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15 Amazing Health Benefits of Khashkhash

Ms. Ayesha Nasir

3 min read

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What is Khashkhash?

Khashkhash or Poppy seeds are small kidney-shaped seeds derived from a poppy plant. Their color ranges from blue, grey to black.

Poppy seeds are commonly known as Khashkhash in Pakistan, India, and other Asian countries. They are widely available which means you can easily get them from any grocery store.

These seeds have a nutty taste and are used to enhance the flavor, texture, and aroma of bread, cookies, cakes, pastries, curries, salads, pastries, pancakes, and waffles.

Along with their culinary application poppy seeds can also be used to retain dozens of health benefits because they are rich in nutrients and antioxidants.

What are the benefits of Khashkhash?

No wonder why nutritionists these days are recommending the consumption of Khashkhash regularly, these tiny seeds are jam-packed with antioxidants and nutrients. Keep on reading to know how your body can benefit if you start consuming some poppy seeds regularly.

1. Rich in protein

According to the FDA, a normal person who consumes 2000 calories daily should have 50 g of protein in their diet. Protein is a vital nutrient that the human body uses to repair as well as build new cells and tissues. Other important roles that protein plays include: balancing fluid levels, maintaining vision, preventing blood clotting, and making sure that the body is producing enough antibodies, hormones, and enzymes. So, if you consume three tbsp of Khashkhash daily you will fulfill 6 grams of your body’s protein needs. You can definitely consume more if your nutritionist suggests.

2. Reduces the risk of heart disease

Poppy seed oil is affluent in polyunsaturated fats and omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. So if you replace saturated fats from your diet with poppy seed oil your chances of getting a heart attack and stroke will go down by 17%. Another great advantage of poppy seed oil is, if you apply it directly to your skin it will promote wound healing and keep your skin from drying out and becoming scaly.

3. Regulates blood pressure and sugar levels

The human body requires dozens of minerals to function appropriately. Among these minerals one of the most important is magnesium, it is needed by the human body to keep the bones strong, make DNA, make protein, balance blood sugar levels and blood pressure, manage nerve and muscle function. And if a person consumes 1 tsp of Khashkhash daily they can derive 9.7 mg of magnesium out of it.

4. Boosts Your fertility

Consumption of Khashkhash can help improve a woman’s fertility. Another way to use poppy seeds to improve fertility is by flushing poppy seed oil through fallopian tubes.

5. Improves gut health

If you suffer from constipation and other gut-related issues, Khashkhash will be your best friend because they are loaded with fiber.

6. Cools you down

Khashkhash has a cooling effect on the body so it can be used as a cure for mouth ulcers.

7. Fosters better blood circulation

Consumption of Khashkhash can increase your cognitive functionality by improving blood circulation throughout the body. This is possible because when your brain starts receiving optimum blood supply its neurotransmitters start functioning more efficiently.

8. Keeps kidney stones away

Kidney stones can be treated with the help of potassium that is present in Khashkhash. You should continue consuming poppy seeds even if your kidney stones are gone because poppy seeds also keep the stones from recurring.

9. Improves thyroid function

Khashkhash is capable of improving the functionality of thyroid glands due to their richness in zinc. So if you suffer from thyroid you should start consuming poppy seeds regularly.

10. Say goodbye to dandruff

Dandruff can be treated with Khashkhash. If you make a paste by mixing poppy seeds and hung curd and apply this paste all over your scalp for half an hour.

11. A good source of Manganese

If you take Khashkhash regularly your body will never be deficient in manganese. Manganese is a micromineral that our body needs regularly in small amounts regularly to maintain bone health, utilize carbs, fats, and amino acids. Manganese also helps in preventing blood clotting.

12. Keeps up your fiber intake

Khashkhash is a great superfood to fulfill your body’s fiber requirements. Fiber is essential to the human body because it helps keep sugar and cholesterol levels under the belt. Other purposes that fiber serves for the human body are it keeps the waste and food moving through your digestive system and prevents constipation. Consumption of poppy seeds will also make you feel fuller even if you eat less because of their abundance in dietary fiber.

13. For strong bones and teeth

If you consume 3 tbsp of Khashkhash daily your body’s 35% need for calcium will be met. Calcium is essential for the human body because it helps maintain bone and teeth health. Other important roles that calcium plays in the human body are it carries messages between the brain and body, circulates blood throughout our body, and releases enzymes and hormones.

14. Helps you stay calm

Unwashed Khashkhash contains high amounts of codeine, thebaine, and morphine. So if you consume these seeds they can help you stay calm and sleep peacefully without taking pharmaceutical drugs for this purpose. But since unwashed poppy seeds can be a threat to your health if not consumed in moderation it is advisable to only consume them under medicinal surveillance.

15. A great source of Zinc

Zinc is essential for the human body to make protein, maintain the sense of smell and taste and heal wounds. A 3 tbsp consumption of Khashkhash will be able to meet 15% of your body’s zinc requirements.

Are there any side effects of consuming Khashkhash?

Following are some side effects of consuming poppy seeds:

  • Make sure to consume poppy seeds in moderation, overconsumption may result in a positive drug test for opioids.
  • If you are using poppy seeds to treat insomnia stay in touch with a medical practitioner to prevent any dependency situation.
  • Poppy seed oil is considered safe for application on skin but some people may be allergic to it. So if you experience any kind of pain, redness or itchiness on skin after applying poppy seed discontinue its usage immediately.
  • Get your poppy seeds only from trusted sources, because there is a very high chance of poppy seeds containing opioid compounds if they are not processed properly.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Ms. Ayesha Nasir - Author Ms. Ayesha Nasir is a very well known dietitian and nutritionist in Lahore thanks to her numerous television appearances and a stellar reputation.
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