By: Joelle Mintzberg, CNP

BP_TahiniBalls4_2015

Good snacks that are nutritious AND easy to prepare are hard to come by. Often times, we get so caught up with our meals that we forget or don’t have the time to put together a quick, nourishing snack. That’s where tahini balls come in place. They are so nutritious, easy to prepare and are filled with calcium. The healthy fats from the tahini help keep you satiated. The best thing about these delicious energy bites is that you can make a batch or two and leave them in the freezer for when you need a quick boost of energy.

If you’re looking to boost your mineral intake, these bites are the perfect snack. They are filled with minerals from the tahini and the sesame seeds. Not only are sesame seeds an excellent source of copper and a very good source of manganese, but they are also a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc, molybdenum, selenium, and dietary fiber. In addition to these important nutrients, sesame seeds contain two unique substances: sesamin and sesamolin. Both of these substances belong to a group of special beneficial fibers called lignans, and have been shown to have a cholesterol-lowering effect in humans, and to prevent high blood pressure and increase vitamin E supplies in animals. Sesamin has also been found to protect the liver from oxidative damage.

Sesame seeds are rich in beneficial minerals including: copper, manganese, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, molybdenum, and selenium. This assortment of minerals translates into the following health benefits:

Copper Provides Relief for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Copper is known for its use in reducing some of the pain and swelling of rheumatoid arthritis. Copper’s effectiveness is due to the fact that this trace mineral is important in a number of antiinflammatory and antioxidant enzyme systems.

Magnesium Supports Vascular and Respiratory Health

Magnesium is useful in:

  • Preventing the airway spasm in asthma
  • Lowering high blood pressure, a contributing factor in heart attack, stroke, and diabetic heart disease
  • Preventing the trigeminal blood vessel spasm that triggers migraine attacks
  • Restoring normal sleep patterns in women who are experiencing unpleasant symptoms associated with menopause

Calcium Helps Prevent Colon Cancer, Osteoporosis, Migraine and PMS

Calcium has been shown to:

  • Help protect colon cells from cancer-causing chemicals
  • Help prevent the bone loss that can occur as a result of menopause or certain conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis
  • Help prevent migraine headaches in those who suffer from them
  • Reduce PMS symptoms during the luteal phase (the second half) of the menstrual cycle

Zinc for Bone Health

Another reason for older men and women to make zinc-rich foods such as sesame seeds a regular part of their healthy way of eating is bone mineral density.

Phytosterols Lower Cholesterol

Phytosterols are compounds found in plants that have a chemical structure very similar to cholesterol, and when present in the diet in sufficient amounts, are believed to reduce blood levels of cholesterol, enhance the immune response and decrease risk of certain cancers.

Joelle Mintzberg, a Certified Nutritional Practitioner and Eating Psychology Coach, is sharing the recipe for the Tahini Energy Balls on her website. You can get the full recipe here.

BP_TahiniBalls_2015