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Benefits of Poppy Seeds (Khus Khus)

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 08/05/2024

Some things never lose their significance, even over thousands of years. Nutritious food is one such thing! Today, we will discuss seeds called khus khus. Khus khus in English is poppy seeds. It has various other names in different languages, like kasa kasa in Tamil.

Poppy seeds come from poppy plants, also known as papaver somniferum. Even though the plant is native to the eastern Mediterranean region, middle European and Indian cuisine utilises these seeds to their full extent. In India, especially in Bengal, khus khus seeds are an integral ingredient in many recipes.

These unassuming gems go unnoticed and often overlooked in the culinary world. They carry with them a treasure trove of secrets and surprises for you. In this blog, we are going to discuss kasa kasa benefits, nutritional value, and a recipe so tasty that your taste buds will thank you for a long time.

Let’s begin!

Poppy Seeds: Description

Poppy seeds are small, lightweight seeds that are very opium- and oil-rich. Depending on where they are cultivated, they are slate blue, dark grey, white, or light yellow.

These seeds are harvested from the tree when the seed pods are completely dried. These seeds are very aromatic and flavourful, even with a lack of size.

Poppy Seeds: Nutrition

Poppy seeds are rich in antioxidants, fibre, and fats.

Sr. No. Nutrient Amount
1 Calories 46
2 Total Fat  3 grams
1. Saturated fat (0.4 grams)
2. Monounsaturated fat (0.7 grams)
3. Polyunsaturated fat (1.5 grams)
4. Omega-3 fatty acids (115 mg)
5. Omega-6 fatty acids (1,358 mg)
3 Protein  1.6 grams
4 Carbohydrates  3 grams
1. Dietary fibre (1.6 grams)
2. Sugars (0.2 grams)
5 Calcium  126 mg
6 Iron 0.8 mg
7 Magnesium  32 mg
8 Phosphorus 99mg
9 Potassium 47 mg
10 Zinc 0.5 mg
11 Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 0.1 mg
12 Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 0.2 mg

Poppy Seeds: Health Benefits

Khus Khus in Pregnancy

Khus Khus benefits women’s health at the time of their pregnancy. As we can observe in the above mentioned table, the seeds are nutritious and have all the nutrients in good proportion.

Poppy seeds can prove to be beneficial for the mother’s immunity, but along with that, they offer great growth potential in the foetus brain development. These seeds contain folic acids that are crucial for foetal development at particular stages in the pregnancy.

However, you can only consume khus khus in the early stages of the pregnancy. The major reason behind this is that it contains opium, which can affect the baby’s breathing. It is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional regarding your consumption of poppy seeds.

Boosts Female Fertility

Poppy seeds contain nutrients like zinc, calcium, and iron, which play a substantial role in a woman’s reproductive health. The intake of poppy seeds can boost these factors in your body and provide the necessary support for your desired reproductive health.

The healthy fats present in the seeds often contribute to the hormonal balance and, hence, a stable menstrual cycle and ovulation. Good menstrual health matters a lot when you are trying to conceive. These seeds also increase sexual desires and work towards solidifying your sexual health.

Boosts Immunity and Health

Poppy seeds have immunity-boosting properties, like rich antioxidants, protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Antioxidants like flavonoids and polyphenols help your body to combat oxidative stress and inflammation. The seeds actively work towards protecting new and old cells, strengthening the immune system.

Additionally, the poppy seeds are also rich in zinc, which is a source of nutrients that boost the production and activation of white blood cells. Your body becomes immune to pathogens due to the strong support system these nutrients provide.

Enhances Brain Functions

Packed with essential nutrients, poppy seeds improve your brain functioning and optimise it. Specifically, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus enhance this development. Poppy seeds purify your blood cells, which improves the quality of the blood circulated to your brain. The oxygen supply through blood circulation results in high cognitive abilities.

Incorporating poppy seeds into your diet can offer a natural boost to your cognitive functions that promote mental clarity, less stress, more focus, and overall well-being of your brain’s well-being.

Treats Insomnia and Sleeping Disorders

Poppy seeds contain nutrients that exhibit sedative and calming effects. Consumption of these seeds can result in relaxation and improved sleep quality. As mentioned before, these seeds offer your brain with more oxygen, resulting in more focus and less stress. This mental peace further contributes to a better sleep cycle and good mental health as a result.

While the relaxed brain and body result in a better sleep pattern, you should also consult professionals regarding the same. Taking professional advice about the consumption of poppy seeds, as well as sleeping disorders, will help you heal better.

Enhances Bone Health

Poppy seeds support the growth of bone health in your body with the help of essential properties like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and proteins. These properties contribute to bone density and maintenance of bone health.

Having a balanced meal that contains all the necessary nutrients with a little amount of poppy seeds can help you gain a great deal of support for your bone health’s growth, development, and maintenance.

Improves Skin and Hair Health

Antioxidants are a vital part of the skin and hair growth process. The essential components available in the seeds offer help in combating free radicals. This prevents premature ageing, youthful complexion, and radiant skin.

As mentioned above, poppy seeds promote the growth of new cells, protection of white blood cells, and immunity. These functions help your skin shed dead skin cells, revealing smoother and younger skin.

Along with that, poppy seeds have become a favourite ingredient in all-natural skincare products due to its exfoliating properties. This has also boosted the use of poppy seed oil for hair and skin care.

Promotes Digestion

Adding poppy seeds to your diet, like other digestion-boosting ingredients, will help you improve your gut health. Maintaining a normal bowel movement is essential. Poppy seeds bring fibre and carbohydrates, which help prevent constipation.

If you have a protein-friendly diet, you might feel bloated or develop a habit of having gases. However, adding fibre to your diet in the form of poppy seeds will help you optimise your digestion system.

Your digestive health dictates the level of your overall health. It exhibits the kind of lifestyle you lead, the kind of food you eat, and the kind of sleep cycle you have. Improving your lifestyle decisions can help you gain a great digestive system.

Refine Heart Health

Poppy seeds come with rich and heart-friendly nutrients like potassium, calcium, and magnesium. It also promotes blood pressure regulation by reducing the risk of hypertension. Although you need to take care of your heart in a comprehensive manner, adding poppy seeds to your diet in recommended amounts is a way to boost it a little.

Regulates Sugar Levels

Poppy seeds exhibit the potential of reducing and regulating your blood sugar levels. These seeds have low glucose and sugar levels, which means they cause a gradual rise in blood sugar levels as opposed to other ingredients that have a high glycemic index.

When you are trying to regulate your body sugar, you need to make overall efforts. You cannot just rely on good food or good movement. You need to maintain a balance between exercising, sleeping, and eating well. Along with regulating your sugar levels, this will offer a better take on life as well.

Incorporating poppy or khus khus seeds into your diet offers multiple benefits to your physical and mental health. This versatile plant offers much more than just nutrition. You can also enjoy it in your meals because it tastes really good and enhances the food you put it in!

Poppy Seeds Recipe

Since poppy seeds are mainly found in Bengali cuisine, here is a Bengali recipe called “Aloo Posto” that makes great use of the seeds and brings in different flavours. “Posto” is the Bengali word for poppy seeds.

Aloo Posto is basically stir-fried potatoes in the aromatic poppy seed sauce.

Step one: Soak poppy seeds in water for about 30 minutes.

Step two: Blend the well-soaked poppy seeds along with green chillies. Be sure to add the chillies according to your spice tolerance levels. Once blended, you will get a lovely, coarse and consistent paste.

Step three: Add the oil of your choice to the pan. It can be any vegetable oil, but since Bengali cuisine traditionally uses mustard oil, that should be your first preference.

Step four: Make the phoron. Once the oil is heated, add the four primary seasonings of phoron to the oil:** cumin seeds, nigella seeds, fenugreek seeds, and fennel seeds.

Step five: Add evenly chopped potatoes to your phoron. Either use small potatoes or dice the normal potatoes into small 1 cm pieces.

Step six: Let the potatoes cook for 5 minutes. Add the poppy seed paste to the pan and stir the mixture well.

Step seven: Add one cup of water to the mixture.

Step eight: Now add salt to taste and stir everything well so that it is spread evenly in the entire mix.

Step nine: Once it starts boiling, keep a lid on it and let it cook for 10-12 minutes.

Step ten: Remove the lid and simmer until the sauce has reduced to the consistency you prefer. (Traditionally, the sauce is pretty dry.) Once it is done, turn off the heat.


Poppy seeds, along with having great nutritional value, are very flavourful and tasty. They add a lot to the recipes that we love. These tiny seeds, the size of sand particles, offer a multitude of health benefits, as mentioned above, be it digestion, immunity, or brain functioning.

With the khus khus seeds or posto, whatever you call it, you can reap the rewards of well-being and health. Add them to your salads, smoothies, or seasoning.

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Can I eat poppy seeds every day?

You can eat poppy seeds daily in the recommended proportion only. Consult health professionals. The recommended amount is 1 tbsp (raw poppy seeds) per 3.5 kilograms of body weight.

Why are poppy seeds banned in some areas?

Poppy straw and seeds are used to extract opium and some other toxic substances in some regions of the world. This has led to a ban on the use of poppy seeds.

Disclaimer: This is a general guide on Benefits of Poppy Seeds (Khus Khus). It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. It is advisable to consult a qualified health professional for treatment in severe cases.

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