Pawpaw or papaya seeds carry some of the most incredible health benefits that can be contained in any fruit and along with the fleshy fruit the leaves are also medicinal as any other leaf can be. Also, when it comes to taking good care of our skin, pawpaw skin can be very useful. Such is the richness of paw paw, that almost every part of the fruit and leaves contain some surprising health benefits.
Its anti-inflammatory properties help to treat arthritis and joint disease. In addition, pawpaw seeds contain an alkaloid called carpaine that kills intestinal worms and amoeba parasites. The papain in the seeds also help effective digestion of protein. However, you should avoid if pregnant.
Some of the benefits of papaya seeds include boosting/combating cancerous cells, eye health, cardiovascular health, anti-aging, digestion, fertility, the bones, menstruation pain, the liver, and the immune system. They also help to heal cirrhosis of the liver, improve kidney health, and to prevent renal failure. Summary of some of the benefits are:
Effect on Bacteria and Viral Infections
Some studies have shown that a few pawpaw seeds kill harmful bacteria like E. coli, Staphylococcus, and Salmonella. They may also help fight viral infections, dengue, and other diseases and pawpaw seeds mixed with milk provide an excellent complimentry treatment for typhoid fever.
Some studies have shown the effects of antioxidants, flavonoids, and phytonutrients on the development of cancerous cells. You need to consume at least two servings of papaya seeds once a week to increase the levels of antioxidants in your body. Recent studies have also concluded that regular consumption of the seeds may alleviate the risk associated with prostate and colon cancer. Studies have also shown that pawpaw seeds may minimize the risk of cancer and this may be because the milky sap that pawpaw seeds produce contains acetogenin. Acetogenin, appears to help prevent cancer cells from growing in the body.
Acting as an antioxidant, the vitamin C found in paw paw seeds may combats oxidative stress on the organs including the eyes. Studies indicate that papaya seeds may help delay age-related eye diseases such as macular degeneration.
Papaya seeds are a storehouse of minerals and phytonutrients, which may provide protection for your heart. Phytonutrients prevent cholesterol from oxidation. This function is necessary as cholesterol sticks on the walls of blood vessels, as a result of oxidation.
Free radicals, oxidative stress, and aging deteriorate your health and make you vulnerable to chronic diseases. Papaya seeds may work in this context because of their high nutritional value. The seeds provide an excellent source of antioxidants, phytonutrients, glycine, leucine, along with a number of minerals that help strengthen your body.
Consuming papaya seeds ward off indigestion without hurting your health. This is possible due to the presence of papain – an enzyme. This enzyme does not only boost digestion but also help break down the amount of protein your body absorbs. You can opt for papaya seeds to keep your digestive tract on track protecting it from the acidic activity. Papain also balances out the activity of good and bad bacteria in your gut and prevents the effects of parasites and worms.
Intake of papaya seeds on a daily basis may boost fertility in both men and women. The nutrients in the seeds appear to alleviate elements that contain an adverse effect on the reproductive system particularly by improving the quality of sperm.
Paw paw seeds provide a high level of absorbable calcium and an array of minerals that may promote bone density. Absorption of the right calcium may assist in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis and is also safe to give to children to assist with healthy bone development.
The seeds may be extra beneficial for women as they support menstrual flow and decrease pain and unease at the same time. Consuming a handful of seeds on a daily basis has shown a tendency to regulate an irregular menstruation cycle. Paw paw seeds may also increase the heat of the body which stimulates the production of estrogen. This process tends to normalise menstrual flow.
Phytonutrients found in paw paw seeds may strengthen liver cells and tissues protecting it against adverse effects of free radicals. Paw paw seeds also containenzymes that may impede liver scarring and rejuvenate damaged sections of the liver.
How to Consume Pawpaw Seeds
Pawpaw seeds may be eaten raw, ground or crushed in salad dressings, milk, or honey. When eaten raw however, the seeds have a strong, pepper-like bitter taste. You should only eat small quantities at a time and not very frequently and you should avoid them completely if pregnant.
Possible Health Concerns
Although papaya seeds have been associated with various health benefits, some potential health concerns surround them.
Effect on Fertility
Papaya seeds have also been shown to reduce fertility in some animal studies. For example, one study found that administering large doses of papaya seed extract to monkeys caused a condition called azoospermia, which is characterized by a lack of sperm in the semen.
A rat study had similar findings, reporting that papaya seed extract reduced both sperm count and sperm motility. Interestingly, researchers found that these changes were reversed within 45 days after stopping treatment.
Note that these studies use a much higher dosage of papaya seeds than most people typically consume. Human studies are needed to look at how papaya in regular amounts found in the diet may affect fertility.
Need for Moderation
Papaya seeds contain benzyl isothiocyanate, a compound also found in many types of cruciferous vegetables.
In test-tube studies, this compound has been associated with a number of health benefits, especially when it comes to cancer prevention. However, some research suggests that it could be harmful in large amounts. For instance, one test-tube study showed that administrating benzyl isothiocyanate caused significant damage to DNA.
Meanwhile, a rat study found that it had a toxic effect on healthy cells. Of course, these studies looked at the effects of very concentrated doses of benzyl isothiocyanate on animals and cells rather than in humans.
More research is needed to understand how the benzyl isothiocyanate found in a single serving of papaya seeds could affect human health.
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1MD Editorial Staff. (2020). Health benefits of papaya seeds for digestion, hypertension prevention. Retrieved January 19, 2020 from https://googleweblight.com/i?u=https://1md.org/article/papaya-seeds-detox-health-1md&hl=en-GH
Wyle, L. (2012). Pawpaw seeds amazing health benefits. Retrieved January 15, 2020 from https://googleweblight.com/i?u=https://oleahealth.com.au/paw-paw-seeds-amazing-health-benefits/&hl=en-GH
Youtube (n.d.). How to eat papaya seeds (DEMIC video). Retrieved on January 31, 2020 from https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=H2fsxsNqAyg
This post is for enlightenment purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for professional diagnosis and treatments. Remember to always consult your health care provider before making any health-related decisions or for counselling, guidance and treatment about a specific medical condition.