sponges, and come on an adventure to tahini town.
I’m sure you’ve heard about tahini, and if you haven’t, I’m sure that you’ve happily eaten it as part of many a dish. Tahini can be found in a variety of Middle Eastern dishes, ranging from hummus to salad dressings. Of late, this little saucey gem of the Middle East has been making its way into American cuisine, and for good reason, it’s a powerhouse food with a flavor profile to match.
WHAT IS TAHINI?
Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds, but the devil is in the details, per usual. The process of making tahini varies based on both the quantity and variety of carrier oil added as well as the hulling process. Most tahini is made from hulled sesame seeds, meaning that the outer hull or shell is removed. This process tends to remove quite a bit of bitterness as well as a good portion of phytic acid, an anti-nutrient that can cause gut permeability and nutrient malabsorption. Carrier oils range from a wide variety of different vegetable oils, most of which can contribute to a higher inflammatory score for the tahini. A lot of companies cut corners and will use cheap vegetable oils as filler. We don’t play that game, our tahini is hulled, and not made with any carrier oils so that you get a smooth, nutrient dense final product.
OBLIGATORY MACRO SHOUTOUT
As nuts and seeds go, sesame seeds are on the higher side of the protein spectrum. Sesame seeds are 20% protein by weight, which puts them in the top protein percentile per serving. (1) Sesame seeds also bring a healthy serving of fiber per serving, which helps with blood sugar regulation as well as digestional health. For all of you keto folks, a serving of tahini has one net gram of carbohydrate, so rest easy knowing that Phat Fudge is still your go to energy source for on-the-go keto fun.
Sesame seeds may be your secret weapon in the war on cholesterol. Naturally occurring high levels of oleic acid is the star of the show, creating a beneficial shift in your cholesterol ratio by bringing your LDL levels down while raising your HDL. (2)
GIVE ME ALL THE VITAMINS AND MINERALS
When it comes to nutrient density, tahini is high in copper, manganese, magnesium, calcium, iron, selenium and B-complex vitamins such as folic acid, niacin, pyridoxine, thiamin and riboflavin. Many of you use Phat Fudge as a fuel source to keep you firing on all cylinders, regardless of where you are. Magnesium plays an integral role via blood glucose regulation.
Chronic magnesium deficiency has been linked to insulin resistance and consequently reduced glucose uptake of the cells. (3) You can thank the high levels of magnesium from Tahini for your stellar cravings control and even keel energy levels throughout the day. To round out the nutrient all star squad, you’ve got copper iron and zinc playing a role in supporting a healthy immune system and the B complex vitamins contributing to a healthy cardiovascular and endocrine system.
You’ve now mastered the basics of tahini, but stay tuned for Tahini Part 2: A Tale of Two Ligans.