While most people have heard of papaya, it isn’t yet a standard household fruit. Many people decide to try one out only to question how they should eat it and what they should do with the seeds.
It seems like such a waste to throw away seeds from one of the healthiest fruits on earth, and it is. This introduction to papaya will teach you what to do with those seeds, so keep reading.
Selecting the Healthiest Fruit
There are two things you must do when buying papaya:
- 1. Find a sustainable source
- 2. Never by genetically-modified fruit
Non-sustainable sources damage the environment while feeding your body, and genetically-modified foods have chemically-altered genetic codes.
Modified fruits may withstand viruses during the growing period better, but they aren’t a safe food source for humans concerned about their well health and well being.
You will see non-genetically modified fruit labeled as “GMO Free” in many cases. While the United States and Canada have cleared genetically-modified papaya for consumption, it is still illegal in Europe at the time this guide was created.
Once you find healthy sources of GMO-free papaya, make it a staple in your home along with the bananas and apples. You will deliver the following health benefits to your entire family:
① Papaya is a good source of vitamins and minerals.
Papaya is a natural source of vitamins and minerals needed to nourish your body. Each fruit naturally contains vitamins A, B complex and C as well as copper, potassium and magnesium.
It is also a rich source of free radicals which can reduce your chances of developing some life-threatening diseases.
② Papaya lowers your cholesterol levels.
When you eat papaya on a routine basis, it may help control your cholesterol levels. Research has shown the fruit may inhibit the “bad” LDL cholesterol, preventing it from building up inside arterial walls.
③ Papaya is rich in fiber and promotes digestive health.
Approximately ¼ of the recommended daily intake of fiber is supplied when you enjoy a full serving of papaya. It will keep your bowels moving and help relieve other digestive problems that cause discomfort and pain.
If you suffer from chronic constipation or other digestive problems, you should add papaya and a mix of other healthy fruits to your daily diet.
④ Papaya contains unique enzymes that can lower inflammation.
The fruit contains two enzymes, papain and chymopapin, which may help lower internal inflammation. If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or other diseases that involve inflammation, you may want to make papaya a staple in your diet for this benefit alone.
If autoimmune diseases run in your family, you may consider eating this fruit a preventative measure.
⑤ Papaya boosts your immune system.
The rich source of vitamins A and C make papaya a powerful weapon against colds and the flu. It boosts your immune system so that your body is more capable of fighting off infection.
This makes papaya a great addition to your diet during cold and flu season, but it can protect you from other illnesses all year round.
⑥ Papaya has anti-cancer activity.
Papaya may help prevent the development of cancer and is helpful for anyone undergoing chemotherapy to treat cancer. The antioxidants protect the body against cell oxidation which can lead to cancer, especially when green tea is consumed regularly as well. The papain enzyme can ease some of the side effects of chemotherapy.
⑦ Papaya can protect your eyesight.
Fruits rich in vitamin A and beta carotene have been shown to protect human vision. Papaya fits the bill, but there are many other fruits that have this benefit as well.
You can’t fully protect your vision just by eating papaya or drinking the juice, but consuming fresh fruits rich in these vitamins is one more tool in your arsenal against vision problems.
⑧ Papaya helps to prevent blood clots.
Since it contains fibrin, papaya can stop blood from coagulating which is the process that leads to clotting. Clotting can lead to constricted blood vessels, stroke or heart attack.
Eating papaya on a regular basis is not enough to prevent these conditions from occurring, but it is a good addition to your healthy lifestyle as you eliminate other risk factors.
⑨ Eating papaya reduces your stress levels.
The natural vitamins in papaya may help control stress hormones, helping you through stressful moments of life. Learning controlled breathing exercises and meditation can help even further.
⑩ It is good for your skin.
Beta carotene and vitamin E nourish the skin and contribute to healthier, more radiant pores.
This is why many skincare products contain papaya and other fruits rich in these nutrients. You can make your own facial masks containing papaya and other affordable ingredients proven to nourish, hydrate and protect the skin.
The benefits of papaya seeds and how to use them
Now that you know why eating papaya is good for your body and may help you reach your health and fitness goals, you’re probably wondering what you can do with the seeds. These seeds are easy to remove from the insides of the fruit and contain the following:
These seeds are obviously quite nutritious for your body, but studies have shown they’re useful in some more specific ways. For instance, one study showed that people who consumed papaya seeds with honey passed parasites out of their body in most cases.
Many authoritative sources recommend these seeds for anyone infested with parasites.
At least some of the cancer-fighting benefits listed above come from the seeds. The flesh and skin may also deliver some of those benefits, but you can maximize benefit if you also consume the seeds. That leads to one last question:
how do you eat them?
- If you enjoy the hint of peppery spice that the natural taste of papaya seeds contains, you may want to dig them out of your fruit and eat them in their natural state.
An alternative is to use them as a topping on baked potatoes, salads and other simple dishes. You may also add them to your yogurt or make a fresh fruit salad and mix them in with other nutrient-rich fresh fruits.
- If you really don’t like the taste of the seeds, you can add them into a smoothie or use them when you make fresh, homemade juices. If you want your children to enjoy the benefits without telling them what they’re eating, try concealing them in a yummy fruit smoothie or a pile of mixed fruit served as a side dish with dinner.
Fresh papaya juice can be added to smoothies and juice blends without contributing fleshy pulp.
Remember, you can also use papaya to make your own facial masks and other skin treatments. This is one way you may use the seeds if you don’t want to waste the flesh of the fruit smearing it over your pores. Since the fruit smells so good, you may also want to add it to homemade shampoos and other beauty products as well.