One among the various ancient edible ingredients with incredible health benefits is the Poppy seed that also finds its place among a lot of healthy Grandma recipes.
Apart from having an alluring nutty taste, these seeds also have a very high nutritional value. Poppy seeds are a powerhouse of nutrients like protein, dietary fiber, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, vitamin B complex, and healthy fatty acids such as oleic and linoleic acid. Generally, one teaspoon to one tablespoon per day is the safe amount to consume for adults if they are not allergic to it. It is one of the tiny oil seeds with numerous health benefits.
Poppy seeds are kidney-shaped seeds less than a millimeter in length. They are also known as khus-khus in Hindi. Poppy seeds are used in a number of food items such as cakes, pastries, muffins, curries, chutneys etc. They are mostly added for texture, thickness, and to get a nutty flavor. They don’t impart any color to the food but are used as a thickener or flavoring agent in some dishes.
Health benefits of poppy seeds -
Mouth ulcer - Poppy seeds have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which help to treat mouth ulcers through its cooling effect. Add sugar or desiccated coconut to powdered poppy seeds and make a thick paste by adding water. This paste can be applied on mouth ulcer to get relief.
Heart - Poppy seeds are rich in polyunsaturated Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids which aid to support heart health. The high amount of potassium, magnesium, and insoluble dietary fiber helps to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
Hypertension - Potassium, magnesium and high content of monounsaturated Omega 9 fatty acids (oleic acid) in poppy seeds help to prevent or manage high blood pressure (hypertension).
Anemia - Poppy seeds are consider to be highly nutritious, as they also contain high quantity of iron, copper, and vitamin B6 which improve blood circulation and help to treat iron deficiency anemia.
Diabetes - Regular consumption of poppy seeds helps to regulate the blood glucose levels due to the presence of dietary fiber, manganese, and magnesium.
Fertility - In research, it has been observed that the poppy seeds are highly beneficial in improving female fertility. Using poppy seed and its oil consistently boosts fertility rate and enhances sexual health in women.
Insomnia - Consuming poppy seed paste with warm milk during night time helps induce a sound sleep. It helps in reducing the levels of cortisol which is a stress hormone and aids in treating insomnia.
Bones - Poppy seeds are packed with bone-friendly minerals such as calcium, zinc, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, and potassium. They play an important role in the bone remodeling cycle and reduce the risk of arthritis and osteoporosis while strengthening the bones.
Brain - High-quality minerals in poppy seeds improve the function of neurotransmitters, boost blood circulation and oxygen supply to the brain which helps to reduce the risk of cognitive disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s and also support overall brain functions.
Skin and hair - The essential nutrients and antioxidants present in poppy seeds moisturize and cleanse the skin while they also help in treating acne and skin inflammation. Poppy seeds paste with milk work as a moisturizer for skin.
Applying poppy seeds paste with curd in hair scalp helps to reduce dandruff and dust.
Kidney stone - Potassium in poppy seeds helps to treat kidney stone and prevents its re-occurrence. However, it should be consumed in a limited amount as it also contains oxalate which can cause the formation of Calcium Oxalate kidney stones in the long run.
Immunity - High quality Zinc present in poppy seeds builds the overall strength of the body and helps in boosting immunity.
Digestion - Poppy seeds are a good source of insoluble dietary fibers that help to treat many digestive ailments such as bloating and constipation and promotes digestive health.
NOTE: Poppy seeds are prohibited in some countries by the Central Narcotics Bureau due to the presence of morphine in its outer surface. It is prohibited because it can be unsafe if consumed in a very large amount. So, eat in moderation and stay safe and healthy.
Eat right, be healthy!