Within the superfoods that are now fashionable, we find many seeds that, due to their nutritional contribution and composition, are beneficial for our body.
This is the case of the poppy seeds that today we are going to tell you, since they meet all the requirements to become one more option to complement our food.
Remember that most of the population does not consume as much fiber as they should, so the use of this type of ingredients is essential to improve our health and negative statistics.
Nutritional value and importance
Let’s analyze the amount of nutrients it has 100 grams of poppy seed. This way we will get an idea of whether its benefits really come from its mineral or vitamin content or is more related to its chemical composition.
It also has a high concentration of minerals such as calcium (1430 mg), iron (9.8 mg) or magnesium (348 mg). However, it does not contain as much vitamin index in comparison, for example, with the chia seeds.
How can I take advantage of poppy seeds?
When it comes to consuming this ingredient we have several options. The most comfortable and usual is to use its seeds and mix them with other ingredients, whether salads, meats or pastries.
It is common to see different breads, biscuits and muffins containing poppy seeds mixed with other seeds and broken nuts.
You can also see the use of such seeds in pastas, salads and stir-fries, giving a crispy point to the final mixture and a slightly different flavor.
To do this, it is preferable to toast them in a pan for a few minutes to give it an additional crunchy point and increase its flavor. Then, we either consume them as is or crush them to form a flour.
For more expert hands, the poppy seeds they can also be used to prepare infusions, alone or mixed with some medicinal plants.
A maximum of one tablespoon of coffee is usually used at most recommended per day, since let’s not forget, as we will discuss in the side effects, that it has a slight sedative effect.
Properties and benefits of poppy seeds
Prevention of cardiovascular diseases
Poppy seeds contain a large amount of polyunsaturated fats, so in addition to being beneficial, they have a protective effect on the cardiovascular system.
Among these fatty acids, the one that stands out the most, and well above other seeds, is their omega 3 content, which helps fight and keep at bay the levels of triglycerides and bad cholesterol (LDL).
However, not everything is limited to omega 3, since we can find others such as omega 6, which has anti-inflammatory attributes and promotes cardiovascular health, reducing hypertension. The omega 9, works by increasing the values of good cholesterol (HDL), which in turn prevents the accumulation of bad cholesterol (LDL).
Intestinal transit regulation
Let’s not forget that poppy seeds are a concentrated source of fiber, which will help us maintain an adequate intestinal transit and avoid problems related to constipation.
A day it is recommended to take some 25 grams of fiber. However, the overall average is between 17 and 20 grams. With the contribution of these seeds to the diet we will be able to reach the recommended minimum and we will notice it in our intestinal health.
Immune system regulator
In this ingredient we find several minerals that intervene in the immune response, such as zinc and selenium.
Similarly, omega-3 fatty acids, omega 6 and omega 9 stimulate the resistance of the immune system, reducing the likelihood of suffering from diseases.
: the contribution of zinc and selenium and essential fatty acids collaborate in the regulation of the immune system.
Osteoporosis and muscle aches
Nutritionally, we found a high presence of minerals related to bone strength, such as calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. This favors the good absorption of these minerals in the bones and their remineralization.
Potassium is closely linked to muscle aches. Therefore, they advise the consumption of bananas to balance and reinforce potassium levels.
What many people do not know is that there are seeds in nature that double or triple the content of this mineral compared to vegetables.
Prevention of anemia
The prevention of anemia is directly related to the consumption of iron and its fixation in our body.
the intake of the minimum recommended amounts of this mineral, together with elements that support its absorption, such as vitamin C or folic acid, keep anemia at bay.
Poppy seeds are a highly concentrated source of iron that, combined with other ingredients rich in it, allow to control this problem.
As we will see in the side effects, the intake of poppy seedlings in the recommended amounts has a slight sedative effect. This is positive for times of stress or anxiety, improving nighttime sleep and the ability to rest.
An infusion of poppy, which can also be mixed medicinal plants with sedative effect such as lemon balm, valerian or linden, we would have the perfect combination to reduce anxiety or insomnia.
However, it is not advisable if we are going to drive or work with heavy material to exceed the recommended amounts of its use.
Numerous studies have linked the consumption of omega 6 from poppy seeds and symptoms related to premenstrual syndrome. Therefore, we manage to reduce the effects of mood decay, breast pain and swelling.
Closely related to inflammatory diseases is the consumption or adequate maintenance of fatty acid levels such as omega 6, which we have discussed throughout this article.
One of them, arthritis, can be reduced its effects with an adequate consumption of fatty acids and a good mineral intake. This, added to other antioxidants, allows to delay cellular aging and maintain healthier joints.
Recipes containing poppy seeds
Today, the possibilities of introducing poppy seeds are innumerable, since it is a fashionable food where different types of recipes appear every time.
You can use poppy seeds as a condiment or topping in salads and vegetable creams, spreading them and getting a different crunchy point than usual.
However, we have many more alternatives, as we are going to tell you.
- Salads and vegetable creams: get a crispy and healthy touch.
- In yogurts: we give a new look and flavor to traditional yogurts, replacing cookies and crocantis that usually have excess fats and sugars.
- Pastry: very common to find all kinds of conventional and whole grain breads that contain seeds of all kinds and nuts.
- Mixed with oil: just like the oil you can also add ingredients such as chillies, pepper or garlic, you can include poppy seeds.
- Infusion: highly recommended for consumption at night, before sleeping, for its laxative effects, alone or next to relaxing medicinal plants.
- In smoothies or smoothies: more and more we can find different fruit and vegetable smoothies to which they add chia seeds, oats or poppy seeds, looking for a crunchy point and improve the nutritional contribution of the mixture.
Buy poppy seeds
Supermarkets can find many poppy seed purchase options. They usually do not come crushed, although you can find exceptions.
We show you some products, some of them poIs certified organic, so that they have been cultivated following the standards of this certificate.
Opioids contained in poppy seeds
As you may have already read throughout this article, poppy seeds are closely related to opiates (synthesized in the laboratory) and the drug.
Nothing to worry about poppy seeds and respecting the recommended doses, but we have to take it into account.
In addition, it is also important to know the origin of these seeds, since the European Food Safety Authority has studied the concentration of these alkaloids, separating those high values for pharmaceutical use and those for food use (seeds and oil).
Normally, the concentration of opiates in poppy seeds is usually 10 times lower than those used for pharmaceutical uses, so only increasing by 10 times the recommended concentration would we have the same effect.
Such side effects are related to drowsiness, pain elimination, sedation and relaxation.