Sesame Seeds for Periods in PCOS: Is the Science Behind it Real?

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Dr. Pakhi Sharma, MBBSGeneral Physician, 6+ Years
Published On : 27-Oct-2022Read Time : 6 minutes
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Sesame seeds, commonly known as til in Indian households, are used to add a nutty and crunchy taste to sweet and savoury dishes. Primarily grown in India, sesame seeds have now gained popularity throughout the world. Though beneficial for your health, are sesame seeds for periods effective in PCOS? What does science say? Read on to find out!

Contents:

  • Know More About Sesame Seeds 
  • Can Sesame Seeds Help in Getting Periods? What’s the Story? 
  • Sesame Seeds: Benefits for Irregular Periods and PCOS 
  • How to Eat Sesame Seeds for Irregular Periods in PCOS? 
  • Is There a Risk of Overconsumption of Sesame Seeds? 
  • What are the Other Health Benefits of Sesame Seeds? 
  • Don’t Have Time To Read? 
  • FAQs 

Know More About Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds are commonly known by the name til in India. They are little seeds packed with natural oil. They grow on the pods of the plant Sesamum indicum plant. It is commonly used in Indian households for preparing nutritious sweets and delicacies due to its multiple health benefits.

Sesame seeds can be consumed hulled or unhulled. Hulling is a process that removes the outer cover or shell of the seeds. The hulled seeds are often roasted, which turns their natural white colour to brown.

The nutritional value of 1 teaspoon (2.7 g) of sesame seeds is as below:

NutrientAmount
Energy17 kcal
Water0.101 g
Protein0.551 g
Fat1.65 g
Carbohydrate0.316 g
Fibre0.313 g
Calcium1.62 mg
Iron0.172 mg
Magnesium9.32 mg
Potassium9.99 mg
Phosphorus18 mg
Sodium1.27 mg
Vitamin B60.011 mg

Source: United States Department of Agriculture (Food Central)

Can Sesame Seeds Help in Getting Periods? What’s the Story?

Women with PCOS often experience missed or irregular periods. This is due to an increase in androgens (male hormones) levels which are usually present in a smaller amount in females. 

As a result of this hormonal imbalance, the ovaries are unable to release eggs (ovulation), which causes irregular menstrual cycles.

 

When you have PCOS, you need to be extra mindful of your daily diet to avoid any adverse effects on your health. 

 

Sesame seeds may be good for your reproductive health in several ways. But can they help you get your periods? Keep reading to know if there are any benefits of sesame for periods in PCOS.

Sesame Seeds: Benefits for Irregular Periods and PCOS

Sesame is available in several forms such as seeds, powdered form, supplements, etc. Using the seeds themselves is the easiest way of adding sesame seeds to your diet.

 

There are several studies that suggest that sesame seeds may have special health benefits for a woman's reproductive health,  

These supposed benefits include:

1. May Improve Female Hormone Levels

Sesame seeds consist of phytoestrogens, which are plant compounds that act and work in a similar way as that to your body’s hormone oestrogen. Sesame seeds also being a rich source of zinc, may help boost the production of progesterone levels in your body. 

 

Thus, sesame seeds may improve your hormone levels and help induce periods in PCOS.

2. May Reduce the Risk of Diabetes and Insulin Resistance

Women with PCOS are at a higher risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes due to increased insulin resistance in PCOS. Unhulled sesame seeds are rich in fibre and may slow down the process of digestion, curbing your hunger for a longer period of time. 

 

This may further improve the way your body uses insulin, and reduces insulin resistance and spikes in blood sugar levels.

3. May Reduce Inflammation

Studies suggest that women with PCOS have low-grade inflammation. If you are obese and have abdominal fat, the adipose tissue (fat tissue) shows an increased secretion and release of proinflammatory cytokines

 

This can cause low-grade inflammation in your body, which further stimulates your ovaries (polycystic) to produce androgens and may lead to heart and blood vessel problems. 

 

Sesame seeds may help fight inflammation and reduce the development of inflammatory complications such as obesity, heart and kidney diseases and cancers, further even reducing the symptoms of PCOS.

4. May Aid in Weight Loss

Excess weight gain is another common symptom of PCOS due to the increased production of androgens. Therefore, it is essential for women with PCOS to keep a track of their weight management tactics to prevent sudden weight gain. 

 

Sesame seeds may aid your weight loss struggles with their rich fibre content by reducing your appetite and promoting satiety which prevents you from binge eating.

5. May Reduce Cholesterol Levels

Some studies suggest that irregular periods may be an early indicator of heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes. Prevention is better than cure! Sesame seeds are rich in chemical compounds such as lignans and phytosterols, which have been linked by several studies to reduced cholesterol levels. 

 

Sesame seeds come with less saturated fats whereas higher values of mono and polyunsaturated fats. These types of fats may lower your total triglyceride and LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels. 

 

They may further reduce the risk of developing high cholesterol-related conditions such as high blood pressure which are high-risk complications in PCOS.

 

However, it should be noted that the effectiveness of sesame seeds in regulating periods is not validated by enough scientific evidence and needs more research. 

How to Eat Sesame Seeds for Irregular Periods in PCOS?

The best way to consume sesame seeds for irregular periods in PCOS is 1 teaspoon serving as a snack. Some of the ways you can use sesame seeds for PCOS include:

  • Use sesame seeds as a spice for cooking your regular meals.
  • Add a pinch of sesame seeds to your curries or rice dishes.
  • You can make a paste using the seeds and use it as a spread or chutney with snacks. Make sure to not go beyond 1 teaspoon.

This may reduce your appetite, promote satiety and decrease your calorie intake. It may further reduce the risk of developing chronic health conditions such as obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, heart diseases, etc.

Is There a Risk of Overconsumption of Sesame Seeds?

Though the consumption of sesame seeds is likely safe for most adults, it is best to consult your doctor before incorporating them as a remedy for a medical condition.

Some of the associated risks of overconsumption of sesame seeds in PCOS can be:

  • When overconsumed, sesame seeds can cause mild side effects such as nausea, constipation and other digestive symptoms due to their fibre-rich content.
  • If you are on diabetic medication, be extra cautious about the consumption of sesame seeds as they can further reduce your blood sugar levels and cause hypoglycaemia.
  • Sesame seeds may lower your blood pressure, make sure to limit your consumption.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid overconsumption to avoid any adverse effects and complications.

What are the Other Health Benefits of Sesame Seeds?

  • Sesame seeds are a rich source of magnesium which helps lower your blood pressure. Also, the lignans and other antioxidants in sesame seeds may prevent plaque formation further helping maintain healthy blood pressure.
  • The unhulled sesame seeds can be high in calcium and thereby promote bone health.
  • Sesame seeds can be a good source of B vitamins such as B1, B3 and B6 which are essential for the proper cell functioning in your body and better metabolism.
  • Sesame seeds may promote the formation and function of blood cells due to their rich iron, copper and vitamin B6 content.
  • A compound called sesamin found in sesame seeds may help reduce joint pain and knee mobility in those with arthritis.
  • Sesame seeds can play a major role in improvement of thyroid health as they are rich in selenium.

[Note: Before adding any kind of new ingredients, including sesame seeds, to your diet, make sure to consult your doctor to avoid any adverse effects on your health]

Don’t Have Time To Read?

  • Sesame seeds or til, are little seeds packed with natural oils. They grow on the pods of the plant Sesamum indicum plant and are commonly used for preparing healthful sweets and delicacies due to their multiple health benefits.
  • Some of the supposed benefits of consuming sesame seeds are that it may improve estrogen functioning, insulin sensitivity, aid in weight loss and reduce inflammation, cholesterol levels and the risk of heart conditions.
  • However, the effectiveness of sesame seeds for regulating periods seems to be supported by anecdotal evidence and needs more research. 
  • The best ways to consume sesame seeds include using them as a spice while cooking meals, adding a pinch to curries or rice dishes, making a paste and using it as a spread or chutney with snacks.
  • It is best to consult your doctor about adding sesame seeds to your diet exclusively for periods. Some risks of overconsumption of sesame seeds include mild side effects such as digestive symptoms, hypoglycaemia, low blood pressure.
  • Start your PCOS management journey with Phable. Use the Phable Care App to consult India’s leading gynaecologists, endocrinologists, nutritionists, and dieticians; order medicines; book lab tests; and get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Check out our store to order healthy treats, weighing scales, fitness bands, and more! We also have a PCOS Management program that provides ‎360º care.

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