We’ve heard how mothers or grandmothers encouraged us to eat black sesame seeds because it helps to maintain our long luscious hair, but is that really true or is it only a myth to encourage people to eat black sesame? First, let’s find out the difference between natural ageing and premature ageing! 

On average, by the age of 50 people would have lost half the colour in their hair. Melanin is the pigment cells that give us the black pigment for our hair. When we hit 40s, the pigment cells in our hair follicles stop producing melanin which causes our hair to turn grey, then finally white. 

For those who have these grey strands earlier than expected – those who have grey strands of hair before the age of 30 is known as premature ageing and the cause of this is usually the genetics. Eating black sesame is to help prevent premature ageing, not the natural greying of hair. 

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In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), black sesame is well-known and used for their anti-ageing properties. Black sesame has actually been used many years in traditional medicine practices, and they contain lots of health benefits other than retaining the blackness of your hair! They are commonly used in cooking porridge, juice or in making dessert. They are rich in antioxidants that can help to reduce the risk of many chronic diseases. Black sesame seeds also contain a form of vitamin E that is especially beneficial for cardiovascular health. Black sesame seeds are also rich in calcium and other nutrients that are vital for protecting and maintaining the density of your bones. Packed with magnesium, they may help in lowering blood pressure. 

According to TCM practices, black sesame can help to cope with premature ageing. When treating premature ageing, TCM physicians will usually prescribe the patients with food or medicines that can help improve the kidneys’ function and liver. Other than eating black sesame, black beans, walnut, blackberry can all help with greying hair. They are also good for giving the kidneys and liver a boost!  

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Other than natural food, things you can do to combat premature greying hair is managing your stress levels, exercising regularly, getting sufficient amount of sleep and have a healthy diet. 

However, to date, there is no strong scientific evidence to support the claim that consuming black sesame helps in retaining the blackness of our hair though there are studies done to suggest the link. But that does not mean you should stop eating black sesame! Its many health benefits alone are enough for including black sesame into your diet.