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Papaya Seeds: Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects

By Laura
June 27, 2023
6 minutes

Some of us do not like papaya and those who like usually scoop out the papaya seeds and throw them in their garbage bins. You might think that they are just seeds and what benefits can you have from them apart from growing papaya in your garden?

But, they are not just any seeds because making them a part of your diet can provide you with a number of health benefits. So, in this article, we will discuss what benefits they provide, how can you use them, and their side effects. So, stay tuned till the end to add another healthy ingredient to your diet.

Nutrition in Papaya Seeds

Before discussing the benefits of papaya seeds, you should know what nutritional values they hold.

  • They are a great source of proteins and dietary fibers and fatty acids like oleic acid

  • The seeds are rich in vitamin A, Vitamin C, and minerals including zinc, magnesium, iron, and phosphorous.

  • They contain a number of antibiotics like polyphenols, flavonoids, saponins, and tannins.

  • Some other enzymes and nutrients they have include papain enzyme, benzyl glucosinolate, myrosin enzyme, carpaine, and folate.

Benefits of Papaya Seeds

A Good Antioxidant

The flavonoids, polyphenols, alkaloids, saponins, and tannins present in papaya seeds makes them strong antioxidant. Thus papaya seeds protect our body against damage by free radicals and strengthen our immune system.

The antioxidants also help to maintain the elasticity of your skin thus preventing wrinkles on your face. So, consuming them can give you benefits in the long run.

Improves Gut Health

The fibers present in papaya seeds improve our digestion and the health of our digestive system. These fibers help against constipation [1] as they pass through our digestive system undigested and increase the frequency of stool.

It also makes our gut healthy by killing intestinal parasites and bacteria. And if you are prone to intestinal ulcers[2], the papaya seeds can help with that too.

Aids in Fighting Cancer

With the increasing exposure to toxins and other chemicals, people are more at risk of cancer nowadays. So, papaya seeds can prove highly beneficial in preventing cancer[3] and keeping you safe.

The milky sap of papaya seeds contains acetogenin which inhibits the growth of cancerous cells in our body. The antioxidant property of papaya seeds also contributes to preventing cancer.

Reduces Level of Cholesterol

Every second person is suffering from high levels of cholesterol which is further causing a number of diseases. All these diseases make you weak even before reaching your 70s. So, what can you do to reduce the level of cholesterol?

The easiest step is to change your diet and add some papaya seeds to it. Oleic acid, a monosaturated fatty acid, present in papaya seeds works together with the dietary fibers and reduces the level of bad cholesterol in the body.

Helpful for Weight Loss

Worried about your weight? Papaya seeds can help with that too. The fibers present in papaya seeds get rid of toxins in our body thus regulating the digestive mechanism of our body. They prevent the absorption of fat by keeping our metabolism in check and blocking the absorption of sugar and unwanted fat in our bodies.

With improved digestion and reduced fat absorption, it saves you from obesity and aids in lowering the already increased weight.

Decreases Inflammation

You must have heard someone say that papaya is good for arthritis. This is true and not only the papaya but also papaya seeds are helpful in reducing the inflammation caused by arthritis, gout, or other inflammatory diseases.

All thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties of the antioxidants present in papaya seeds.

Beneficial for Skin

Papaya seeds are not only helpful for our inner systems but also good for our outer body or skin. The antioxidants help in preventing the signs of aging including wrinkles and fine lines while the papain enzyme present in papaya seeds is good against acne.

Being a rich source of vitamins and fatty acids, papaya seed oil can prove effective against skin discoloration. To know what other foods you can use for your skin, check out 10 Food for Glowing Skin.

Provides Strength to Kidney and Liver

Lastly, the papaya seeds are good for your organs too. They prevent damage to kidneys by decreasing the damage caused by oxidative stress to the cells [4].

As for the liver, papaya seeds remove toxins from our bodies. So when eaten, they aid the liver in getting rid of all the toxins and maintaining its normal functioning. These seeds are mainly effective against liver cirrhosis.

Uses of Papaya Seeds

After reading about all the benefits you can get by consuming papaya seeds, wondering how can you use them. Well, we have some options for you.

Raw Seeds

You can eat papaya seeds raw. You can just scoop them out from papaya and eat them instantly. Only one teaspoon once a day is enough for you. You can store the remaining seeds in your fridge and eat them one teaspoon per day.

Dressing for Food Items

Papaya seeds are a little bitter in taste so mixing them with some other foods can help you eat them without tasting the bitterness. Add the seeds on your salad dressing or on your favorite smoothie or even make a lemon marinade with a bit of papaya powder in it.

Use as a Spice Mix

Dry the papaya seeds and make powder of those dried seeds. You can use them like pepper or as a substitute for cinnamon in your muffins, bread, and other baked goods. Substituting the papaya powder with other spices can allow you to experiment with flavors and you might love them.

Papaya Seeds Tea

Just like herbal teas that are good for your body and skin, papaya seeds tea can provide you with similar benefits. For this purpose, take 14 papaya seeds and add them to 2 cups of water. Boil it for almost 5 minutes and let it stay for another 10 minutes.

You can now drink the tea and to enhance flavor add some honey to the tea.

Side Effects of Papaya Seeds

One teaspoon of papaya seeds per day is enough for you to take. But their overconsumption can cause a number of side effects.

Reduces Fertility

In males, taking more than the required quantity of papaya seeds can lead to reduced fertility as they can lessen the sperm count and the motility of sperm.

A study in monkeys showed that the administration of a high dose of papaya seeds reduced the sperm in their semen [5].

Effects Pregnancy

Papaya seeds affect the growth of the fetus by weakening the membranes that support the fetus inside the mother’s body. The body can also mistake the papain enzyme as prostaglandins thus triggering the contraction of the uterine. This induces early labor and may lead to miscarriage.

Skin Burning

Papaya contains latex that has an enzyme called papain in it. When your skin comes in contact with the papain, it causes irritation, and skin burning in severe cases.

So, if you have sensitive skin, make sure you avoid direct contact with the latex of papaya.

Food Poisoning

Papaya can help with food poisoning but a high dose can lead to food poisoning as well. It contains benzyl glucosinolate which can cause food poisoning as a result of overconsumption.

Conclusion

Papaya seeds are good for strengthening your immune system and improving the health of your gut, liver, and kidney. It also helps your body in preventing the formation of cancerous cells. Along with this, you can get glowing, wrinkle-free skin using these seeds.

A salad dressing, a spice mix, or papaya seed tea can help you get all these benefits but if you use it in controlled dosage. So, we have discussed everything about papaya seeds in these articles but papaya can be as beneficial as papaya seeds. To know about papaya, click Papaya for skin

References

[1] Jing Yang , Hai-Peng Wang , Li Zhou , and Chun-Fang Xu (Dec 28, 2012). Effect of dietary fiber on constipation: A meta-analysis: National Library of Medicine.

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[2] Hiroshi Satoh (2010). Role of dietary fiber in formation and prevention of small intestinal ulcers induced by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug: National Library of Medicine

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[3] Neelam Pathak 1, Saba Khan, Arpit Bhargava, Gorantla V Raghuram, Deepika Jain, Hariom Panwar, Ravindra M Samarth, Subodh K Jain, Kewal K Maudar, Dinesh K Mishra, Pradyumna K Mishra (2014). Cancer chemopreventive effects of the flavonoid-rich fraction isolated from papaya seeds: National Library of Medicine

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[4] Mohamad Reza Tamadon,Mehrdad Zahmatkesh, and Seyed Seifollah Beladi Mousavi (2015). Administration of antioxidants in chronic kidney disease: National Library of Medicine

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[5] N K Lohiya 1, B Manivannan, P K Mishra, N Pathak, S Sriram, S S Bhande, S Panneerdoss (2002). Chloroform extract of Carica papaya seeds induces long-term reversible azoospermia in langur monkey: National Library of Medicine

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