Papaya fruits are delicious, exotic, and healthy, loved by many around the world. The seeds of the papaya, however, come with their own host of health benefits. Seeds in general tend to be tossed aside in favor of the more pleasing flesh of the fruit, so not many know about these benefits. Here are some benefits of papaya seeds that you should know about—they are sure to enhance your lifestyle.
Side Note: If you’re lazy like myself a great way to add papaya seeds to your diet is with organic papaya seed powder such as this one on Amazon.com (click here) I use it almost like pepper when seasoning my food and also toss a little bit in my morning shake. It’s quick, easy, and works great if you want to get the best out of papaya seeds without the hassle.
Rich in nutrients and proteins
Papaya seeds contain generous helpings of protein, as well as calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous. Papaya seeds themselves are a viable source of protein—1 ounce of them gives you a full serving of protein. Calcium is an important mineral, primarily for bone growth but also for functions such as muscle and nerve function and blood clotting. Magnesium is essential to energy production and enzyme formation, as well as numerous biochemical reactions in the body. Phosphorous, in the form of phosphates, works with calcium to strengthen bones. To get the maximum nutritional value from your papaya, eat the seeds!
Good for your liver
Regular consumption of small amounts of papaya seeds has been shown to detoxify the liver and enhance the liver’s ability to remove toxins from the body. This is accomplished by some of the nutrients in papaya seeds. Papaya seeds have also been remarkably effective in treating liver cirrhosis—the progressive degeneration of the liver, often a product of alcoholism. A popular papaya-based treatment for liver cirrhosis is to grind up 5 papaya seeds and mix them with a tablespoon of lime juice. Drinking this mixture every day for 30 days has been observed to lead to great improvement. (Of course, this is no substitute for a doctor’s guidance.) Papaya seeds have been seen to promote liver health in many studies, and they function as a great natural remedy for liver problems.
Prevents and beats back parasites
Papaya seeds contain substances called proteolytic enzymes—these enzymes break down proteins. This means that papaya seeds have amazing anti-parasitic properties, as the enzymes break down the proteins in parasites and their eggs. These enzymes also make your gastrointestinal environment less conducive to worm growth and reproduction, greatly lowering your risk of parasitic infection. Papaya seeds also contain a unique substance called carpaine that serves to kill worms and amoebae. A 2007 study of Nigerian children with parasitic infections revealed a drastic rate of improvement after a dose of papaya seed extract. Adding papaya seed powder to a smoothie is an easy and delicious way to reap the anti-parasitic property of these seeds. Drink these smoothies regularly, and your chances of parasitic infection will be near zero.
Promotes digestive health
The proteolytic enzymes in papaya seeds also help with digestion because they break down proteins. Steady consumption of papaya seeds will maintain enzyme levels in your gastrointestinal system very well and improve protein absorption. Increasing the efficiency of digestion has numerous effects, such as ensuring that all of the protein you consume is absorbed and utilized. By preventing parasitical or other infections, papaya seeds ensure gastrointestinal health and therefore efficiency. Papaya seeds are great for ensuring stomach and intestinal health!
In addition to protecting the body from parasites, papaya seeds have significant antibacterial properties. They can eliminate harmful microbes such as E. coli, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus bacteria, protecting from and helping treat illnesses. Papaya seeds also possess antiviral properties; there have been cases where people living in the tropics used papaya seeds to fight back against dengue fever. Papaya seeds’ antibacterial properties also make them effective in preventing and treating food poisoning.
Research carried out by the University of Karachi demonstrated papaya seeds’ ability to prevent kidney failure and maintain proper kidney function. Papaya seeds can also help prevent a host of other kidney diseases.
With all these benefits in mind, there are certain ways to consume papaya seeds for maximum efficiency and enjoyment. Papaya seeds have a slightly bitter but peppery taste, and thus work well as a nutritious pepper substitute when ground. Papaya seeds can be eaten whole and chewed on, or they can be ground up and added to delicious fruit smoothies. Ground papaya seeds make a great addition to salads as well. If you’re trying whole papaya seeds for the first time, try covering them with some raw honey to add some sweetness.
Papaya seeds are more than just a health supplement—they can be both healthy and tasty if prepared the right way. Consuming them regularly will allow you to reap the amazing benefits described here, and you’ll certainly develop a taste for papaya seeds. The next time you eat a papaya, save the seeds! Eat them whole, or grind them up and use the pepper as a seasoning! The possibilities, as well as the benefits of papaya seeds are endless—they’re definitely worth a try.