Just like our skin, the condition of our hair can be affected by the quality of our nutrition. The cells that make up each strand of hair require a regular supply of nutrients in order to maintain new, healthy growth. The nutrients most involved with this renewal are; protein, vitamin A, biotin, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, omega-3, selenium, zinc, and iron.
Of the foods particularly rich in these nutrients black sesame seed (Sesamum Indicum) is probably one of the most interesting. Famed in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a hair tonic (a food used to promote the growth of thick, healthy hair), black sesame is prescribed to stimulate hair growth and darken greying hair. While the jury is out on its ability to produce melanin (the pigment responsible for hair and skin colour) in our bodies, science has validated it as a rich source of the nutrients involved in hair growth. Rich in B-vitamins, iron, zinc, selenium, and a complete protein, black sesame packs a well rounded punch when it comes to the 'hair nutrients'. Additionally, a great source of vitamin E and rich in Oleic Acid, black sesame helps to lock in moisture and add shine to your locks.
Hair darkening properties or not, black sesame makes for a powerful addition to your regime due to its balanced and well rounded nutrient profile, and wonderful taste.
Sesame seed is most often found in the form of tahini, which can be used in much the same way as you would peanut butter. If you are unable to find black tahini (more than likely) then the version made from the white seed is a good replacement. Aside from its slightly lower antioxidant levels, the white stands up to the black in nutrient profile.
Some concern has been raised around the oxalic acid content and mineral binding properties found in the hulls of the seeds. If this concerns you then opt for the hulled version, but do know that you will missing out on some nutrition as a result.