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Poppy seeds, also known as Khus Khus, are commonly used as an ingredient in several Indian cuisines. Many dishes get their pleasing aroma and nutty taste from this ingredient. The Poppy Plant, which gives us the said seeds, has been used for centuries for many traditional remedies. The seeds can vary in color – white, yellow, bluish/black – depending on where the plant is grown.
The health benefits of poppy seeds and its oil include headache, cough, and insomnia treatment. It is essential to include natural seeds such as these in our diets to get our daily nutrition. Sometimes, the best cure is eating healthy foods and nipping problems in the bud or not allowing them to formulate in the first place. Consult a nutritionist in real-time to get expert dietary advice. Stay healthy with customized daily diets on FITFEAST.
Poppy seeds are packed with fiber and essential plant fats along with many other nutrients. They are especially rich in manganese, which is a trace element that facilitates blood clotting and maintains bone health, respectively. Moreover, manganese helps the body in properly absorbing fats, carbs, and more importantly amino acids.
They contain considerable amounts of copper as well, which is an essential mineral that is the building block of connective tissue. The function of the connective tissue is to transport iron.
Poppy seed oil, produced by cold pressing the seeds, is rich in Omega-6 and Omega-9 fats in addition to small amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients are good to prevent and treat heart disease. Poppy seeds also contain polyphenol, an antioxidant, that lowers the risk of heart disease. However, poppy seed oil should be consumed in controlled quantities as might cause inflammation due to high omega-6 contents.
Poppy seeds or khus khus contain pain-relieving opium alkaloids such as codeine, thebaine, and morphine that have sleep-inducing and calming properties. These compounds are commonly used in pharmaceutical drugs for the same uses. It is believed that these opium compounds are induced during the harvesting or pest damage processes. These compounds can be removed by washing the seeds thoroughly; however, unwashed poppy seeds are considered better alternatives to pharmaceutical drugs.
Poppy seeds have been used for generations to relieve pain. They were used by ancient medical practitioners for their analgesic properties to relieve heavy pain and discomfort. Historically, they were used to make tea – mixing poppy seeds in hot water – to relieve pain. Nonetheless, they should not be consumed without medical supervision or prescription.
Oil extracted from poppy seeds is packed with mono- and polyunsaturated fats that are good for the skin and the heart. People who consume foods rich in unsaturated fats are less likely to fall prey to heart attacks and strokes. Therefore, it is advisable to reduce saturated fats in your diet for a healthy heart.
However, do not have poppy seeds quite often as they are high in omega-6 as compared to omega-3, which might be bad news for your heart. Poppyseed oil is supposed to heal wounds and prevent scaly lesions when directly applied to the skin.
Poppy seeds are known to boost fertility in women by removing mucus from the fallopian tubes. This, in turn, increases the chances of pregnancy. Poppy seeds are known to boost libido that increases sexual desire.
- Poppy seeds benefits include improved bone health since they are rich in calcium and copper. The manganese content in poppy seeds improves the production of collagen – a type of protein – that protects bones against damage
- Their high insoluble fiber content strengthens the digestive system and effectively treats constipation
- Poppy seeds contain zinc and antioxidants that improve vision and protect the eyes against degeneration. Zinc content is good for thyroid functioning as well
- A paste of soaked poppy seeds with hung curd and white pepper treats dandruff and prevents occurrence when left for 30 minutes before washing hair