Poppy seeds come from the poppy plant, also known as Papaver somniferum. Poppy plants are well-known as a source of opium narcotics, which is why their cultivation has been banned in many countries. However, the seeds from the poppy plant offer plenty of health benefits.
Poppy seeds are tiny, round seeds. While they’re most commonly thought of as being black, poppy seeds can also be white or blue or blue-gray. They are a staple cooking ingredient that you can find in stir-fry recipes as well as in baked goods, such as the much-loved poppy seed muffin or bagel.
Poppy seed oil is also used as a cooking oil alternative to olive or canola oils. When taking poppy seeds for medicinal uses, you can eat them whole, cooked or apply poppy seed oil topically to your skin.
Poppy Seeds Health Uses and Health Benefits
Poppy seed health benefits aren’t as well-known as other health benefits from similar seeds like black seed or sunflower. But poppy seeds are beneficial for many reasons. They are high in essential fatty acids, including linoleic acid. Poppy seeds are also an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, iron and phosphorus, which are essential minerals for nutrition. Perhaps one of the most sought-after poppy seed health benefits is its dietary fiber to help with digestion.1,2
This excellent nutritional profile, makes poppy seeds useful for: