Is Sesame Oil Good for You? Here Are Its 5 Benefits!

Sesame oil is one of the many ingredients used in making some of the most popular dishes around the world. From Mapo tofu and sesame-seared tuna to beef bulgogi and Japchae, there are plenty of dishes using this type of oil other than olive, avocado, canola, and others. Known for its nutty and toasty flavor, it’s popularly added to dressings and marinades as well as used in sautéing vegetables and meats. 

Mainly used in India as cooking oil, it serves as a flavor booster in many dishes in the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast, particularly in Chinese, Korean, and Japanese cuisines. Though a sesame oil substitute may be used from time to time, many make sure to stock up to ensure they have enough when they need to. In addition, sesame oil offers many health benefits that contributed to its steady rise as an oil and condiment. 

What is Sesame Oil? 

Popular for its unique, nutty flavor and aroma, this vegetable oil came from raw or toasted sesame seeds. Mainly growing in Africa and a small portion found in Indian subcontinents, the seeds came from the Sesamum Indicum or sesame plant and are small in size and yellowish-brown in color. The oil made from raw seeds is primarily used as cooking oil, while the oil produced from toasting seeds is used for dressings and stir-frying but not deep-frying. 

Though it has been used for thousands of years, it can be quite pricey as it’s harvested by hand. There will always be more demand than supply as the sesame seeds require manual harvesting and processing. 

What are the Benefits of Sesame Oil? 

Did you know that this oil contains vitamin E and K and other components identified to be beneficial to human health? It’s no wonder why many opt to have bottles of it in their kitchens despite the price and limited supply because of its benefits. Listed below are some of its other benefits to people. 

1. Hair Care

Not many may be aware of it, but sesame oil can be used to boost hair health. Containing vitamin E and sesamin, sesame oil can improve hair growth and even help prevent hair from prematurely graying, so it retains its natural color longer. This is a positive benefit for people who have been having problems with their hair color turning gray and looking for a more natural alternative to hair coloring. Regularly massage your hair and scalp with this oil, and it’ll help keep your hair shiny and healthy. 

2. It may help in protecting the skin against UV rays

UV rays coming from the sun and artificial sources can be harmful to the skin. Hence, it’s strongly advised to use sunscreen with good SPF protection. But if you’re looking to add something natural to your sunscreen regimen, you may consider sesame oil. There are studies that it can resist up to 30% of UV rays. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s a replacement but more of a supplement because it’s still necessary to use sunscreen today. 

3. Helps boost oral health

In a process called oil pulling, sesame oil is swished around the mouth and spat out like a mouthwash. It’s known to be an ancient Ayurvedic practice and is recommended by modern dental professionals due to the antibacterial properties found in sesame oil. It’s no wonder that our ancestors used it instead of other oils. Achieve white teeth and less dental plaque, and protect your teeth against the growth of Streptococcus mutans that leads to tooth decay. 

4. Heart health

Taking care of your heart is a must, and sesame oil can help with the said mission. Not all fats are bad for your health, and that’s true with sesame oil. With 82% unsaturated fats such as Omega-6 and others, it can keep your heart healthy and help control your cholesterol. Compared to oils with high saturated fatty acid contents, oil coming from sesame seeds can help prevent higher chances of a heart attack, stroke, heart disease, and others. It’s a good idea to add this to your diet as cooking oil, dressings, and more. 

5. It is rich in antioxidants

Free radicals are generated through the food and drinks we consume, leading to oxidative stress when there are too many of them in the body. Damaging the body’s proteins, cells, and DNA could result in various diseases. But with sesame oil containing antioxidants such as sesamol and sesaminol can help in reducing damage to the cell due to the generated free radicals.

Also read: What You Need to Know About Food Allergies


There are plenty more benefits of using sesame oil compared to other oils available in the market today. Use it in moderation, though, and it’s necessary to talk to your doctor before possibly adding it to your diet, especially if you’re taking anticoagulants or blood thinners. It lowers the blood pressure and thins the blood, which can be dangerous to the health. If you’re not allergic to this oil and have consulted with your doctor if it’s good for you or not, then you can start enjoying the benefits of sesame oil.