Papaya is a fruit commonly grown in many parts of the world. We may or may not like it in terms of taste, but the amazing properties it has to offer cannot be overlooked. Papaya has long since been known for its health benefits, but the glorious seeds of this fruit have been neglected, despite its unlimited advantages to the humankind. But before we get into that, let us look into some facts regarding the papaya fruit;
• This fruit comes from the plant botanically known as Carica papaya
• It belongs to the family Caricaceae
• It is an oval, berry or pear-shaped fruit and it is ripe when it starts to feel soft to touch and has acquired an orange or amber hue
• Originally cultivated in Mexico and other parts of South America, this fruit is now grown in many tropical regions of the world
• This fruit requires tropical climates and will not survive in harsh, cold conditions or extremes of temperatures
• Two types, a red and a yellow kind, are normally grown. The green papaya is the unripe fruit
• Papaya has a rich source of vitamin C and adequate levels of folate, amongst other minute quantities of nutrients found in papaya
• Papaya fruit is often times used as a meat tenderizer because of the presence of an enzyme of the protease kind called papain
• It is eaten raw, or cooked and added in many dishes for culinary purposes
These were some facts about papaya fruit itself. Now let’s take a look into the amazing properties of papaya seeds and the various health benefits of eating papaya seeds;
1. Papaya seeds for liver:
Liver diseases such as cirrhosis can be managed by consuming papaya seeds. Cirrhosis is a chronic disease that is characterized by the hardening of liver and the gradual inability of the liver to detoxify the various toxins in the body, leading to their accumulation and deteriorating the normal bodily functions of detoxification and excretion. This condition is usually caused by excessive alcohol consumption or hepatitis. The nutrients found in papaya seeds that can help cleanse the liver of the toxins and help in its function, thus proving advantageous for people with liver cirrhosis. There are many ways you can use papaya seeds for this purpose. One way is to crush the seeds in a mortar and pestle or to grind them in a grinder and then blend them with a tablespoon of lemon or lime juice. If fresh papayas are not available, powdered organic seeds can also be used. You can use this remedy twice a day. The key to obtaining improvement in said condition is to make sure you follow the remedy regularly and be patient with the results. Many patients have admitted to feeling better after trying this out.
2. Aids in digestion:
Papaya seeds are rich in nutrients and enzymes that are known to aid in digestion. Importance of papaya as a meat tenderizer has long been known. That is due to the presence of a protease enzyme known as papain. This enzyme helps in breaking down undigested proteins in the body. Undigested meat in the body can lead to many gastrointestinal problems such as stomach upset, diarrhea, cramps, gas etc. Hence, for people facing indigestion or the likes, they can incorporate papaya in their diets to help them better digest their food, particularly meat. Not just papain, but other enzymes that aid in digestion include; glycyl endopeptidase, chymopapain, caricain etc. The enzyme carpaine is particularly helpful in killing off parasitic worms inside the intestine. So papaya seeds are definitely helpful in keeping your digestive system healthy and happy. Simply crush or grind some seeds and consume them. If the taste is too bitter for your liking, you can add a bit of honey to sweeten the taste and get added benefits.
3. Fights inflammation:
Amongst the many papaya benefits, fighting inflammation is also a very important attribute. Papaya seeds can help in treating inflammation, arthritis (swelling of the joints), pain etc. These tiny seeds can act as a potent anti-inflammatory agent and have shown to be effective in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Add the fact that they offer no side-effects, these are definitely worth a shot. It can also be used to treat acute arthritis, and studies are being carried out to prove the effectiveness of the use of papaya seeds for the purpose of treating inflammation and associated diseases.
4. Antibacterial and antiviral properties:
Papaya seeds have enzymes that can battle bacteria and viruses in the body. A study carried out on an extract made of papaya seeds proved that they were effective in killing bacteria such as E.Coli, salmonella, staph etc. They can help treat upset stomachs and food poisoning caused by bacteria. For the treatment of food poisoning using home remedies, you can crush some seeds and should be taken for three days or until symptoms start to subside. One of the best remedies for typhoid fever includes papaya seeds.
5. Killing worms and parasites:
Papaya seeds contain enzymes that fight off parasites and worms. Papain, for example, is a proteolytic enzyme that kills off worms and breaks down proteins. Capraine is an important enzyme that helps get rid of parasitic worms and amoebae in the intestine and maintain a healthy gastrointestinal tract. Papain works not just be digesting undigested proteins in the food, but also by destroying the film and fibrin that protects these parasites, their eggs, and helps them in attaching themselves to the walls of the intestines. You can use the seeds in their crushed form and dilute them with water or honey to mask the bitter taste.
6. Better kidney functioning:
Kidney is one of the major organs in your body, performing the function of filtration and ridding your body of the various toxins and harmful substances that don’t belong. Oxidative stress is a common situation in many chronic kidney patients, especially diabetes. So the question; is papaya good for diabetes can be answered by saying that papaya seeds indeed help in protecting kidney and improving kidney function. Oxidative stress can eventually lead to renal failure that may disable your kidneys from performing its function effectively. A study carried out on an extract containing papaya seeds proved that it has nephroprotective properties, that is, it helps protect from kidney damage and from the deleterious effects of oxidative stress. They can also be used in the treatment of diseases related to kidney poisoning. You can consume the seeds with the fruit or make a mixture with honey, water etc.
7. Natural contraceptive:
Papaya seeds can act as a natural contraceptive, as it reduces the production of sperms without decreasing libido.
8. Regulate blood pressure:
Carpaine, the enzyme present in papaya seeds, also helps regulate systolic and diastolic blood pressure and can help prevent high blood pressure.
9. Fights cancer:
Papain, with its ability to break down proteins, has shown to be effective in destroying the protective protein layer around some cancer cells and thus, papaya seeds have shown promising results in treating certain types of cancers by letting the proteins attack cancer cells after their protective barrier has been removed. Its antioxidant properties can have shown to be effective, as seen in the case of leukemia. Vitamin C and beta-carotene can aid in cancer prevention, especially colon and prostate cancer.
10. Good for skin and fights aging:
What better way to make yourself look younger and more beautiful than to employ natural means? Papaya seeds are rich in nutrients such as glycine, leucine etc that help keep the skin looking young and beautiful b slowing the aging process and fighting off wrinkles. They help the skin to rejuvenate and regenerate naturally, getting rid of dead skin cells. Papaya seeds also help fight off acne.
11. Fungal infections:
Candida yeast overgrowth is a problem that can develop if your intestinal flora is out of balance and the pH favors the growth of bad bacteria instead of the good ones. This fungal infection is often times left undiagnosed and untreated, but it has dire consequences. You can use papaya seeds for the treatment of this fungal overgrowth as well.
Benefits of papaya are countless, but caution must be taken in certain circumstances. If you are pregnant or planning to conceive, avoid the use of papaya or papaya seeds as it known to cause abortions. Since it has a bitter and very strong taste, it is advisable to dilute the seeds with water or mix them honey or lemon juice for a bearable taste. As they are very potent in nature, avoid their use in children for their anti-parasitic effects that may be too harsh for kids. Papaya has blood thinning properties and anyone who is taking medications such as warfarin, aspirin or other such blood thinning agents should consult their doctors to prevent excessive bleeding.