Poppy seeds: properties and contraindications


The poppy or scientifically known as Papaver Rhoeas is a plant with red flowers that grows abundantly in crop fields, especially during the spring, especially in Eurasia and the regions of North Africa. From the flowers of the poppy, a tiny black seed are extracted that are used in various recipes for their flavor, which is very similar to that of nuts.

Poppy seeds properties and contraindications

However, poppy seeds are not only used for cooking, but are also considered a medicinal remedy thanks to their nutritional richness and various benefits. If you want to know the properties of poppy seeds and their contraindications, you just have to continue reading this article of.

Nutritional value of poppy seeds

Poppy seeds stand out for their great richness in numerous nutrients, which give this food great properties and various benefits for our health. These are the nutritional values of poppy seeds:

  • Macronutrients: poppy seeds contain proteins, essential fatty acids (Omega 3 and Omega 6) and in addition, it is very low in fat (one tablespoon of these seeds contains 6% of the recommended daily fats).
  • Dietary fiber: two tablespoons of these seeds provide 7% of the daily value of this nutrient with various benefits, especially digestive.
  • Vitamins: Poppy seeds contain a good dose of vitamins B1 and B9 and, to a lesser extent, vitamins B2, B3, B5 and B6. It also contains a good ratio of vitamin C and vitamin E, which makes the seeds an excellent antioxidant.
  • Minerals: poppy seeds stand out for their richness in minerals such as manganese, calcium and copper. It also contains, although in smaller doses, minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, zinc and selenium.

Below, we detail all the medicinal properties of poppy seeds, how to consume them and the contraindications they present.

Cardiovascular properties of poppy seeds

Within the list of properties of poppy seeds, we can include their functions to protect our cardiovascular system. Poppy seeds contain cardiovascular properties as they contain a high content of essential fatty acids, such as Omega 3 and Omega 6, and these, have the ability to regulate our blood cholesterol levels, increasing good cholesterol on the one hand and, on the other, reducing bad cholesterol levels.

In addition to regulating cholesterol levels, poppy seeds can also prevent the onset of diseases such as stroke and coronary artery disease.

Poppy seeds are a natural remedy against


Another property of poppy seeds is that, thanks to their alkaloid content, they can be a natural remedy to fall asleep. Alkaloids contain powerful sedative properties that manage to relax the nervous system making it easier to sleep at night. This calming function of poppy seeds makes them highly recommended for those who suffer from insomnia, stress and anxiety among others.

Therefore, poppy seeds for sleep have been one of the home remedies to treat sleep and rest disorders for centuries, but currently and especially if you take medications to treat these problems you should consult previously with the doctor to know if it is really the best option for us and in what quantities.

Here you can read more about Home Remedies for Insomnia.

Poppy seeds as an effective treatment for digestive disorders

Thanks to the richness in dietary fiber of poppy seeds, it can also be included in its list of benefits, since it gives it its digestive properties.

The dietary fiber of poppy seeds helps regulate the intestinal flora avoiding and fighting in this way, some digestive disorders such as constipation. In addition, the consumption of poppy seeds also helps us feel more satiated and considerably improves our digestions.

Protect and strengthen our immune system

Thanks to the richness in some vitamins of poppy seeds, it also contains properties that protect the immune system.

Poppy seeds have within their nutritional value vitamins E and C, which contain excellent antioxidant properties that help us keep our immune system strengthened and protected from the action of free radicals, which cause the oxidation and aging of cells and, in turn, the appearance of degenerative diseases.

Keep bones in good condition

Finally, poppy seeds also have strengthening properties that keep our bone health in good shape.

As we have indicated in the nutritional values, poppy seeds are very rich in minerals such as manganese, calcium and copper, which are essential nutrients for our bones to stay strengthened. They also help in the formation of collagen, another function for bones to grow strong and healthy, thus preventing possible damage to the bone system.

How to take poppy seeds

The best way to consume poppy seeds is to eat them directly as part of the accompaniment or in dressings of our dishes, but we must always respect the amounts indicated by the doctor in each case.

Another of the most common ways to take them and benefit from their properties is to take an infusion of poppy seeds to sleep at night or during the day in times of anxiety, but it is not recommended to take more than one cup daily unless recommended by the doctor.

Excessive consumption of poppy seeds can also lead to stomach pain due to their dietary fiber content.

Contraindications of poppy seeds

No side effects that are harmful or dangerous to our health from the consumption of poppy seeds have yet been officially found. However, it is advisable to avoid or moderate the consumption of poppy seeds in the following cases:

  • Although it is not official, there are some beliefs about the negative effect of poppy seeds during pregnancy that can affect the health of the mother and the future baby. Poppy seeds may contain a high level of morphine, which can be harmful in this situation. It is best to consult your gynecologist before consuming them if you are pregnant.
  • Poppy seeds contain very powerful sedative properties, so excessive consumption should be avoided. especially in the event that you have to perform tasks that require concentration, such as driving.
  • They should not be consumed if you are allergic to these or any of their components.


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