Have you heard of poppy seeds before? Have you tried them? While we’re not sure if you like them, we are sure that their health benefits are astounding. If you want to learn more, keep reading!
What are Poppy Seeds?
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Did you know that poppy seeds have been mentioned in various early medieval texts? Egyptian civilization refers to poppy seeds as sedatives, and another civilization from the Bronze Age cultivated these seeds and used them in honey, opium and milk mixtures to calm crying babies. Not only that, poppy seeds have been used to aid sleep and promote fertility.
Scientifically known as Papaver somniferum, poppy seeds are rampantly used in many countries, particular those of Central Europe, where they are grown and sold in most store. Both whole and ground seeds are a great addition to many dishes, and they can even be pressed to get an oil.
There are various types of poppy seeds, including:
- Oriental poppy seeds. Otherwise known as the opium poppy, this one produces opium and is mainly grown for profitable purposes.
- White poppy seeds. Also known as Asian or Indian poppy seeds, these are featured in various cuisines.
- Blue poppy seeds. Also called European poppy seeds, they are mostly seen in confectionery and on Western bread.
Are Poppy Seeds Good for You?
The answer is: YES!
The most significant health benefit of poppy seeds is their ability to prevent heart disease. As a matter of fact, the seeds possess linoleic acid, a kind of omega-6 fatty acid that is necessary for heart health. Take note, however, that an excess of omega-6 fatty acids may harm the health. Balance is the key.
Furthermore, the phosphorus and iron content of the seeds may also help maintain bone health. These minerals are important in sustaining the bones and muscles. Additionally, poppy seeds have magnesium and calcium, which regulate brain function and help with neural development. Finally, the seeds may also treat restlessness.
There are lots of other benefits that poppy seeds may offer, but before digging deeper into that, let’s first look at their essential nutrients.
Nutritional Content of Poppy Seeds
One hundred grams of poppy seeds may contain the following nutrients:
|Principle||Amount||% Daily Value|
|Total Fat||41.56 grams||139%|
|Dietary Fiber||19.5 grams||51%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.324 milligrams||65%|
|Vitamin A||0 IU||0%|
|Vitamin C||1 milligrams||2%|
|Vitamin E||1.77 milligrams||12%|
|Vitamin K||0 milligrams||0%|
Health Benefits of Poppy Seeds
Here are some of the most shocking health benefits of poppy seeds:
- Improves heart health. Poppy seeds are oozing with dietary fiber, which is beneficial in lowering cholesterol and improving heart health. Not only that, poppy seeds also have omega-6 fatty acids, which are also beneficial for the heart.
- Boosts immunity. The zinc content of poppy seeds may contribute to a strong immune system and enhance the body’s production of immune cells. Its iron content also contributes to this.
- Regulates blood pressure levels. The oleic acid in poppy seeds lowers blood pressure. This is one of the best health benefits of poppy seeds, especially for those who are suffering from high blood pressure.
- Helps make bones stronger. Poppy seeds are rich in copper, calcium and phosphorus. All of these minerals are beneficial in strengthening the bones and connective tissues.
- Helps improve brain health. The copper, iron and calcium in poppy seeds are beneficial in regulating neurotransmitters and improving brain function.
- Boosts energy. There is an ample amount of complex carbohydrates in poppy seeds. These macronutrients are beneficial for the body’s energy. The seeds also help with calcium absorption.