Papaya is not only delicious, but it’s also an incredibly healthy fruit.
The nutrients found in papaya, and particularly in papaya seeds, are thought to have a wide range of health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer. They have also been known to aid in digestion, improve blood glucose control in people with diabetes, lower blood pressure, and reduce inflammation. So don’t throw those seeds away. Papaya seeds are edible and in small amounts can be very good for you.
Papayas are an excellent source of vitamin C, and one single medium fruit provides 224 percent of the recommended daily intake. Papayas are also a good source of: Folate, vitamin A, magnesium, copper, pantothenic acid, fiber. They also have B vitamins, alpha and beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin E, calcium, potassium, vitamin K, and lycopene, the powerful antioxidant most commonly associated with tomatoes.
Papaya Seeds Kill Worms and Other Parasitic Infections
The seeds of papaya fruit contain high levels of the proteolytic enzyme called papain, which breaks down undigested protein waste, therefore creating a hostile environment in the gastrointestinal tract for parasites to breed. The seeds also contain carpaine, a unique anthelmintic alkaloid that has been shown to be very effective at killing parasitic worms and amoebas. The seeds of papaya have a strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect on your digestive system. Studies have shown that an extract made from papaya seeds is effective at killing E. coli, Salmonella, Staphylococcus, and other dangerous bacteria.
Papaya Seeds Help Treat Liver Cirrhosis
Liver cirrhosis is a disease wherein the liver shrinks and becomes hardened. In this state, it is ineffective at removing toxins from the body, leading to a variety of serious health problems. Papaya seeds are often reported as an effective treatment for the overall detoxification of the liver. The recommended method is to grind up about ten dried seeds and mix them with a tablespoon of squeezed lemon or lime juice in a glass of water. Many cirrhosis sufferers have seen dramatic improvements with this natural remedy after 30 days.
Papaya Seeds Protect Your Kidneys
Oxidative stress is the most common factor in chronic kidney disease, particularly in patients with diabetes, and can lead to renal failure. Early research suggests that consuming fermented papaya daily for two months can reduce blood sugar levels in people affected by diabetes. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of the seeds help detoxify the kidneys and protect them from inflammation.
Papaya Seeds Help Prevent Cancer
Papaya seeds contain agents such as phenolic and flavonoids, both powerful compounds that have high antioxidant activities to diminish tumor cell growth. Also, according to a study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Biomarkers, diets rich in beta-carotene, which is found in papayas, may reduce cancer risk and play a protective role against prostate cancer.
Papaya Seeds Fight Heart Disease
The high content of fiber, potassium, and vitamins in papaya all help to fight heart disease. In fact, a diet rich in potassium and low in sodium is the most effective change that a person can make to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease.
Papaya Seeds Reduce Inflammation
Papaya fruit and its seeds help fight inflammation in the body, such as arthritis, joint pains, gout, and asthma. Two very important enzymes in papaya seeds (papain and chymopapain) are the key to reducing the inflammation that is associated with these conditions.
Papaya Seeds Help Treat Viral Infection
There are reports of papaya seeds being used to successfully treat viral infections such as dengue fever in parts of Central America and Asia. In Costa Rica, in addition to the seeds, they also use the juice from boiling papaya leaves to effectively treat dengue fever. Obviously, this is a serious disease, so consult a doctor if you contract dengue to monitor your condition.
How to Consume and Store Papaya Seeds
When choosing papaya, look for fresh papayas with reddish-orange skin that are soft to the touch. The seeds are edible but have a bitter, peppery taste, so they can be mixed into a salad. Otherwise, they can be crushed and mixed with juice or honey and milk.
The easiest way to add papaya seeds to your diet is to simply buy a fresh papaya, cut it in half and scrape out the seeds with a tablespoon. Then find a container with a tight seal and put any seeds you’re not using immediately in there and keep them sealed in the fridge. Squeezing some lemon or lime juice over the seeds, closing the container and shaking it to coat them will help preserve them even longer. This works best if you use them regularly for a consistent supply. Even a small papaya fruit yields many seeds and should keep you going for at least a few days of treatment.
If you’re just starting out with papaya seeds or using them less regularly, it would be better to keep them in a sealed container in the freezer. As a general rule, if you will use your papaya seeds within three or four days, then keep them in the fridge. Any longer and it’s best to freeze them. They can be kept in the freezer for many months, though they should be defrosted before use, or soaked in hot water for a few minutes to warm and soften them.
How to Eat Papaya Seeds to Minimize Digestive Issues
When first eating papaya seeds, start off slowly. While they are safe to eat in small doses, they are quite powerful and too much at once can cause digestive upsets.
Here’s a good starting dosage guide for papaya seeds:
The first time you eat papaya seeds, try just two seeds with a protein-based meal.
If those are well-tolerated, then add another two seeds each time until you reach about a quarter of a teaspoon.
After at least three days of taking a quarter of a teaspoon without side effects, you can move up to half a teaspoon of papaya seeds.
After another three days, you can choose to move up to a full teaspoon of fresh seeds (though this may be too much for some sensitive people), or just stay on half a teaspoon, which is likely to provide similar health benefits.
If at any point you experience side effects from eating papaya seeds, then take a day off from them and start again at half the dose that gave you problems before.
Once you’ve reached a good tolerance of papaya seeds, it’s better to determine your dosage based on how much protein is in the meal you’re having.
Potential Risks and Side Effects
People with a latex allergy may also be allergic to papaya because papayas contain enzymes called chitinases. They can cause a cross-reaction between latex and the foods that contain them. As a precaution, pregnant women should not use papaya seeds or the enzyme-rich green papaya. This warning on their use would also extend to breastfeeding. Additionally, while papaya seeds do have strong anti-parasitic properties, they may be too powerful for young children’s gastrointestinal tracts, so a doctor should be consulted before giving them to infants. Patients using blood thinning medications like warfarin or aspirin should consult their doctor before they eat papaya seeds regularly, as papain may increase the effects of these drugs.
Blood passes thru liver at the rate of three pints per minute.The most metabolic organ has 600 known functions.
- Carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism
- Storage of glycogen, Vitamins A, D, B, iron, & copper
- Detoxifies substances
Only organ to have two separate sources of blood supply
- Hepatic artery
- Portal vein
Foods That May Support Phase One Modulation
Nutritional yeast, Whole grains, Brassicas, Citrus, Green tea, Berries
Foods That May Support Phase Two Modulation
Glutathione: Brassicas, asparagus, avocado, walnuts
Amino Acid: Protein-rich foods (high quality meats), glycine
Methylation: Green leafies (folate), Beets (betaine), eggs (choline), meats (B12).
Sulfation: Egg yolks, red pepper, garlic, onion, shallots, brassicas
Glucuronidation: Sulfur-rich foods above, citrus fruits
Acetylation: Yeast, whole grains, peppers (B vitamins), cabbage, citrus fruits (vitamin C)