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Animal studies showed that plant chemicals, called lignans, in sesame seeds enhance fat burning by increasing liver enzymes that break down fat. "Many studies found that protein and essential fatty acids increase the metabolic rate, and sesame seeds are loaded with both," explains Christine Gerbstadt, MD, RD, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. They're also a rich source of minerals and fiber.
Roast sesame seeds (spread evenly on a baking sheet and put in an oven set to 325° for about 15 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant), then sprinkle them on salads, stir-fried vegetables, chicken, fish, and soups. Spread tahini (sesame paste) on celery or bread and opt for sesame seed buns and bagels over plain.