The Health Powers of Poppy Seeds (Who Knew?)



poppy seeds in wooden spoon

Photo by: Natallia Khlapushyna

Natallia Khlapushyna

Most often associated with bagels and breads, poppy seeds tend to be forgotten among the other seeds we use when cooking. But not only do poppy seeds add great flavor and crunch to foods, they also provide some respectable health benefits.

1. One teaspoon of poppy seeds has enough calcium and phosphorus to meet 4% of your daily needs. These minerals work together to build strong bones. (Because our bones are constantly replacing old or injured bone with new bone, adults need a consistent supply of these minerals.)

2. Poppy seeds also provide the body with 2% to 4% of the daily needs for iron in one teaspoon. Iron is important for carrying oxygen throughout the body and helps us have a healthy immune system.

3. Zinc helps to regulate growth and development of new cells and the structure of proteins. One teaspoon of poppy seeds will provide 2% to 3% of your daily zinc.

Easy ways to incorporate poppy seeds in your diet include adding them to salad dressings and brown-rice dishes. Take the challenge and add one teaspoon of poppy seeds to your day!  Here are some recipes to get you started.

Katie Cavuto Boyle, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian, personal chef and owner of HealthyBites, LLC. See Katie's full bio »

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