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We hear a lot about them, but it is difficult to define their action in concrete terms. Why can these substances have an impact on our daily life?

The term “superfood” originated in the United States. Beyond a brilliant marketing concept, this super-food term has the merit of being readable by all and an immediate answer to the question: why should some foods be superior to others? Because their consumption has positive effects on our physical and mental state!

These great foods naturally contain very high levels of antioxidants which help fight the damaging effects of free radicals. These harmful substances, which are unavoidable for the body, are generated by the oxygen we breathe. The external aggressions that we suffer on a daily basis, tobacco, the sun, and pollution, exacerbate the phenomenon. The ORAC index (Absorption capacity for free radicals) classifies foods according to their antioxidant power. The more free radicals the food absorbs, the more antioxidant it is.

Superfoods are also high in fiber, which is necessary for a balanced diet. They improve transit and regulate the absorption of lipids and carbohydrates.

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These great products surround us but beware, not all are created equal

  • The best way to benefit from a superfood, is to subject it to as little manipulation as possible

All the transformations like cooking or freezing cause them to lose a large part of their nutrients.

  • Most of the time, traditional drying methods are the most suitable

If you buy goji berries, for example, make sure they have been dried slowly in the sun rather than in the oven. And if you eat sunflower seeds or hazelnuts, read the ingredient list carefully and check that there is no added sugar or salt.

  • Local or exotic, wild or cultivated, a superfood is obtained without petrochemicals or genetic manipulations, irradiation

These super foods are in no way magic potions, they should be consumed as part of a varied and balanced diet. These products are above all an opportunity to boost the nutrient intake of those already present on your plates. Take simple steps such as adding a handful of sesame seeds or goji berries to your salad


Sesame is a great, healthy addition to any diet and is considered a superfood by many. Being a “superfood” means that it has added health benefits and often contains high amounts of nutrients, like vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants.  Many different cultures use sesame as a “prescription” for everything from improving skin, teeth and hair  to helping with digestion.  Sesame has compounds called ligans which have cholesterol and blood pressure lowering effects. Also contained in sesame is vitamin E, an antioxidant that can help decrease inflammation in your body.  However, keep in mind that to take full advantage of the health benefits of sesame, you would need much more than what you generally find on a menu. You will often see sesame as a garnish or in small quantities as sesame oil. To increase the amount of sesame you get every day, try adding some to your diet by sprinkling sesame on cereal or yogurt, adding it to your salads and stir fry dishes and opting for sesame seed buns.

In the form of seed, oil or cream, sesame can be used everywhere in cooking. In addition, this tiny seed has many nutritional benefits. Express Styles takes stock.

  • What is sesame?
    Sesame is an oilseed plant from the Pedaliaceae family, measuring from 50 cm to 2.50 m. It is cultivated for its seeds, which are tiny and slightly flattened.

  • From white sesame to brown sesame
    Depending on the variety, we can find sesame seeds ranging from creamy beige to brown, including golden. White sesame is generally shelled sesame, different from whole sesame.here are several varieties of sesame, including brown, white, and black.

  • Black sesame: a good, full-bodied taste

    Black sesame is a variety apart. Its taste is more intense. It is widely used in Asian cuisine, especially Japanese. In France, pastry chefs use it more and more for its pronounced flavor and beautiful color, in various desserts: ice cream, panna cotta, crème brûlée, tartlet, eclair, mousse.

  • What are its benefits?
    First, sesame contains beneficial antioxidants. As underlined by the Mediterra 2012 report, carried out by the International Center for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies and devoted to the Mediterranean diet, sesame seeds and tahini, sesame puree, “constitute significant sources of sesamol and important dietary lignans such as sesamin, sesamolin and sesaminol. Sesamolin and sesamol are believed to maintain tissue integrity in the body in the presence of oxidative compounds. “In addition, sesame provides unsaturated fatty acids (especially omega 6). Be careful, however, as The Big Book of Health Foods (Eyrolles) points out, “in large quantities, it is caloric (high in lipids)”.It is also a good source of fiber. Thus, sesame “stimulates intestinal transit”.Finally, whole seeds contain iron (14.6 mg / 100 g) and are particularly rich in calcium (962 mg / 100 g, according to the Ciqual Table of ANSES (National Agency for Food Safety, environment and work). This “super-food” also provides interesting amounts of zinc (7.24 mg / 100 g for shelled seeds), magnesium (348 mg / 100 g), and phosphorus ( 703 mg / 100 g).

  • Are there any constraints or risks?
    Sesame can cause allergic reactions. It is therefore one of the main trophallergens (which affect the body through food) cited by the Inserm site (National Institute for Health and Medical Research). In case of allergy, it is therefore advisable to read the labels of industrial products, to check that there is not the slightest “trace” of sesame.

  • How to use sesame in cooking
    In what form can sesame be used? On the one hand, you can find bags of these small seeds on the market, roasted or not. The good nutty taste of sesame is indeed developed through roasting: all you have to do is brown the seeds in a pan, dry, or place them on a baking sheet and bake for ten minutes in the oven. 180 ° C, keeping an eye on the cooking and stirring several times.
    You can sprinkle sesame on grilled vegetables, a nice salad, grilled meat, fish. Sesame will also give crunch and flavor to cookies or shortbread, crumble dough, homemade bread etc.

  • Sesame oil
    Sesame is also made into oil. According to the Mediterra 2012 report, it “remains very stable at high temperatures”. It can therefore be used to cook and cook (a pan-fried vegetables for example) or simply to prepare a salad dressing. Use sparingly, however, because sesame oil accumulates 884 kcal per 100g (source USDA).

  • Tahini, the good dough
    Sesame cream is called tahini or tahina. It also contains interesting nutrients, but in lesser amounts than the seeds. What to do with this tasty mash? A creamy sauce (with lemon and / or yogurt), small cookies, dips … You can also simply make toast. Be careful, however, tahini is very high in calories (595 kcal per 100g).

  • Traditionally, how is sesame cooked?
    Many traditional recipes contain sesame. With tahini, you can of course concoct Levantine recipes, such as hummus, but also baba ghanouj (with, among other things, eggplant puree, lemon and olive oil). These two preparations, easy to reproduce at home, are often part of the mezze assortments. Zaatar, a very fragrant mixture often sprinkled on bread, is notably composed of sesame seeds (with dried aromatic herbs and sumac). Halva, a very dense treat, can also contain sesame puree.
  • In Asia, sesame is included in the list of ingredients for various dishes, but also Japanese gomasio (a condiment prepared with toasted sesame and sea salt) or Chinese nougats, coated with these seeds.

  • Where is he from?
    Sesame is native to tropical and southern Africa. But the seed has traveled … Today, it is particularly appreciated and cooked from the Middle East to Asia.

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