Are you a fan of papaya, a tropical and delicious fruit? If so, don’t be so quick to toss those seeds. They are totally edible and have a surprising amount of medicinal value – even more than the flesh! It’s a matter of knowing how to eat them.
However, know that the seeds taste nothing like the fruit. Papaya seeds have a strong, spicy flavor, much like a cross between mustard seeds and black peppercorns. If you can handle the taste, it’s worth looking into these five miraculous benefits of papaya seeds.
1. Treats Parasitic Infections
Papaya seeds have anti-helminthic properties, meaning that they’re capable of destroying parasitic worms. This can be a lifesaver when you’re faced with a nasty infection.
For example, in a 2007 study in the Journal of Medicinal Food, scientists put papaya seeds to the test. A group of 60 Nigerian children with intestinal parasites received either air dried papaya seeds plus honey, or honey alone. After seven days, stool samples were taken.
The children who ate papaya seeds had no signs of parasitic worms! Even better, no harmful side effects were reported.1
2. Cures Bacterial Infections
Papaya seeds also have anti-bacterial properties. Specifically, research has shown benefits against Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, E. coli, and Salmonella typhi. The next time you get hit with food poisoning, keep this natural remedy in mind.2
3. Improves Digestive Health
A healthy body depends on a healthy gut. How else can the body absorb all those nutrients? With papaya seeds, digestion can get a little pick-me-up.3 They’re jam-packed with digestive enzymes just like the fruit.4
It’s also a great reason to use papaya seeds with digestive-enhancing teas like ginger or turmeric.
4. Fights Oxidative Stress
As a fruit, papaya is known for providing a healthy dose of antioxidants. But according to a 2015 study, the papaya seeds offer even more antioxidants. This means they can find and destroy free radicals, the dangerous molecules that cause cellular damage and oxidative stress.5 In turn, you’ll get extra protection against chronic disease.
5. Protects Kidney Heath
The anti-oxidative power of papaya seeds is particularly helpful for the kidneys. According to a 2015 study, antioxidants protect the kidneys by controlling inflammation and cell death.6 This is a game changer for people with drug-induced kidney damage or diabetes.
How To Enjoy Papaya Seeds
By themselves, papaya seeds are strong and pungent, so it can be hard to eat as is. Instead, wash them thoroughly then dry under the sun or in a dehydrator. When dried, papaya seeds can be pulverized into a fine powder. Use it in the same way as black pepper!
Papaya seed powder can be added to:
- Rice or pasta
- Sweet potato fries
- Golden milk
A little goes a long way. Thanks to the intense flavor, it’s best to use a small amount and work up from there. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your favorite recipes as well.
|↑1||Okeniyi, John AO, Tinuade A. Ogunlesi, Oyeku A. Oyelami, and Lateef A. Adeyemi. “Effectiveness of dried Carica papaya seeds against human intestinal parasitosis: a pilot study.” Journal of medicinal food 10, no. 1 (2007): 194-196.|
|↑2, ↑3||Peter, Jyotsna Kiran, Yashab Kumar, Priyanka Pandey, and Harison Masih. “Antibacterial Activity of Seed and Leaf Extract of Carica Papaya var. Pusa dwarf Linn.” J. Pharm. Biol. Sci 9 (2014): 29-37.|
|↑4||Aravind, G., Debjit Bhowmik, S. Duraivel, and G. Harish. “Traditional and medicinal uses of Carica papaya.” Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies 1, no. 1 (2013): 7-15.|
|↑5||Zunjar, V., D. Mammen, and B. M. Trivedi. “Antioxidant activities and phenolics profiling of different parts of Carica papaya by LCMS-MS.” Natural product research 29, no. 22 (2015): 2097-2099.|
|↑6||Madinah, N., M. Nozmo, and I. Ezekiel. “The protective effects of aqueous extract of Carica papaya seeds in paracetamol induced nephrotoxicity in male wistar rats.” African health sciences 15, no. 2 (2015): 598-605.|