Known by various names across different states of India, Khus Khus or Poppy seeds are a well-known ingredient that finds a place in numerous Indian cuisines. While they have a peculiar nutty taste, they are highly recommended when you need to add a nice aroma to any cuisine.
Different variants of Poppy seeds are readily available. From these, the popular types are:
- White Poppy seeds – Also known as Indian/Asian Poppy seeds
- Oriental Poppy seeds – Also known as Opium Poppy
- Blue Poppy seeds – Also known as European Poppy seeds
Nutrition Facts of Poppy Seeds
Poppy seeds are a rich source of dietary fibre. This helps you feel full for longer periods of time. It also contains 9.7 mg magnesium in one teaspoon, which is useful for good bone health and blood clotting. The iron and calcium content of poppy seeds play a significant role in the development and health of the nervous system.
Here are some popular benefits of Poppy seeds:
Improvement of Fertility
Poppy seeds play a pivotal role in boosting female fertility. They are known to remove mucus from the fallopian tubes and aid in achieving pregnancy. They also enhance sexual desire and improve sexual health by boosting libido.
Opium Poppy is effective in inducing sleep. Known to create a calming effect, the seeds help in bringing down stress levels. They can be consumed in the form of tea or made into a paste and mixed with warm milk to enjoy a blessed slumber. Also, read 4 ways to treat insomnia.
Being rich in copper and calcium, Poppy seeds help in improving bone health. The manganese in the seeds helps in the production of the protein collagen that protects the bones from severe damage. Also, read the best foods for healthy bones.
Poppy seeds are a rich source of insoluble fibre and help in strengthening the digestive system and treating constipation effectively.
Improves Cardiovascular Health
Poppy seeds have an abundance of dietary fibres present in them. They play a role in reducing the levels of harmful cholesterol in the body and keeps the levels of good cholesterol up. Poppy seeds are also rich in iron and improve the circulation of blood. Blood pressure levels are kept under control with the use of poppy seeds and they also contain Omega-3 fatty acids which are beneficial in reducing the chances of cardiovascular diseases.
Efficient Cure of Mouth Ulcers
Since they have a cooling effect on the body, poppy seeds are known to be a great treatment for mouth ulcers. However, only limited research is known to back this ideology.
Regulation of Blood Pressure
Oleic acid, an essential component in Poppy seeds, is known to reduce blood pressure levels.
Great for the eyes
The zinc and antioxidant content in Poppy seeds help to improve vision and protects against eye diseases such as Macular Degeneration. Also, read eye care tips for healthy vision.
Improves Cognitive Functions
Poppy seeds are rich in iron. This helps purify the blood and increase haemoglobin levels in the blood. Consumption of poppy seeds can improve the circulation of blood which results in an optimal supply of oxygen to every part of the body including your brain. This can help neurotransmitters function efficiently and improve the cognitive functioning of the brain.
Helps in treating Kidney Stones
The potassium content in Poppy seeds helps in treating kidney stones and also prevents their re-occurrence. Also, read 5 symptoms of kidney stones.
Good for Thyroid
Zinc is a pivotal element for thyroid glands, and thanks to their rich zinc content, Poppy seeds play a crucial role in proper thyroid functioning. Also, read 8 best foods for thyroid patients.
Poppy seeds occupy an integral place in a diabetic’s diet. The manganese in the seeds helps in the treatment of diabetes.
For generations, Poppy seeds have been a tried and tested option to relieve pain. Many ancient medical practitioners have used the analgesic properties of Poppy seeds to comfort their patients from pain and discomfort. Some reports also suggest the consumption of Poppy tea, made by mixing the seeds in hot water, to reduce pain. The pain-relieving property is significantly high in the Opium variant of the Poppy seeds.
Helps in Dandruff treatment
Prepare a paste of soaked Poppy seeds, white pepper, and hung curd and apply to your hair. Leave for half an hour and wash off. Use regularly to prevent the occurrence of dandruff. Read more on the home remedies for dandruff.
Promotes mental health
Dry poppy seeds contain very small levels of opium alkaloids which have some beneficial effects on the human body. It helps soothe nervous irritability and act as a painkiller. Poppyseed drink also decreases the levels of cortisol in the body and helps reduce stress levels.
How to incorporate Poppy seeds into my diet?
Poppy seeds are found in bakery products, like bagels and muffins. They can also be added to salads as dressing and can be eaten with vegetables. Use poppy seeds as a topping, to add some crunch to cheese or on toast.
The risks and side effects of Poppy Seeds
- Poppy seeds should be sourced from trusted retailers. Poppy seeds can contain opioid compounds if they are not processed properly or harvested properly. Poppy seeds with high opioid levels can cause the effects of the opioid to be felt in the body. This can be potentially harmful.
- The use of poppy seeds for the treatment of insomnia should be monitored. It should be in very limited quantities since there is a likelihood of the development of dependency.
- Consumption of poppy seeds should be done in moderation. Overconsumption of poppy seeds can result in a positive drug test for opioids.
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.