What to do with all those seasonal tomatoes? Ever tried roasting them? A smattering of poppy seeds can jazz up this salad thanks to their nutty flavor and crunchy texture.  This tiny seed is one flavorsome ingredient, alright! But did you also know poppy seeds are also highly nutritious and have medicinal properties? Read on to find out how poppy seeds can do you a world of good.

Eastern View: Troubled by dry skin? Turn to poppy seeds, valued for their moisturizing properties. These seeds are rich in fatty acids which can form a protective barrier on your skin and prevent the loss of moisture.

Are you struggling with throat irritation or a dry cough? Ayurveda has a remedy for you – mix a tablespoon of poppy seed milk and with a tablespoon each of coconut milk and honey. Have this before you turn in for the night. While this traditional remedy has not been scientifically tested, the presence of minute amounts of alkaloids like noscapine and codeine in poppy seeds may be responsible for this effect. These alkaloids work as cough suppressants and are even used in cough medicines. And coconut milk and honey both have potent antimicrobial properties as well, making this concoction all the more effective

If you are prone to stomach aches, gas and bloating then you will love the effect of poppy seeds Poppy seeds are used in Southeast Asia as a remedy for stomach pain. Traditionally poppy seed powder is taken with a little ghee or clarified butter to ease pain. The effectiveness of poppy seeds may be due to the presence of papaverine, a compound that can relax smooth muscles in the abdomen.

A cup of calming poppy seed tea can help you sleep better according to Ayurveda. Modern scientific research also backs this time-honored remedy. As one study found, having a poppy seed drink resulted in improved sleep and decreased anxiety in people suffering from insomnia. It was also observed that people who had the poppy seed drink had lower levels of cortisol, a hormone that’s released when you experience stress. So go ahead and brew a decoction with poppy seeds and drink it about half an hour before bedtime for a good night’s sleep.

Western View: Poppy seeds are rich in nutrients. These tiny seeds contain healthy fats and are also a source of minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc and vitamins like vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, and vitamin E. Yes, the list looks endless!

If you love your burgers but are concerned about the high cholesterol content of meat, poppy seeds may work as a juicy replacement. One study found that by using 20% ground poppy seeds in meat burgers in place of animal fat, the researchers were able to significantly reduce the saturated fat and cholesterol in it – and they still scored well on texture and juiciness! Another study that used poppy seed oil to replace animal fat in sucuks, a dry sausage popular in Turkey, also found that it reduced cholesterol and saturated fatty acid content. Try experimenting with poppy seed oil or ground poppy seeds to make healthier meals when you cook at home.

Oven Roasted Cherry Tomatoes with Poppy Seeds

Ingredients

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved lengthways
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese (optional)

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 250 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Place the tomatoes in a single layer onto the baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and toss to ensure the tomatoes are well coated.
  • Sprinkle with poppy seeds and season with salt and pepper.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 2 ½ hours
  • Baste every half hour to keep the tomatoes oiled.
  • Remove from the oven and sprinkle with ½ cup grated cheddar cheese (optional)
  • Cool before serving

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In health,

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