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. Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet which is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids helps to prevent coronary artery disease and strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile.
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. Copper utilized in the production of red blood cells. Zinc is a co-factor in many enzymes that regulate growth and development, sperm generation, digestion and nucleic acid synthesis. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. The human body uses manganese as a cofactor for the important antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase