Sesame seeds may be most familiar as a topping on bagels, burger buns, and breadsticks. The tiny, tear-shaped seeds have a nutty, slightly sweet flavor that's enhanced when they're baked or lightly toasted in a skillet. Most are off-white or tan, but you can also find black varieties, which are popular in Asian cuisine.
Sesame seeds contain lignans and phytosterols, plant compounds that may have cholesterol-lowering effects. They're also a decent source of calcium and magnesium, two minerals linked to better blood pressure control.
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