Can You Eat Papaya Seeds? – Nutrition, Benefits, Side-Effects

August 19, 2020 6:47 am0 commentsViews: 20

Papaya is a very popular fruit that is known for having both an impressive nutrition profile and a delicious flavor. But many people often overlook the papaya seeds and discard them, while only consuming the fruit. Unfortunately, these people are missing out on a lot of health benefits offered by papaya seeds.

Moreover, most people do not even know that you can eat papaya seeds with ease, as they are not only edible but also highly nutritious. However, there are certain side effects that may potentially be worrying if not taken into consideration before eating papaya seeds.

Today, we will share everything you need to know about papaya seeds, from their health benefits to potential side effects.

So, without ado, let’s get to it.

Nutritional Profile

There is a variety of vital micronutrients present in papaya seeds.

They are especially known for being rich in antioxidant compounds, flavonoids, and polyphenols, that play a crucial role in promoting your overall health.

Antioxidants assist in preventing the levels of free-radicals from rising excessively, which can lead to oxidative stress and resultantly to many chronic diseases.

Furthermore, papaya seeds are also rich in healthy monosaturated fatty acids like oleic acid.

Moreover, as per a study conducted on people suffering from type 2 diabetes, a monosaturated fatty acid high diet can reduce very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol levels by 22% and triglyceride levels by 19%.

That is not it; papaya seeds also pack a lot of healthy dietary fiber.           

Consuming an ample amount of fiber can assist the body in decreasing cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Moreover, consuming a high amount of fiber has also been linked to a reduction in the risk of obesity, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.

Health benefits of eating papaya seeds

Apart from having an impressive set of nutrients, eating papaya seeds can lead to a lot of potential health benefits.  

May improve digestive health

As mentioned in the nutrition section, papaya seeds, like other seeds, are rich in dietary fiber.  Fiber travels through your gastrointestinal tract without being digested, which adds weight and bulk to your stools.

Moreover, a review of five different studies also suggests that increased consumption of fiber increases the frequency of stool in people experiencing the symptoms of constipation.

Apart from mobilizing your stool, increased fiber intake can also lead to several other digestive benefits. There have been studies that successfully suggested that consumption of dietary fiber can prevent the formation of intestinal ulcers, ease the symptoms of hemorrhoids, and safeguard against inflammatory bowel disease.

In a nutshell, there is a lot of dietary fiber content present in papaya seeds that can assist in promoting better digestive health by mobilizing stool movements. There are other digestive benefits as well linked to the fiber content present in papaya seeds.

Pro Tip: You can couple the consumption of papaya seeds with soursop tea to even better your digestive system.

Could have anticancer properties

There have been some studies that ended up suggesting that due to the impressive set of antioxidants and nutrients in papaya seeds, they may have some anticancer properties. More specifically, a test-tube study showed that the extract of papaya seeds could provide protection against the development of cancer and inflammation.

There was another test-tube study which found that the growth of prostate cancer cells was decreased after the consumption of black papaya seeds.

There are many such studies suggesting that papaya seeds can have a considerable impact on reducing the growth of cancer cells in the body. However, we can admit that despite the majority of these results being promising, more human research is required to assert the effects of papaya seeds on cancer growth in humans.    

May protect kidney function

Kidneys are essential organs in our body. They are responsible for extracting waste and excess fluid from our bodies. There have been promising results of research conducted for determining the effects of papaya seeds consumption on our kidneys.

In a study, when mice were given toxicity inducing medicine, it was noticed that their kidneys were prevented from damage due to papaya seed extract.

As mentioned above, papaya seeds are also rich in antioxidants, which are effective in preventing oxidative stress on your cells and preserving the health of the kidney.

All of these studies and reviews have shown positive effects on kidneys post-consumption of papaya seeds. However, future research on humans is required to be conducted to assert this benefit.          

Can help fight infections

Studies show that papaya seeds can help fight against various types of parasites and fungi. As per a test-tube study, the nutrients of papaya seed extracts are capable of destroying three strains of fungi, including the specific pathogen responsible for leading to yeast infections.

Another study showed the effectiveness of an elixir made from honey and dried papaya seeds in combating intestinal parasites.

Despite these studies showing positive results, the true potential of papaya seeds extracts in combating infections and fungi is yet to be determined, and more large-scale would be in order for this purpose.    

Possible Side Effects of Papaya Seeds

Despite having a range of potential health benefits, eating papaya seeds can pose a couple of considerable side effects.

Could be harmful in high amounts

Just like most seeds, eating papaya seeds in excess amounts can be harmful to the human body. They contain a compound called benzyl isothiocyanate, which is also common in various cruciferous vegetables.

For the most part, studies have shown positive results regarding the effects of this compound on our body, especially when it comes to the prevention of cancer.

However, there do exist some studies and research suggesting that an excess amount of isothiocyanate can be harmful. For example, one small test-tube study showed that direct infusion of benzyl isothiocyanate onto individual cells could lead to significant DNA damage.    

May decrease fertility

Although there have not been enough human studies in this regard, animal studies have shown that consumption of papaya seeds may decrease one’s fertility.

In one study conducted on monkeys, it was found that infusing large doses of papaya seed extract caused a condition called azoospermia, which represents a shortage of sperm in the semen.

Similarly, in a study on rats, it was found that the excessive administration of papaya seed extract reduced sperm motility and sperm count. Moreover, just after 45 days of no infusion, these changes were found to be reversed.

More human studies would be required to know more about the true effects in this regard.  

Conclusion

There is a lot of health benefits associated with eating papaya seeds. They are highly nutritious, and their benefits range from kidney protection to cancer prevention.

Like most things, if consumed in excess quantity, there could be certain side effects, like reducing fertility. Regardless, you can eat papaya seeds in appropriate amounts to gather all its health benefits.

We hope the article was informative for you. You can visit our related section to find more such content if you found the article helpful.

You are also welcome to share your thoughts with us using the comments section down below. 

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