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Poppy Seeds Nutrition and Health Benefits Of Poppy Seeds

Poppy seeds are believed to contain a rich resource of carbohydrates and calcium and are considered to be a good source of energy. Even though opium and poppy seeds are correlated, poppy seeds do not contain any narcotic properties and hence one can benefit from poppy seeds nutrition without the effects of opium. The fluid present in the bud which becomes opium is absent in the poppy seeds once the seeds are formed.

Poppy Seeds Health Benefits

Hence poppy seeds can be used as food and its oil which is rich in linoleic acid (an important omega-6 fatty acid), health and protecting the heart against cardiovascular diseases and heart attacks. The poppy seed oil is also rich in oleic acid, which is believed to help prevent breast cancer.

The poppy seeds contained 45 to 50% of unsaturated essential fatty acids, which make it a good source of nutrition and health food. The poppy seeds health benefits can be seen in a variety of its use in food as well as in medicinal properties. Some of the health benefits of poppy seeds include consuming half teaspoon of poppy seeds to alleviate symptoms of asthma and whooping cough.

The herbal concoction of the seeds is also beneficial in treating all kinds of nervous disorders. Apart from consuming poppy seeds in its raw form or toasted on bagels and sweet breads, a paste made from the seeds can be used as a poultice in obtaining relief from swellings and joint pains.  Finely ground powder made from poppy seeds can also be consumed to treat insomnia and diarrhea. Apart from adding flavor to food, poppy fields also present an added advantage of providing health benefits to the human body. It also supplies essential enzymes and fatty acids as a form of nutrition. In ancient days, athletes would consume or blend of poppy seeds with honey entwined to ensure strength and good health. The oil derived from poppy seeds is used in various cosmetic preparations for the head and skin as balms and conditioners.

The poppy seed oil is also used to enhance the flavor of salads and is also useful as massage oil. Poppy seeds are also believed to be an effective remedy in facilitating the processor digestion and normalizing metabolism in the body. Most pharmaceutical companies employ the use of poppy seed oil in the manufacture of various drugs and medications. Poppy seed herbal tea can also be made and safely consumed by infusing poppy seeds in hot water and steeping it for a few minutes.

Poppy seeds are highly nutritious seeds but they are known to affect drug tests. Consuming poppy seeds can lead to a drug test being positive, if the test is for opiates. This is due to the fact the poppy seeds and heroin come from the same plant- the opium poppy. The main culprit behind this is not the poppy seeds but the pods or unripe seed capsules of the plant. During the collection of poppies, the opiates from the pods are transferred to the poppy seeds. This accounts for the positive result on a drug test. Poppy seeds can contain trace amounts of codeine and morphine. Even eating a poppy seed bagel and going for a test after this can lead to a positive result. Having said this, poppy seeds are full of nutrition. They are a good source of calcium and beneficial in pregnancy as they are a good food for pregnant and lactating mothers.

Opium poppy seeds:

Opium poppy seeds have been used to make tea for several years as this tea is an effective home remedy for several complaints. This poppy tea can be used to relieve pain, help with insomnia (as it induces sleep), as an intoxicant, as a cough suppressant and also as a mild relaxant. Keep in mind that this tea made from poppy seeds does not have a very palatable flavor. It can be very bitter and strong and some people even get nausea after drinking it. Poppy tea can be prepared from either the seeds or the dried poppy pods. The seeds or pods are crushed and then steeped in boiling water. This mixture is strained after a few minutes and the remaining liquid can be drunk. The effects of the tea can be felt after about half an hour and they last up to 8 hours. It is legal to grow the opium poppies as garden flowers but growing them to produce opium is illegal.

Blue poppy seeds

Blue poppy seeds immediately bring to mind the seeds from the blue poppies which are known as Himalayan poppies. These blue poppy seeds are tiny kidney shaped seeds. Due to their sweet and nutty flavor they are popular in European cooking and are used in many cooked and baked dishes. Most of the blue poppy seeds recipes are available for making cakes, bread, cookies, muffins, pastries and so on. Many of these recipes are available online and are easy to follow and give great results.

Poppy seeds nutrition

Poppy seeds nutrition facts are as follows:-

Calories: 45.9
Carbohydrates: 2.5g
Magnesium: 30.4 mg
Sodium: 2.3 mg
Calcium: 126 mg
Potassium: 62.9 mg
Protein: 1.6g
Prosperous: 76.1mg
Dietary Fiber: 23 g
Sugars: 3 g
Vitamin A: 0.0 IU
Vitamin C: 3 mg
Vitamin K: 0.0 mcg
Niacin: 0.976 mg
Vitamin B6: 0.444mg
Folate: 82 μg (21%)
Pantothenic Acid: 0 mcg

There are several nutritional benefits of poppy seeds. These are listed below:

These seeds contain several vital minerals like zinc, calcium, magnesium, which aid in the smooth functioning of all organs of the body. Poppy seeds are an excellent source of energy as well since they contain carbohydrates as well. Their calorie content is lower as compared to other herbs and spices and this makes them a popular additive to foods as well. Poppy seeds are also rich in oleic acid which is believed to prevent breast cancer. Poppy seeds also contain about 45-50% of unsaturated fatty acids. Apart from these nutritional benefits, there are health benefits for poppy seeds as well. One can also make a poultice from these seeds and apply it to affected areas to obtain relief from any swelling or pain in the joints. Poppy seeds can also be used in salads and as massage oil.

Poppy seed oil

Poppy seed oil that is obtained from the small dark seeds of the poppy flower is a good option for salad dressings. This oil also has several health benefits. The oil is a good source of energy due to the abundance of carbohydrates and calcium. This poppy seed oil is also rich in linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid) which studies show, offers protection against heart disease and heart attacks. The oil derived from poppy seeds also has cosmetic benefits and is used for various massages on the head and skin. Poppy seed oil is also used as salad dressing as it adds a unique flavor and aroma to the salad.  Some studies have also shown that poppy seed oil is useful in fertility. Women who have had their uterus bathed with poppy seed oil have become pregnant later. It is also used as a contrast medium for an x-ray procedure called hysterosalpingography (HSG) which is used to evaluate fertility in women. Poppy seed oil is also used as a carrier for iodine in pediatric medicine.

Poppy seeds health benefits

There are several poppy seeds health benefits, some of these include:-

1. Fatty acids: These seeds are a good source of fatty acids which are required for the body’s good health. These seeds are especially rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
2. Breast cancer: Poppy seed oil contains oleic acid. Studies conducted on this acid show that it is helpful in treating breast cancer.
3. Source of minerals: These seeds are also a source of iodine, zinc, copper, manganese, and magnesium.
4. Heart disease: Poppy seeds contain linoleic acid which is useful in prevent heart disorders and heart attacks.
5. Narcotics: Poppy seeds are also used as narcotics to treat pain related conditions. They are also used in treating asthma, diarrhea, whooping cough, insomnia, certain digestive disorders and stomach conditions.

Poppy seed nutrition

Poppy seed nutrition info is as below:

One teaspoon of poppy seeds contains 1.6 g of protein, 3.7 g of fat, 2.5 g of carbohydrates and 46 calories. Poppy seeds are also a good source of many minerals; from one tablespoon of poppy seeds you get 29% DV of manganese, and 13% DV of calcium. Other mineral content includes 8 % DV of magnesium and phosphorous, 5% DV of iron and zinc, and 2 %DV of potassium and selenium.7 % of the daily value of dietary fiber is also got from eating poppy seeds. These seeds also contain .02 g of omega-3 fatty acids and 2.48 g of omega-6 fatty acids.

Poppy Seeds

Poppy seeds are derived from the seed pod of the poppy flower. These seeds are harvested once the poppy flowers have wilted. The seed pods of these wilted flowers open up to a certain degree after they dry up, thus making it easier for the cultivator to draw out the seeds.

Poppy seeds have been utilized through the ages. Their usage dates back as far as the times of the Egyptians. During the middle ages, these seeds were used as a spice in several cuisines. Even today, it is used in gravies, confectionery, and bagels. Presently, poppy seeds are grown for their ornamental, medicinal, and culinary value. Poppy seeds are known to add a distinct taste and flavor to the dish. However, their culinary use is not the most important; these seeds also have several health benefits. Poppy seeds are a good source for minerals that are required for the proper functioning of organs. Some of these minerals include calcium, zinc, magnesium, and so on. Poppy seeds contain approximately 1584 grams percent of calcium. They are often considered to be ideal for pregnant and lactating mothers. Poppy seeds are also known to contain a substantial amount of protein in the form of globulin, which has an amino acid constitution similar to the whole seed protein.

Furthermore, these seeds comprise 50 percent edible oil, which is why they were extracted for usage in several cultures, right from the Egyptian era. Since they supply the body with substantial amounts of carbohydrates, they provide good amount of energy to the body. Moreover, the fatty acids from the poppy seeds help with digestion, as they supply several essential acids that help with breaking down food in the stomach. Poppy seeds, also, contain oleic acid and linoleic acid. Oleic acid is known to help in the prevention of breast cancer. Linoleic acid, on the other hand, serves to protect the person from heart disease or other such conditions. Additionally, the calories from poppy seeds are far lesser than the amount got from other herbs and spices.        

Poppy seeds are also known to treat a number of nervous disorders, as it contains a comparatively lower amount of alkaloids. However, the best known use of poppy seeds is for the treatment of insomnia or sleeplessness. It proves to be a very effective relaxant. The sleep induced state, however, could also be a result of its narcotic properties. Hence, this remedy should be taken only occasionally, and never for more than 3 days in a row. For sleeplessness, you could take one teaspoon of poppy seed oil, before going to bed. An alternative way of consuming poppy seeds, for insomnia, is to take 2 teaspoons of extracted milk of the poppy seeds, mixed with sugar. This should also be consumed at bedtime. Poppy seeds have also been known to provide relief from whooping cough symptoms and asthma. It is often used for the treatment of stomach related health conditions like diarrhea, and other similar conditions. Due to its addictive properties, cultivators today have increasingly begun producing poppy seeds more suited for everyday use.  

Submitted on January 16, 2014