Poppy seeds have often been used in the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Mediterranean as part of a culinary tradition that goes back hundreds of years.
It’s no wonder, then, that people today still use them in many different ways; poppy seeds are nutty and crunchy and have an earthy taste that pairs well with many different foods and meals.
They’re also incredibly healthy, which is why they should be part of your regular diet even if you aren’t fond of traditional cuisine from the Middle East or Central Asia.
Here are 7 reasons to add poppy seeds to your diet today!
1. Poppy seeds are rich in minerals:
Poppy seeds are an excellent source of minerals, including calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc.
They’re also a good source of fiber and protein. According to USDA, just one tablespoon of poppy seeds provides:
- Fat: 1.2 g
- Calories: 14.7 kcal
- Total Carbohydrates: 0.8 g
- Protein: 0.5 g
- Dietary Fiber: 0.5 g
- Sodium: 0.7 mg
- Total Sugars: 0.1 g
- Calcium: 40 mg
- Iron: 0.3 mg
- Magnesium: 9.7 mg
- Manganese: 0.2 mg
2. Poppy seeds increase energy production:
Poppy seeds are small but mighty when it comes to energy production. Not only do they contain vitamins and minerals that are essential for energy production, but they also contain antioxidants that can help protect your cells from damage.
Adding poppy seeds to your diet can help increase your energy levels and protect your cells from damage. They’re great as a topping on salads or eaten by the spoonful!
I like them in this power breakfast cereal with a bit of honey: 1/2 cup steel cut oats, 1/4 cup flaxseed meal, 2 tablespoon chia seeds, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, pinch of salt and 4-6 tablespoon of water (adjust depending on how thick you want your cereal).
It’s super tasty!
3. Omega-3s in poppy seeds help against arthritis and depression:
Poppy seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, just one tablespoon of poppy seeds contains about 3 grams of these healthy fats. That’s more than you’ll find in a serving of most fish!
Omega-3s have been shown to help fight inflammation and reduce the pain associated with arthritis.
Studies also show that these nutrients can lower the risk of depression and other mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
They may even improve your mood by increasing serotonin levels which make us feel happier.
The high protein content in poppy seeds is also important for supporting muscle development and growth which can help people who suffer from osteoporosis.
4. Multiple nutrients protect cells against damage caused by heart disease:
Poppy seeds are a good source of several nutrients that play a role in heart health. For example, they’re a good source of fiber, which can help reduce cholesterol levels.
Additionally, the fatty acids in poppy seeds can help lower blood pressure and keep arteries healthy. That’s because their polyunsaturated fats act as natural anti-inflammatory agents.
These seeds also provide magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper and iron — all nutrients that support a healthy heart.
It’s best to eat them raw or roasted, since cooking tends to diminish their nutritional value.
5. Ricinoleic Acid found in poppy seeds reduces the risk of diabetes:
Ricinoleic acid is found in poppy seeds and it has been shown to help reduce the risk of diabetes. The ricinoleic acid helps improve insulin sensitivity, which can help keep blood sugar levels under control.
Additionally, the ricinoleic acid can help increase the production of pancreatic cells, which helps the body produce more insulin. Adding poppy seeds to your diet is a simple way to help reduce your risk of developing diabetes.
You should be aware that this does not mean you should eat them by the handfuls!
A serving size for poppy seeds is about one tablespoon or two teaspoons per day, so you don’t have to worry about overdoing it with this delicious addition to your diet.
6. Lecithin helps lower cholesterol levels:
If you’re looking for a food that can help lower your cholesterol levels, look no further than poppy seeds. These tiny seeds are packed with lecithin, a substance that helps break down fats.
A diet rich in lecithin can help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol. Not only that, but lecithin also helps keep blood vessels healthy and prevents the buildup of plaque.
In addition, these seeds contain essential fatty acids which can prevent heart disease by lowering blood pressure and regulating blood sugar levels. They also contain vitamin B6, an important nutrient needed for energy production.
There are two types of omega-3s found in poppy seeds: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
These compounds have been shown to provide major health benefits like preventing hypertension and reducing triglyceride levels as well as slowing Alzheimer’s disease progression.
7. Iron in poppy seed enables oxygen transport through blood stream:
If you’re looking for a way to up your iron intake, poppy seeds are a great option. Just one tablespoon of poppy seeds contains 1.1 milligrams of iron, which is 6% of the daily recommended value.
The body needs iron to make hemoglobin, a protein that enables oxygen transport through the blood stream.
Without enough iron, you can develop anemia, which can cause fatigue and weakness. Eating too many poppy seeds may lead to constipation or abdominal pain, but these side effects will subside as soon as you stop eating them.
In order to prevent constipation, it’s important to eat plenty of fiber-rich foods and drink plenty of water when eating poppy seeds.
It’s also important not to substitute poppy seeds for all your iron sources because they contain trace amounts of minerals like zinc and calcium that the body needs in order to function properly.
Poppy seeds are small but mighty when it comes to nutrition. They’re a good source of fiber, iron, and calcium, and they contain several important vitamins and minerals. Additionally, poppy seeds have a range of health benefits, including the ability to boost heart health, reduce inflammation, and aid in digestion. Plus, they’re a versatile ingredient that can be used in sweet or savory dishes. So what are you waiting for? Start incorporating poppy seeds into your diet today!