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Halva Health Benefits and Side Effects - Is It Good for You

Article author photo Elen Khachatrian Elen Khachatrian | Обновлено: Август 07, 2023
Medically reviewed by Ani Harutyunyan Article author photo Ani Harutyunyan

Health Benefits

Halva is a highly famous Iranian sweet in the Middle East. It has a rich nutritional profile and provides a bunch of health benefits. However, it also has many consumption limits to consider.


Halva is an excellent source of phosphorus, magnesium, and iron.

Research suggests that lower phosphorus levels are linked to diabetes and kidney disease. According to one study, serum phosphorus levels are lower in type 2 diabetes patients, indicating that they may have a phosphorus metabolism disorder. Foods high in magnesium supplements may help improve insulin sensitivity, which is essential for blood sugar control.

However, if you have kidney disease or diabetes, you should limit your intake of certain nutrients, such as carbohydrates, sodium, potassium, and phosphorus. Limiting these nutrients can help you manage the condition better and reduce the likelihood of worsening over time (1). 

Nonetheless, remember that halva is sweet and rich in carbohydrates - a red flag for people with diabetes.


Halva falls in the range of the top 10% of foods as a source of magnesium. Several studies suggest that magnesium supplements may even help prevent and treat migraine headaches

Migraine sufferers are typically magnesium deficient; these mineral supplements can help with migraines.

Several studies have shown magnesium supplements to help prevent and treat migraine headaches (2).


Magnesium supplements are frequently used as a natural sleep remedy because magnesium regulates several neurotransmitters involved in sleep, including gamma-aminobutyric acid.

According to research, magnesium may help alleviate the symptoms of insomnia. Taking 500 mg of magnesium daily for eight weeks improved many subjective and objective measures of insomnia in an eight-week study of elderly patients with insomnia. Patients slept faster and for more extended periods. Another study of nearly 4,000 adults found that increasing intake of this mineral improved sleep quality and duration (3).

Other benefits

Halva made from different sources provides different benefits. For instance, sunflower halva is extremely rich in fiber (7). This may promote digestion. Also, it is rich in vitamin E, which has various positive health impacts - improves brain, eye, and cardiovascular health, is beneficial for skin, and has anti-cancer properties (8).

Sesame-based halva is rich in potassium, vitamin A, and calcium. Potassium is crucial for heart, nerve, and bone health (9). Vitamin A is needed for healthy vision, reproduction, growth, and development (10). 

Downsides and Risks

Cardiovascular Health

Phosphate levels above a certain threshold may be linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

According to some studies, excess phosphorus promotes pathologic calcification of heart valves. A meta-analysis of six cohort studies involving over 120,000 healthy adults followed for up to 29 years found that those with the highest serum phosphorus levels had a 36% increased risk of death from CVD and all causes compared to those with the lowest levels. Men were more likely than women to die from any cause (4).

Kidney Disease

Studies have also shown that high phosphorus levels harm the kidneys and cause loss of kidney function. This loss of function raises the possibility of kidney failure.

When you have chronic kidney disease (CKD), your kidneys struggle to remove phosphorus. Phosphorus levels that are too high can harm your body. Extra phosphorus causes body changes that cause calcium to be drawn out of your bones, weakening them. Normal functioning kidneys can remove extra phosphorus in your blood (5).


Halva contains sunflower seeds, which can cause an allergic reaction.

According to the researchers, the most common reactions to sunflower seeds were cutaneous, respiratory, oral allergy, and gastrointestinal symptoms. Some people can develop anaphylaxis (6).


Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Специальность: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Обновлено: Август 07, 2023
Medically reviewed by Ani Harutyunyan
Пожалуйста проконсультируйтесь со своим врачом перед началом любой диеты.