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    6 Health Benefits Of Papaya Seeds

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    The not-so-loved fruit, papaya, is a treasure house of nutrients. Though it is not a favourite among the children, adults who are health-conscious tend to eat this sweet-tasting fruit.

    Usually, the ripe fruit is eaten after removing the skin and seeds. But, it is said that papaya seeds are highly nutritious and contain a variety of essential micronutrients. They are a rich source of flavonoids and polyphenols, both of which are antioxidants and help promote overall health [1] .

    Papaya Seeds

    Nutritional Fact Of Papaya Seeds

    Papaya seeds are an excellent source of nutrients such as phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, fibre, protein and antioxidants [2] . They are high in fat and contain monounsaturated fatty acids including oleic acid.

    Health Benefits Of Papaya Seeds

    1. Fight intestinal parasites

    A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that air-dried papaya seeds with honey have a significant effect on human intestinal parasites [3] . Another study has shown that papaya seed extract can help fight against three strains of fungi which cause yeast infections [4] . This is because papaya seeds are said to contain proteolytic enzymes.

    2. Prevent the growth of cancer cells

    The antioxidant content in papaya seeds has been shown to have anticancer properties. A study showed the effectiveness of papaya seed extract in preventing the growth of cancer and reducing inflammation [5] . Another study found that black papaya seeds can help in reducing the progression of prostate cancer cells [6] .

    Papaya Seeds

    3. Aid in liver detoxification

    The seeds of the papaya prevent the free radicals from entering and attacking the liver cells. The seeds aid in generating new liver cells and have the ability to eliminate the dead tissues without altering the activity of the healthy cells, thanks to the presence of myrosinase, an enzyme that activates the cytochrome P 450 isoenzyme in the liver [7] .

    4. Improve digestive health

    Papaya seeds have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties which play a crucial role in the digestive system. Study shows that papaya seed extract is very effective in killing E. coli, Salmonella, Staphylococcus and other bacterial infections in the digestive system. The same study mentions the effectiveness of aqueous seed extract of papaya in preventing stomach ulcers [8] .

    5. Prevents kidney damage

    Papaya seeds can prevent kidney damage caused by drug-induced nephrotoxicity. Nephrotoxicity is a common kidney problem that occurs when the kidneys are exposed to the drugs or toxins which eventually harm them. According to a study, papaya seeds contain nephroprotective phytochemicals that are useful in preventing kidney damage caused by drugs like paracetamol [9] .

    6. Prevent constipation

    As papaya seeds contain a good amount of fibre, they help in preventing constipation. Fibre works by moving through the intestines in the gastrointestinal tract, adding bulk to your stool to promote regularity. And studies have shown that an increased intake of fibre helps in increasing stool frequency in people suffering from constipation [10] .

    Papaya Seeds

    Risks Of Consuming Papaya Seeds

    1. Have antifertility effects

    The main bioactive compound benzyl isothiocyanate (BITC) in papaya seeds has been shown to be responsible for the antifertility effects. This compound is efficient enough to damage the endometrium, making the uterus non-receptive and thus, affecting the implantation [11] . Papaya seed extract also reduced sperm count and sperm motility in men [12] .

    2. Damage the DNA

    Consuming an excess amount of papaya seeds can be harmful to your body. The presence of benzyl isothiocyanate (BITC) in papaya seeds causes significant damage to DNA and has a toxic effect on healthy cells [13] , [14] .

    How To Eat Papaya Seeds

    • Scoop out the seeds from papaya and wash them properly.
    • Air dry them in a paper towel or dry them in the sun.
    • Once the seeds are moisture-free, grind them and store them in an air-tight container in a dark place.
    • You can use the powdered seeds as a substitute for black pepper or add them in salad dressings.

    How Much Papaya Seeds Should You Eat In A Day

    It is advisable to eat a teaspoon of papaya seeds a day; increasing the amount could lead to side effects.

    View Article References
    1. [1] Zhou, K., Wang, H., Mei, W., Li, X., Luo, Y., & Dai, H. (2011). Antioxidant activity of papaya seed extracts.Molecules (Basel, Switzerland),16(8), 6179-92.
    2. [2] Marfo, E. K., Oke, O. L., & Afolabi, O. A. (1986).Some studies on the proteins of Carica papaya seeds. Food Chemistry, 22(4), 267–277.
    3. [3] Okeniyi, J. A. O., Ogunlesi, T. A., Oyelami, O. A., & Adeyemi, L. A. (2007).Effectiveness of Dried Carica papaya Seeds Against Human Intestinal Parasitosis: A Pilot Study. Journal of Medicinal Food, 10(1), 194–196.
    4. [4] Singh, O., & Ali, M. (2011). Phytochemical and antifungal profiles of the seeds of carica papaya L.Indian journal of pharmaceutical sciences,73(4), 447-451.
    5. [5] Pathak, N., Khan, S., Bhargava, A., Raghuram, G. V., Jain, D., Panwar, H., ... & Mishra, P. K. (2014). Cancer chemopreventive effects of the flavonoid-rich fraction isolated from papaya seeds.Nutrition and cancer,66(5), 857-871.
    6. [6] Nakamura, Y., Yoshimoto, M., Murata, Y., Shimoishi, Y., Asai, Y., Park, E. Y., … Nakamura, Y. (2007).Papaya Seed Represents a Rich Source of Biologically Active Isothiocyanate. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 55(11), 4407–4413.
    7. [7] Udoh, F. V., & Udoh, P. B. (2005).Hepatotoxicity of the Methanol Extract of Carica papaya. (Paw-Paw) Seeds in Wistar Rats. Pharmaceutical Biology, 43(4), 349–352.
    8. [8] Kumar, N. S., & Devi, P. S. S. (2017). The surprising health benefits of papaya seeds: A.Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry,6(1), 424-429.
    9. [9] Naggayi, M., Mukiibi, N., & Iliya, E. (2015). The protective effects of aqueous extract of Carica papaya seeds in paracetamol induced nephrotoxicity in male wistar rats.African health sciences,15(2), 598-605.
    10. [10] Yang, J., Wang, H. P., Zhou, L., & Xu, C. F. (2012). Effect of dietary fiber on constipation: a meta analysis.World journal of gastroenterology,18(48), 7378-7383.
    11. [11] Kumar, N. S., & Devi, P. S. S. (2017). The surprising health benefits of papaya seeds: A.Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry,6(1), 424-429.
    12. [12] Lohiya, N. K., Goyal, R. B., Jayaprakash, D., Ansari, A. S., & Sharma, S. (1994). Antifertility effects of aqueous extract of Carica papaya seeds in male rats.Planta Medica,60(05), 400-404.
    13. [13] Masutomi, N., Toyoda, K., Shibutani, M., Niho, N., Uneyama, C., Takahashi, N., & Hirose, M. (2001).Toxic Effects of Benzyl and Allyl Isothiocyanates and Benzyl-Isoform Specific Metabolites in the Urinary Bladder After a Single Intravesical Application to Rats. Toxicologic Pathology, 29(6), 617–622.
    14. [14] Kassie, F., Pool-Zobel, B., Parzefall, W., & Knasmüller, S. (1999). Genotoxic effects of benzyl isothiocyanate, a natural chemopreventive agent.Mutagenesis,14(6), 595-604.

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