Poppy Seeds

The poppy seed is native to Greece and the Orient. It is from the same plant in which opium is obtained. However, the poppy seed has no narcotic properties. It has been used for centuries as a food flavoring and for its oil. Some of the seed capsules have been discovered in Switzerland at prehistoric sites. They have a faint nut-like aroma which gives breads and cakes a distinct flavor. Poppy seeds are rich in omegs-3 fatty acids, about 50% of the seed, a fat that is a lacking component in the American diet. The seeds contain a degree of morphine which is present when they are harvested but is removed during processing. Like most seeds they have the extra added benefit of lowering LDL cholesterol. Poppy seeds are rich in fiber, B vitamins, magnesium and potassium to name a few. The Egyptians used the seeds as an aid to digestion and believed that because of its high zinc content it was a factor for proper growth and sperm production.