Diets that are high in fiber can help benefit our gut health in many ways. Poppy seeds are great sources of both dietary fiber and proteins, which makes them an excellent source of nutrition.
Poppy seeds have been part of traditional Middle Eastern and Mediterranean diets for thousands of years. In the past decade, both of those diets have become more popular in the US, as the health benefits have come into the limelight.
The seeds themselves come from the poppy plant, which is also associated with opioid medications. This is important to note because poppy seeds may contain small amounts of opioid compounds, which can obscure sensitive drug tests.
Poppy Seed Fiber
Fiber, found in abundance in poppy seeds, is important for the following reasons:
- Helps food progress through the digestive system. This helps avoid constipation and related ailments.
- Glucose control. Fiber can help control glucose levels in the blood, which helps in controlling conditions like diabetes.
- Helps lower LDL cholesterol in the blood. Fiber helps reduce low-density lipoprotein in the blood, cholesterol associated with heart disease.
- Fills us up. Fiber can be tougher for the body to break down, which can help some people avoid overeating.
Poppy Seed Protein
Protein is important to the body when it comes to repairing cells and tissue. The body also uses protein in other processes like vision, blood clotting, hormones, immune response, and fluid balance.
Poppy seeds are a great source of protein, benefited by the fact that the protein contained comes in a small package.
Poppy Seed Risks & Side Effects
In some cases, poppy seeds can contain trace opioid compounds.
“A report from the European Food Safety Authority in 2011 said that poppy plant sap, which manufacturers use to make opioids, can sometimes contaminate the seeds. However, it is also true that food processing, such as cleaning and cooking, can reduce these compounds by around 90%.
To be completely safe, experts recommend that people limit the number of raw poppy seeds they eat to about 1 tbsp per 7 pounds (lb) of body weight. This means that someone who weighs 150 lb, or 70 kilograms, should not eat any more than 7 tbsp of raw poppy seeds at a time.”
The FDA currently has no listed recommendations for poppy seed consumption. It is worth noting, however, that poppy seeds may lead to failed drug tests, depending on the sensitivity of the test and the level of poppy seed consumption.
Poppy seeds can be great sources of nutrients the body needs to stay healthy. They also contain valuable vitamins and minerals including calcium, magnesium, and zinc.