Poppy seeds are widely cultivated around the world and used as a popular ingredient in cooking, especially in baked goods, and potato, noodle and vegetable dishes. These tiny seeds pack more nutritional value than their size might indicate. Even in small amounts, they’re a good source of protein, dietary fiber and minerals.
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Poppy seeds come from the poppy flower. The seeds can be slate-blue or off-white, but both varieties are similar in flavor. In cooking, they can be toasted and used whole or mashed into a paste and used as a filling. While morphine is naturally found in the seed pods of some poppies, according to the theepicenter.com, the “Western plants yield little opium and the latex that provides the drug is absent by the time the flower ripens.”
Calculating the nutrition you gain from eating one apple is easier than figuring out the amount of poppy seeds you’ve consumed when they’re only one ingredient in a dish. For example, a recipe for poppy seed muffins calls for 1 1/2 tablespoons of poppy seeds into a batter that yields 12 muffins. This translates into about 1/2 teaspoon of seeds in each muffin.
One half teaspoon of poppy seeds contains 7 calories, 0.25 grams of protein, 0.58 grams of fats and 0.39 grams of carbohydrates. Poppy seeds also provide 7 percent of the daily value of dietary fiber. A 1/2-teaspoon serving of poppy seeds also contains 0.3 trams of fiber. Even though they are relatively high in fats, they also contain the heart-healthy fatty acids: 1 tablespoon contains omega-3 at .02 grams and omega-6 at 2.48 grams.
Poppy seeds are not a strong source of vitamins. One tablespoon contains thiamin at 5 percent of the DV and folate at 2 percent of the DV. They have small amounts of riboflavin and vitamin B-6 at 1 percent of the DV, and trace amounts of vitamin C, niacin and pantothenic acid.
Poppy seeds are a good source of many minerals. You’ll get 29 percent DV of manganese and 13 percent DV of calcium from 1 tablespoon of poppy seeds. They also provide magnesium and phosphorus at 8 percent DV, copper at 7 percent DV, iron and zinc at 5 percent DV, and potassium and selenium at 2 percent DV.
A serving size of 1 teaspoon only has 14 calories but still provides 1 percent DV of protein and 2 percent DV of dietary fiber. The amount of vitamins falls, with thiamin being the only one found in a significant quantity at 2 percent DV. But you’ll still receive 9 percent DV of manganese and 4 percent DV of calcium as well as 1 to 2 percent DV of all the other minerals listed above.