Poppy seeds derived from poppy plants are not only delicious to have but also come with a number of health benefits. Poppy seeds possess exclusive medicinal properties that are extremely beneficial for treating various chronic diseases like asthma, headache, cough, and the common cold, diarrhea, and insomnia. These seeds are also useful for controlling bowel movement through your gastrointestinal tract and thus can help to get rid of constipation.
All You Need To Know About Poppy Seeds:
Poppy seeds, scientifically known as (Papaver smoniferum) are found in small, round, and bluish, black, or light to dark gray forms and can be of different shades- from white to yellow and black. The color of poppy seeds usually varies primarily due to the varied methods of cultivation and ways of processing. Poppy seeds are mainly derived from poppy flowers. These are found mainly in Mediterranean regions and also in tropical countries. Poppy seeds have been used as a key ingredient for manufacturing medicines in a traditional way since ancient times. Poppy seeds are also used in various food items, for instance for baking cakes, pastries, filling, glaze, or porridge. Extracts from poppy seeds like poppy seed oil are also used to make soap, paint, and varnish.
Nutritional Contents In Poppy Seeds:
Around 1 tablespoon or 9 grams of fresh poppy seeds contain the following nutrients:(1)
- Calories: 46
- Fiber: 1.7 grams
- Protein: 1.6 grams
- Fat: 3.7 grams
- Carbohydrates: 2.5 grams
- Manganese: 26% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Copper: 16% of the DV
- Calcium: 10% of the DV
- Magnesium: 7% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 6% of the DV
- Zinc: 6% of the DV
- Thiamine: 6% of the DV
- Iron: 5% of the DV
The Crucial Health Effects In Poppy Seeds:
1. Consists Of Pain- Relieving Materials
The poppy seeds, derived from poppy plants contain organic compounds and chemical substances like morphine, codeine, thebaine, and other alkaloids that are found in opium. These components in poppy seeds and opium contain properties that are helpful for treating various ailments like relieving chronic pain, calming down, and inducing sleepiness. These organic chemical components are found in the poppy latex, which is a milky white liquid present within the poppy pod. These alkaloid opium compounds are not found in poppies naturally but may become contaminated with them while they are harvested or may be due to poppy damages caused by various pests and insects. But poppy seeds are usually cleaned and purified well enough to get rid of any opium alkaloids or such related components before they reach the market. In fact, the manufacturers often take care that the poppy seeds are not contaminated by any chance with these opium alkaloids.
But sometimes it has been found that people often buy unwashed poppy seeds that usually contain extreme amounts of opium alkaloids or other related organic chemical substances that can be a natural and organic alternative to various pharmaceutical drugs (2).
But experts suggest that poppy seeds that contain high levels of opium alkaloids or those seeds that are sold unwashed, can lead to severe threats and lethal risks to your health conditions, which can pose danger to your overall body and can even cause premature death. If you are trying to consume such products it is always advisable to seek suggestions from your experienced medicinal caregiver.
2. Keeps Your Heart And Skin Healthy
Poppyseeds or their extracts like poppy oil can genuinely improve your skin and heart health because they contain high amounts of mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids which are significantly known to be effective for your skin and heart.
Recent experiments show that high consumption of foods that contain richer amounts of unsaturated fatty acids, a type found in poppy seeds can significantly lower the chances of developing several heart-related diseases like heart attacks, heart failure, cardiac arrests, stroke, and many such cardiovascular disorders by a notable level of around 17%. It is essential to know that high consumption of nutrients through your regular diet like omega-6 to omega-3 should have a proper balance and any disturbance in this ratio may increase the chances of developing several inflammatory diseases in your body. So, it will be certainly good for your body if you can add richer amounts of unsaturated fatty acids to your regular diet. Experts often opine that it is highly preferable to avoid increased consumption of food substances that are rich in components like omega-6 rich oils in your regular diet, including the oil derived from poppy seeds. Moreover, some experts say those poppy seeds and their extract, particularly the oil of poppy seeds contain fats that are known to treat several ailments like healing cuts and wounds, as well as prevent scaly lesions when applied directly to the skin.
3. Contains High Amount Of Antioxidants
Poppy seeds and their extracts like poppy seed oil contain a high number of essential antioxidants like polyphenols.
Consumption of such dietary antioxidants through your regular diet can significantly help to improve your overall heart health and will also ensure to lower the chances of developing chronic heart disorders like heart strokes, heart attacks, heart failure, or cardiac arrest.
Some Other Health Benefits:
Apart from these, poppy seeds offer various other health benefits. Some of those are listed below:
- Improves digestive system: Poppy seeds help to maintain proper bowel movement through your gastro- intestinal tract and thus can help to get rid of constipation. Therich fiber content in poppy seeds is responsible for the easy bowel movement and for the maintenance of proper gut health.
- Prevents chronic disorders and ailments: Poppy seed extract are rich in essential antioxidants that are known to prevent cellular damage and to check the oxidative function caused by variousdisease-causing free radicals and thus helps to protect your body from several illnesses.
- Help to regulate fertility: Recent studies reveal that poppy seeds contain health extracts that help to improve the functional ability of fallopian tubes that can further improve fertility.
Some Health Risks with Poppy Seeds:
Though poppy seeds are considered safe and are known to contain a significant amount of nutrients that are beneficial for our overall health, they can often pose serious threats to people when consumed in higher proportions. Some of the potential health risks caused by poppy seeds and their extracts are listed below:
Often claimed as a sleep aid
Poppy contains latex that is known to be filled or contaminated with high amounts of opium or related organic compounds that contain properties that can induce sleepiness among individuals if consumed in higher doses. This might an insomnia remedy but can pose severe life threats by causing strong chemical addictions and can also lead to the untimely death of an individual if consumed regularly in high proportions.
Consumption of excessive amounts of poppy seeds or their extracts regularly can often lead to positive drug tests. When a person consumes rich amounts of opium alkaloids or similar classes of chemicals from poppy seeds, then compounds like codeine and morphine may be found in the person’s urine for up to 48 hours (about 2 days) after the consumption of poppy seeds and opium. (3)
Side effects and health risks:
Poppy seeds, poppy seed teas, and poppy-containing products that are unwashed or that are contaminated with opium alkaloids are natural pain relievers or help to induce sleepiness but they often contain compounds that lead to strong opium addiction and can also result in sudden untimely death if consumed in high doses for a longer period of time. Moreover, some may often experience redness, itchiness, or pain, after consumption of poppy seeds. So it is always advisable to either limit or avoids the consumption of poppy seeds and seek some health suggestions from a registered medical practitioner.
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