Nutrition and DietGomasio or sesame salt: what is it, benefits and uses

Gomasio or sesame salt: what is it, benefits and uses

Ideal as a condiment (and as a substitute for common salt), gomasio (sesame salt) is a delicious Japanese condiment.

It is quite possible that it is the first time that you read something about him, or that you finally hear about him. And with good reason: in our country it tends not to be very well known, despite being a condiment widely used in Japan and also in many macrobiotic diets for its incredible qualities, properties and benefits. Known by the name of gomasio  or gomashio, we are faced with a condiment that will undoubtedly captivate you from the first moment you taste it.

It consists of a Japanese seasoning made from sesame seeds and sea salt. For this reason it is also known by the name of sesame salt. It is undoubtedly an excellent and wonderful condiment, which we should actually use regularly in the kitchen, especially sprinkled on rice or simply as a natural flavoring.

Regarding its texture and appearance, it presents the shape of a kind of tasty pate, extremely versatile, which can become an excellent substitute or alternative for common salt, since although sea salt is used for its preparation, it actually contains very little salt, and in turn providing the incredible benefits of sesame, a seed extremely rich in protein, calcium and iron. In fact, did you know that it provides 6 times more calcium than milk, and up to 5 times more iron than a piece of meat?

What is gomasio? What does it consist of?

Basically we could define gomasio as a condiment which is the result of mixing roasted sesame seeds with sea salt. It is in fact a very common element in Asian cuisine, where it is usually used as a condiment.

For its preparation, as we will know in the section dedicated to it, it is necessary to use a frying pan to toast the seeds and a mortar to crush them.

Therefore, we are faced with a food of one hundred percent natural origin that provides all the qualities that these two foods offer us: sesame seeds on the one hand, and sea salt on the other.

The benefits of gomasio (or sesame salt)

Interesting nutritional qualities

As we mentioned, from a nutritional point of view it becomes an extremely healthy food, and interesting within a varied and balanced diet, thanks to its richness in protein.

For example, it is a food very rich in amino acids, although in this case we cannot speak of proteins of high biological value or of high quality because it does not provide all the  essential amino acids. In any case, it has around 20% protein.

However, it is also extremely rich in fiber, vitamins (especially vitamin B9, B3 and vitamin E) and minerals (such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and iron). In fact, it provides 6 times more calcium than milk, and up to 5 times more iron than a piece of meat.

Useful against constipation

100 grams of gomasio provide about 11 grams of fiber. Therefore, it becomes a natural food with an interesting content in dietary fiber.

The truth is that it is a useful option in case of occasional constipation, helping us to improve intestinal transit.

Improve our mood

Gomasium provides tryptophan, an amino acid that we also find in bananas, and which, among other qualities, acts as a precursor to serotonin, which means that it helps us improve our mood and mood, especially in cases of depression.

In addition, it also helps us improve sleep, so it can become a good candidate for our dinners.

What are its most important nutritional properties?

As we mentioned in a previous section, from a nutritional point of view, gomasio stands out for its richness in proteins, especially amino acids, polyunsaturated essential fatty acids which help the proper functioning of our cardiovascular system and fiber that helps regulate intestinal transit. And prevents constipation.

It also provides interesting amounts of vitamins, especially the B group vitamins (especially folic acid and niacin) and vitamin E. In addition, minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and iron.

Among the vitamins, its contribution in vitamins of group B stands out especially;  highlighting the presence of folic acid, a fundamental and essential nutrient during pregnancy.

What’s more, it provides healthy fats, especially unsaturated fats, highlighting the presence of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats.

Nutritional information of gomasio per 100 grams:

  • Energy: 573 calories (kcal)
  • Carbohydrates: 23.45 g
  • Proteins: 17 g
  • Fat: 49 g
  • Fiber: 11.8 g.
  • Minerals: potassium (468 mg), phosphorus (629 mg), sodium (55 mg), iron (14.55 mg), magnesium (351 mg), calcium (975 mg), selenium (2.3 mg).
  • Vitamins: A (700 IU), B1 (0.79 mg), B2 (0.25 mg), B3 (4.5 mg), B9 or folic acid (97 mcg), vitamin E (2.27 mg).

Ideal in the kitchen as a condiment

The fact that gomasio comes precisely from Japanese or Asian cuisine is no coincidence. It becomes an extremely delicious condiment, which adds a lot of flavor to the dishes in which we add it.

It has a flavor that is very reminiscent of that of nuts, which is combined with the peculiarity of the slightly bitter taste of sesame seeds.

Regarding what dishes we can use it in the kitchen, the truth is that it is a very versatile food. Thus, for example, it is ideal for dressing salads (and providing a delicious slightly crunchy texture).

On the other hand, its use in broths, soups, purees or directly in legume dishes is also interesting, enriching them nutritionally.

Gomasio contraindications

Although, in general, gomasio is a 100% safe food, we must bear in mind that it also has its own contraindications. Specifically, being a food that is made with salt, its excessive consumption is not recommended in case of high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases.

However, used in recommended amounts it is an ally for our health, as long as the daily 5 grams of salt that the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends is not exceeded.

On the other hand, it can cause allergic reactions, especially due to the presence of sesame. Therefore, its consumption is not recommended in case of allergy to sesame or other nuts.

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