Sesame seeds and sesame oil have amazing health benefits and it is an ingredient that we should consume on a regular basis and you can read about it’s full benefits here. But like with any ingredient, sesame seeds also has some side effects. Sesame seed can cause allergies in some people, can interact with drugs and it contains oxalates and phytates, anti nutrients that can cause problems for some people.
Types Of Sesame Seeds:
There are different types of sesame seeds like white, black, red and brown. And out of these three varieties, the white variety is said to cause the most side effects if you are allergic to sesame seeds.
3 Top Side Effects Of Sesame Seed & Sesame Oil:
1. Sesame Seed Allergy
Like any other seeds, sesame seed allergy is quite common than we think. Sesame seed allergy can cause severe problems and is very common in Middle Eastern countries especially in Israel where sesame seed paste also called tahini is consumed in large quantities. Sesame seed is the top third allergen in Israel. If you are allergic to the seeds, you will be allergic to sesame oil too.
Proteins Responsible For Sesame Seed Allergy:
Ses i 1, Ses i 2 and Ses i 3 are the three proteins that are commonly responsible for sesame seed allergy.
Test To Find Out About Sesame Seed Allergy:
Skin prick test also called as SPT and food specific IgE levels will help determine whether a person is allergic to sesame seeds.
Sesame Seed Allergy Indications:
Lip swelling, urticaria, worsening eczema, itching, nausea and also anaphylaxis in extreme cases.
How To Avoid Sesame Seed Allergy?
If if you find out that you are allergic to sesame seeds stop consuming any food that contains sesame seeds and sesame oil. In India, we use sesame seeds for certain dishes like stuffed brinjal, sesame seed rice, sesame seed laddus and sesame seed idli powder. We use sesame oil more than we use the seeds. If you are eating middle eastern food, try to make sure that it does not contain tahini.
2. Drug interactions
Sesame seeds if had in small amounts or slightly in larger amounts like sesame rice once in a while is ok but if you are consuming in large amounts (spoonfuls of tahini everyday) can cause drug interactions. If you are suffering from the below mentioned diseases, be careful while consuming sesame seeds….
Sesame seeds are good for diabetic patients as it lowers blood sugar levels and it won’t be a problem if had a normal amounts. But if you are taking it in large quantities it will lower blood sugar levels significantly especially if consumed along with diabetic medication.
Gout is an inflammatory disease caused by excess uric acid in the blood which can lead to formation of sharp crystals in the joints and connective tissue leading to pain and swelling. Sesame seeds contains anti nutrients phytates and oxalates.
When oxalates bind with calcium in our blood they form tiny sharp oxalic acid crystals which can deposit anywhere in the body and they can make their way into the joints too so people who are suffering from gout should avoid consuming large quantities of sesame seeds.
Since sesame seeds are high in oxalates, people who are prone to kidney stones should not consume sesame seeds in excess on a regular basis as it can lead to kidney stone formation.
Wilson’s disease is a very rare genetic disorder that causes too much of copper to accumulate in the organs. People who are suffering from Wilson’s disease should avoid foods that are high in copper content like nuts, chocolate, dry fruits, liver and also sesame seeds.
3. Anti Nutritional Factors
Like I have mentioned before, sesame seeds contain anti nutritional factors oxalic acid and phytic acid in significant amounts. Though sesame seeds are rich in calcium, phosphorus and other micro nutrients, the presence of these anti nutrients makes the calcium and phosphorus into non available form.
Also if you would have experienced a slight bitter taste when consuming sesame seed powder or paste, it is due to these anti nutrients present. Now research is going on to produce seeds that are less in anti nutrients to prevent side effects and also to increase the bio availability of nutrients present in the seeds.
Sesame Seed Consumption Tips
If you feel you are allergic to sesame seeds and sesame oil, stop consuming them completely as even a tiny amount can cause bad side effects. If you are a person who consumes sesame seed oil and sesame paste regularly and are experiencing bad symptoms, try to eliminate them from your diet for a few days and see whether the symptoms improve.
If the condition improves after excluding sesame seed products, you can further confirm that you have sesame seed allergy by getting sesame seed allergy test done. If the results are positive, try to avoid sesame seeds completely from your diet.
Also drug interactions should not be taken lightly, if you are suffering from any one of the diseases mentioned above, try your best not to consume sesame seeds in large quantities. However if you are not allergic sesame seeds and are worried only about drug interactions, you can consume seeds in smaller amounts.