Did you know that eating a tablespoon of poppy seeds can help you keep a healthy heart? Or that they can lower your blood sugar? If you’re looking for a healthy treat that also has numerous health benefits, then you’ve come to the right place.
Poppy seeds can be found in many foods, including bread, pasta, pastries, and breakfast cereals. They are commonly used in these foods for their color and taste, and are usually omitted when serving the main dish to guests. But did you know that these common foods can also provide you with significant health benefits?
Let’s take a look at the top 10 health benefits of poppy seeds.
They’re an Excellent Source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids come from plant and fish sources, but poppy seeds contain over two times the amount of omega-3 as salmon! One tablespoon of seeds contains about 0.6 grams of omega-3 fatty acids, which is about the same amount of omega-3 fatty acids as found in one medium-sized fish.
Any healthy diet should include omega-3 fatty acids, but the benefits are especially relevant to those with heart disease or high blood pressure.
They’re Excellent for Heart Health
In addition to containing omega-3 fatty acids, poppy seeds are also a good source of magnesium and lignans, which have been shown to reduce blood pressure and improve heart health.
Lignans are a type of polyphenol that has been shown to reduce blood pressure, slow the progression of heart disease, and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Hence, if you’re at risk of heart disease or have already been diagnosed, it’s very important to increase your intake of lignans-containing foods like poppy seeds.
They May Help Fight Depression
Like many other heart-healthy foods, poppy seeds contain tryptophan, a chemical precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin. Many people with clinical depression have low levels of serotonin in their bodies, and foods like poppy seeds can help increase this.
Although research shows that poppy seeds can help to fight depression, it’s important to remember that not everyone will benefit from them. You need to be in a certain mood to eat them, otherwise, you’ll just feel a little hungry.
If you’re not in the mood for something that is going to make you feel hungry, then poppy seeds are not the solution. You need to find other ways to get your daily dose of tryptophan, such as through fortified foods or supplements.
Poppy Seeds May Help Lower Cholesterol
Like other nuts and seeds, poppy seeds are packed with monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), which can help to reduce blood pressure. They’re also rich in plant-based cholesterol-lowering compounds called phenols.
Studies have found that a tablespoon of poppy seeds can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels by 10-20%. These are all great benefits and should be kept in mind as you look for ways to lower your cholesterol. So if you’re looking for a healthy, cholesterol-lowering snack, then poppy seeds are worth a shot.
They May Help Reduce PMS Symptoms
Do you suffer from premenstrual syndrome (PMS)? If so, poppy seeds may be able to help. One study found that a daily dose of omega-3 fatty acids helped to reduce the severity of PMS symptoms, such as mood swings, cramps, and bloating.
For some people, a daily dose of omega-3s is all they need to feel better during the week before their period. And all you have to do is sprinkle a tablespoon of poppy seeds on your salad or morning cereals!
Poppy Seeds Are High in Protein
Poppy seeds are packed full of protein, meaning they can help to build and repair muscles. One tablespoon (15 grams) of poppy seeds contains about 16 grams of protein, which is about the same amount of protein found in an egg.
You’ll find that the protein found in poppy seeds can help to build and repair muscles in your body. It’s important to consume protein throughout the day, as it’s essential for muscle growth, tissue repair, and the maintenance of your body.
They Have Antioxidant Properties
Like many other whole foods, poppy seeds are rich in antioxidants. They’ve even been studied as a possible treatment for oxidative damage caused by high blood pressure and inflammation.
Oxidative damage is thought to be the primary cause of aging, so it’s great to have a natural antioxidant like poppy seeds that can help protect your health and longevity.
They Can Help Lower Blood Sugar
Poppy seeds can also help manage your blood sugar. Studies have found that eating a tablespoon of poppy seeds can lower your blood sugar by up to 2% within 6 hours! This can help prevent the symptoms of low blood sugar such as irritability, dizziness, and shakiness.
While the effect of poppy seeds on blood sugar is modest, eating a healthy diet that includes whole grains and low-fat dairy products can help to reduce your blood sugar without the need for medications.
They Improve The Quality of Your Skin, Nails, And Hair
Eating poppy seeds is a great way to improve your skin, nails, and hair. Poppy seeds help with hair growth because they contain essential amino acids that promote healthy hair growth. Since they are a good source of minerals such as iron and zinc, they also help with nail growth.
Poppy seeds also contain linoleic acid that helps to produce sebum, which is an oily substance that moisturizes the skin.
Poppy Seeds Help Promote Gastrointestinal Health
Gastrointestinal issues are very common in diabetes, and many popular health foods are thought to be good for this condition. Poppy seeds are one such food, being rich in compounds that have been shown to protect the gastrointestinal tract from damage.
Studies have found that compounds in poppy seeds can reduce inflammation in the gut, thereby decreasing the risk of developing conditions like diverticulosis and colitis. Furthermore, they can also promote the health of the immune system, preventing conditions like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Poppy seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and lignans that can protect your heart and promote gastrointestinal health. They can also help to manage your blood sugar, thereby improving the lives of people with diabetes. They can also help to keep your body strong and healthy by building and strengthening muscles, lowering your risk of high blood pressure and cholesterol, and reducing the severity of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms.
So next time you’re craving a snack or want to add some flavor to your favorite dishes, reach for a jar of poppy seeds! I don’t know how it is in the United States or other countries, but in Europe people often consume savory or sweet poppy seed pastries, so even one or two slices of sweet poppy seed cake supply your body with all the necessary nutrients!