Not only Papaya but Papaya seeds have many health benefits that you should be aware of.
Papaya/ Pawpaw/ Papaw is a wonder tropical fruit. Everyone has probably savored this delicious tropical fruit!
Every part of the papaya plant serves as a remedy for one or more ailments of your body. The seeds of this fruit are no exception!
Now have you ever tried eating the seeds of this fruit? If you haven’t tried it out yet, you definitely should!
Papaya is a yellowish orange fruit when ripe and green when unripe. Cut open the papaya and you will find lots of seeds inside the fruit. Papaya seeds are small and blackish brown in color and look like pepper seeds.
The seeds are edible and have a bitter, spicy taste. A little amount of this in your diet can help you go a long way in fighting many common ailments. So next time you eat a papaya and think of throwing away the seeds, think dear readers again!
If you want to know more about the benefits of papaya seeds, then read on! This article will educate you properly about the health benefits of including papaya seeds in your diet!
What Are The Health Benefits Of Papaya Seeds?
Papaya seeds are usually thrown away when we eat the fruit. But these tiny seeds are packed with numerous health benefits.
Below I have prepared a comprehensive list of the health benefits offered by papaya seeds for your knowledge.
1.Papaya Seed Benefits For Liver
Papaya seeds have been said to be effective in treating liver cirrhosis. If you do not know what liver cirrhosis is- it is the shrinking and hardening of the liver which leads to its failure.
The main cause for this is the continued consumption of alcohol over many years. The liver becomes ineffective in removing toxins from your body which leads to your body becoming sick.
Papaya seeds can be taken to improve the liver health in alcoholic as well as non-alcoholic persons. Five to six dried or fresh papaya seeds can be crushed and added to lemon juice and taken once or twice a day. This can and has been reported to improve the liver health in people.
You can take papaya seeds even if you are totally healthy! Since the seeds help in liver detoxification and hence improves one’s health.
But do consult your doctor before eating papaya seeds if you are taking liver medication. The enzyme papain in papaya can react negatively with the medication.
The papaya seeds have strong antibacterial property due to which it has been used to treat food poisoning.
The enzyme papain present in the papaya seeds has a negative effect on bacteria like E.Coli, Salmonella, and Staph, which are responsible for food poisoning and other stomach and intestinal issues.
Eating a few papaya seeds at such times of distress can help you settle your stomach. The enzyme kills all the harmful bacteria and keeps your stomach healthy.
Papaya seeds have a very good anti-viral property. These can be used to treat viral infections.
Papaya seeds have been used to treat viral infections like Dengue fever effectively. In Costa Rica, in Central America, the papaya seeds are used to treat dengue fever. But do consult your doctor before treating serious diseases like dengue.
4.Treating Intestinal Parasites And Worms
The papaya seeds have been effectively used to treat worms and parasitic infection of the gastrointestinal tract. Papaya seeds contain an alkaloid known as ‘Carpaine’ which is very potent in killing these parasitic worms and amoebas which infest your gastrointestinal tract. This has been proved by research.
In 2007, a study was conducted on 60 Nigerian children with parasitic worm infections. They were given papaya seed extract and were effectively treated within seven days.
If you or your child is suffering in similar ways, try eating papaya seeds to help clear the parasites. The alkaloid kills the parasites and the seeds also have some laxative effect which helps in bowel movement. If you experience a worsening of symptoms during the first few days of treatment, do not panic!
Your body just needs to adjust the treatment. So start with a small dosage and gradually increase the amount.
But if you keep experiencing worsening of symptoms for a long time stop the treatment and consult your doctor immediately.
The seeds of papaya have been found to contain immunomodulatory compounds. These compounds can help in controlling and stopping cancer cell and tumor growth.
They are most effective in treating lung, prostate, breast, leukemia and colon cancer. Eating papaya seeds can help you in maintaining healthy cells and help to keep cancer at bay.
The papaya seeds have a strong anti-inflammatory effect. These can be used to treat conditions like arthritis, swelling, redness of the skin, etc. If you are suffering from joint pains/arthritis, you can take few papaya seeds every day.
7.Treating Kidney Diseases
Studies conducted at the University of Karachi have shown that papaya seeds are effective in treating kidney diseases. Their consumption can help prevent renal failure.
They have been found to be most effective in treating kidney diseases which are a result of poisoning of the kidney. You can eat papaya seeds for healthy kidneys and to remove toxic substances from the kidneys effectively.
The papaya seeds are great digestive aids. They can help you in the proper digestion of your food especially meat.The seeds contain the enzyme papain which helps in digestion. The enzyme acts as a meat tenderizer and so effectively help digest meat.
Crushed papaya seeds can be added to meat before cooking because of its tenderizing effect.You can eat papaya seeds along with a protein-rich diet. The enzyme helps digest proteins effectively aiding in digestion.
Include papaya seeds in your diet to gain the benefit of good health.
Possible Side Effects Of Papaya Seed
Everything that exists, however, good, always has a few negative properties attributed to them.
Similarly, papaya seeds despite having several significant health benefits also has a few side effects related to them.
Consuming too many papaya seeds can bring out these is side effects in your body. Below are given the side effects, although few, related to papaya seed use.
- Warning for pregnant and breastfeeding women – Pregnant women should not eat papaya seeds or the raw, unripe fruit. Eating papaya seeds during pregnancies can cause premature birth, an unwanted abortion, defects in babies, stillborn and other complications.
Women who are breastfeeding infants below one year of age and newborn should avoid eating papaya seeds because it may have a negative effect on the babies health. So if you are a new mother or pregnant and have a papaya craving its best you avoid it for the sake of your unborn and infant child.
- Reduced male fertility- It has been found out that eating too much papaya seeds can cause a temporary reduction in fertility in men. The papaya seeds decrease the sperm formation in men to a great extent.
Therefore, the seeds can act as a contraceptive for men. The change is temporary, so there is no need to worry. Just decreasing the amount of papaya seed consumption can bring back the natural fertility of the male individual.
- Toxic effect of eating too much- Although the seeds have many health benefits they can have a negative effect on your body if consumed in excess. The alkaloid, ‘carpaine’ which is good for treating intestinal worms, when consumed in excess can slow down your pulse rate. This can have a devastating effect on your nervous system leading to serious problems.
- Negative effects on infants- The seeds may have a negative effect on the health of infants below one year of age. Although the seeds are good for treating intestinal parasites, the gastrointestinal tract of infants might not be able to handle the alkaloid (campaign) properly. This might cause serious health problems in the child. Therefore, consult your pediatrician before feeding papaya to your child.
- Upset stomach – Eating too much of papaya seeds can upset your stomach. The seeds are great for digestion when taken in moderation. If you eat large amounts of the seeds, it can have a negative effect on the health of your stomach. Papain is good for digestion but taking too much of the enzyme can upset your stomach and leave you feeling queasy.
So 3-6 numbers of papaya seeds are enough to keep you healthy, any more, and you can face health problem instead.
Can You Eat Papaya Seeds – How To Prepare?
Papaya seeds have a bitter and spicy taste. Eating papaya fruit and seeds are very different experiences due to the vast difference in their tastes. If you are trying papaya seeds for the first time, beware of its spicy bitter taste.
You can start off by eating the seeds of an unripe papaya fruit since ripe seeds are bitter and spicier than unripe ones. As you get accustomed to the taste, you can begin taking ripe seeds. If you can handle eating them then, you can open up a window to better health and living.
- Picking out and storing the seeds – You can quickly collect the seeds once you cut open the papaya fruit. Take a metal spoon and scoop out the seeds from the cavity inside the fruit.
If you do not wish to consume it fresh and want to store the seeds you can do so easily. After taking out, the seeds rinse them in water and let them dry. Take an airtight container and store the seeds in it. Keep this container in the refrigerator. You can easily store the seeds for 3 to 6 months.
But remember to defrost the seeds before consuming. You can do this by soaking the seeds in warm water to soften them before you proceed to consume them.You can also sun dry the seeds and store them in an airtight container in a dry place.
- Eating the seeds directly – Take a few seeds of papaya no more than three and chew on them directly. You can gradually increase the number of seeds you eat up to six after you get accustomed to the taste. Do remember to chew the seeds properly before swallowing.
Swallowing the seeds whole will be of little benefit. This is because the seeds have a hard cover which is not broken down during digestion. To gain maximum benefits do chew the seeds properly.
- Eating the seeds with honey – If the bitter taste of the seeds puts you off then try eating the seeds with a bit of honey. Cover the seeds with honey and chew on them. This recipe has been very effective in removing parasitic worms from the gastrointestinal tract.
But remember to use raw honey instead of the honey available in the supermarket. These bottled products tend to contain significant amounts of fructose corn syrup which is awful for your health.
Raw honey is antibacterial and antifungal and this property of honey, when combined with papaya seeds, can be very beneficial for your digestive system. Also, this becomes very efficient in treating intestinal parasites.
- Crushing the papaya seeds – You can also grind the dry papaya seeds to a powder if you do not want to eat it whole. The best thing about using the seeds this way is that you can use it as a substitute for pepper in preparing food. The seeds are much healthier and good for your stomach than pepper.
You can add the powdered seeds to meat for seasoning. This will provide the meat with a peppery taste and will help your stomach in digesting the meat. Store the grounded seeds or use them as a substitute for pepper. So take your mortar and pestle and start grinding those papaya seeds.
- Papaya seeds as a salad dressing – The peppery taste of papaya seeds makes it an excellent salad dressing ingredient. You can substitute the use of pepper in your salad by using powdered papaya seeds instead. It will taste the same, and you will gain added health benefits.
Papaya seeds have a lot of health benefits, and you can use them to stay healthy. If you plan to include papaya seeds in your regular diet, consult your doctor first. And exercise precautions while eating the seeds and you will be able to dodge the side effects.
Hope this article was able to educate you properly about the health benefits and side effects of papaya seeds.
Happy Papaya Times!