Blue Poppy Seed
Poppy seeds come from a yellowish brown opium plant native to the Mediterranean. They have been cultivated since the 6th century. Nowadays these tiny blue gray seeds are mainly produced in Eastern Europe, Spain, France and Australia. Poppy seeds have a nutty tasting flavor and are mainly used in baking. They are popular in breads, cakes, rolls and cookies. Refrigerate or freeze poppy seeds to maintain freshness. There are more than 900,000 poppy seeds to the pound.
Nutty and pleasant in taste, poppy seeds are nutritious oilseeds used as a condiment in cooking. Although the seeds obtained from the dry fruits (pods) of the poppy plant (opium poppy), they are entirely free from any harmful side effects of other poppy plant products such as opium poppy. Poppy plant is a biennial herb of East Mediterranean and Asia Minor origin belonging to the Papaveraceae family, in the genus: Papaver. Scientific name: Papaver somniferum.
Poppy seeds contain many plant-derived chemical compounds that found to have antioxidant, disease preventing and health promoting properties. Their unique nutty aromatic flavor is because of many fatty acids and essential volatile oils, which comprise about 50% of net weight. The seeds are especially rich in oleic and linoleic acids. Oleic acid, a mono-unsaturated fatty acid, helps lower LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increase HDL or “good cholesterol” levels in the blood. Poppy seeds outer husk is a good source of dietary fiber. 100 g Raw seeds provide 19.5 g or 51% of recommended daily levels (RDA) of fiber. Much of this fiber is metabolically inert content which helps increase the bulk of the food by absorbing water down the digestive tract and thereby easing constipation problem. Additionally, dietary fiber binds to bile salts (a product of cholesterol) and decrease their reabsorption in the colon. It thus helps in a further decrease in blood LDL cholesterol levels. The seeds are excellent source B-complex vitamins such as thiamin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, riboflavin, niacin, and folic acid. Many of these vitamins functions as co-factors in the substrate metabolism, especially fat and carbohydrates inside the human body. Poppy seeds contain good levels of minerals like iron, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, zinc and magnesium.