Health Benefits of Poppy Seeds (Khus Khus/Posto)

Scientifically, poppy seeds are known as Papaver somniferum. They are known as ‘khus khus’ in Hindi. Besides adding flavour and crunch to food, khus khus/posto also provide some amazing health benefit.

There are numerous different varieties of poppy seeds. Some of them are Blue poppy seeds, white poppy seeds, and Oriental poppy seeds. Rich source of several nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, Khus khus is either used in the whole or ground forms as an ingredient in various dishes. Poppy seeds are pressed to derive poppy seed oil.


Nutritional Facts

Poppy seeds contain high amounts of folate, thiamine, and numerous essential minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, manganese, and phosphorus. It does not contain selenium, copper, vitamin A & K.

100 gm of poppy seeds offers 525 calories. It contains 28.13 gm of carbohydrates, 19.5 gm of fibre, 41.5 gm of fat, 21.22 gm f proteins, 0.8 mg of thiamine, 0.2 mg of vitamin B6, 1438 mg of calcium, 9.76 mg of iron, 347 mg of magnesium, 2.2 mg of manganese, 870 mg of phosphorus, 719 mg of potassium, 26 mg of sodium, and 7 mg of zinc.


Potential Health Benefits of Poppy seeds…

Promotes fertility in females

1. Poppy seeds and its oil are known to boost female fertility. The poppy seed oil is known to eliminate any mucus or debris lodged in the fallopian tubes hence, clearing off the blockage thereby, boosting the chances of pregnancy.

2. The lignans content of poppy seeds is known to accelerate libido and sexual desire. Thus, poppy seeds help in enhancing sexual health.


Treats sleeplessness

1. The high content of magnesium present in the poppy seeds is responsible for lowering cortisol levels, a stress hormone thus, decreasing stress and enhancing the duration and quality of sleep.

2. Poppy seeds help in soothing the nervous exhaustion.

3. Consumption of poppy seed regulates body metabolism, promoting sleep, and treating sleep disturbances.


Improve brain health

1. Poppy seeds are rich in essential nutrients such as iron, copper, and calcium. These minerals help in controlling neurotransmitters and improve brain function.

2. The iron content of poppy seeds leads to enhanced cognitive performance and reduction in cognitive disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.


Promotes eye health

The antioxidant and zinc content of Khus Khus aids in enhancing vision and protects against serious eye diseases such as Macular Degeneration.


Improves digestion

1. The dietary fibre present in the poppy seeds is effective in improving digestion and in accelerating the absorption of nutrients from the food.

2. Fibre also stimulates the contractions of smooth muscles which forces the food through the stomach thus, treats constipation.


Boosts bone health

1. Khus Khus is a rich source of calcium, zinc, and copper. These minerals enhance the bone mineral density, strengthen the bone, and prevent them from breaking.

2. The manganese content of khus khus aids in collagen production in the bones, improves the overall bone health, and protects the bone damage.

Poppy seeds are extra beneficial for people suffering from insomnia, stomach issues and bone health. Also used to improve fretility in women.


Other possible Benefits…

Poppy seeds produce numerous health benefits, apart from the health benefits mentioned above, it also produces few more such as, cures mouth ulcers, boosts energy, regulates blood pressure, boosts the immune system, improves heart health, aids in diabetes treatment, prevents cancer, helps treat kidney stones, enhances thyroid function, treats eczema and inflammation, moisturises the skin, achieves clear skin, treats dandruff, stimulates hair growth, provides relief in abdominal pain, tackles dry skin, treats dry cough, and assists in red blood cell formation.


How to use Poppy seeds?

Poppy seeds are used in the whole form or crushed form. They are used in several dishes to add flavor to the recipes. They may be used to:

  • Prepare Bengali dishes.
  • Garnish bread, sweets, and rolls.
  • Prepare patties and sweet dishes.
  • Ground in sauces and pastry fillings.
  • Be added to vegetables and salad dressings.
  • In bread, curries, pastries, cakes, pancakes, and confectionery.
  • Added to buttered egg noodles, fruit salad dressings, and yeast bread.

How to make Poppy Seed Tea?

Take 250 gm of poppy seeds and pour them into a 2 litre water bottle.

Add warm water in the bottle till the level is approximately 2 inches higher than the seeds.

Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.

Close the bottle and shake it for around 2 minutes. The color of the water shall change to medium yellow to dark brown.

Strain the seeds and serve the tea.

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