Poppy plant is a biennial herb of East Mediterranean and Asia Minor origin belonging to the Papaveraceae family, in the genus: Papaver. Ancient Egyptians were aware of poppy seeds harvesting from the poppy fruit head. Through the Arab traders, opium cultivation spread to Persia, ancient Khorasan, and India. Today, seeds of poppy is a well-established commercial crop in many parts of the world including Czech Republic, Germany, Turkey, France, India, and East European region.
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 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.