Papaya is one of the healthiest fruits with an exceptional nutritional profile. Papaya is well-known to be a potent digestive aid; it contains a digestive enzyme called papain, and most digestive enzymes formulas contain this papaya extract.
Most people just throw away the papaya seeds and some people dry the seeds and use them in their pepper grinder. However, only a few know about the amazing health benefits of these seeds.
The seeds are rich in flavonoid and phenolic compounds, protein, fat, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. They present potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiparasitic effects. Furthermore, they contain compounds which also helps fight cancer and helps with liver and kidney health.
Let’s take a closer look at TOP 8 HEALTH BENEFITS and USES of PAPAYA SEEDS:
1. DIGESTIVE HEALTH
Papaya seeds contain a considerable percentage of the enzyme called papain which is extremely useful for protein digestion. This enzyme offers relief from indigestion and gastric problems. The seeds also help normalize the acidic environment in your intestinal tract, which is essential for a healthy digestive system.
The seeds exhibit potent anti-pathogen activities. Eating just one tablespoon of papaya seeds can keep your intestines free of harmful microorganisms, parasites and can even help with food poisoning due to its strong anti-bacterial properties.
Several studies have shown that papaya seeds and leaves are useful in fighting cancer and preventing it from appearing. The seeds can have potential anticancer effects against a wide range of tumors, including colon, lung, breast and prostate cancer.
Papaya seed is a valuable source of phytonutrient isothiocyanate, which exhibits anti-leukemia activity. The seeds contain phenolic and flavonoid compounds which offer antioxidant activities that slow the growth of tumor cells.
Another compound called Carpaine found in papaya seeds was reported by various authors to have an anti-cancer effect. In fact, At a dose of 0.1%, it is said to be effective against cancer of the blood.
3. LIVER DETOX
In Japan, people believe that taking a teaspoon of papaya seeds every day can defend the liver from disease. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, these astonishing seeds have been used for centuries to enhance vital functions of the liver by efficiently eliminating harmful toxins.
The seeds are not only useful in detoxifying the liver but are also beneficial for managing cirrhosis of the liver. Papaya seeds contain proteolytic enzymes that help decrease the digestive load on the liver.
”Studies revealed that treatment with papaya seed extract before drug-induced liver toxicity in animals protected the liver and allowed for it to function normally throughout the trial.”
4. KIDNEY CLEANSING
Papaya seeds possess strong anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties which help protect and detoxify the kidneys. At the University of Karachi, they found that these seeds are helpful for managing kidney disease and preventing renal failure and that it is particularly useful for poisoning related kidney disease.
Papaya seeds are also powerful anti-inflammatory agents, which makes them very useful in helping joint pain, arthritis, swelling, and redness.
In fact, two enzymes in papaya seeds – papain and chymopapain – are the key elements in lessening inflammation connected with conditions like arthritis, gout, joint pain, and asthma.
6. HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
Research on mice shows promising improvements in cardiovascular health. A compound found in papaya called Carpaine was found to be efficient for lowering diastolic, systolic and mean arterial blood pressure.
7. ANTI-VIRAL, ANTI-BACTERIAL
Just a handful of papaya seeds also kill bacteria such as E. Coli, Staphylococcus, and Salmonella. They help in preventing bacteria from multiplying and staying in our body. They also work very well for food poisoning.
Furthermore, they are successful in fighting viral infections and helping with dengue fever, typhoid, and some other infections. Especially the leaves of the Papaya tree help with Dengue fever. Eating papaya seeds a few times per week can reduce the chance of getting Dengue fever. In fact, papaya seeds have already been utilized broadly in Costa Rica for Dengue Fever infections.
8. POTENT ANTI-PARASITIC
Papaya seeds have large levels of proteolytic enzymes – papain and carpaine. These enzymes aid the body in getting rid of parasites. Especially the anthelmintic alkaloid called carpaine can get rid your body of intestinal parasites.
A 2005 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food reported that papaya seeds possess strong anti-parasitic activity:
Scientists tested the effect of papaya seeds on Nigerian children who had intestinal parasites in their stool samples. As a result, more than 75% of the children who were given a dose of air-dried papaya seeds were free of the parasites after a seven-day period.
Safety, Side Effects and Dosing:
Start slowly with eating no more than one tablespoon a day (or just a few seeds). If you can stomach it, you could eat up to two tablespoons a day without any adverse effects.
Papaya seeds act as Natural Contraceptive (studies shows that eating papaya seeds can significantly reduce sperm production without affecting the libido).
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid eating papaya seeds. You should consult a doctor before giving them to younger children (due to its powerful anti-parasitic effects).
In addition, a compound found in papaya seeds called Benzyl isothiocyanate may induce toxicological damage in animals at high doses (it is not recognized if the same applies to humans). However, the levels of these composites in a standard serving of papaya seeds pose an insignificant health risk.
Next time you eat your papaya fruit think twice before you throw away the seeds. As mentioned above, less is more, start slowly and monitor your body reaction. Keep in mind that these seeds have strong bitter pepper-like taste and can be overwhelming at first. Also, there are GMO papayas, and sprayed papayas so make sure to consume organic non-GMO papayas.