Culinary LifestyleHow To's

Benefits of Papaya Seeds and How to Add Them to Your Diet

Did you know that the often overlooked and discarded papaya seeds hold some amazing health benefits? While we enjoy the sweet flesh of the papaya fruit, we consume only a small fraction of its nutritional value by not making the most of these little seeds. Yet, there are many benefits of papaya seeds and they are a powerhouse of nutrients that can boost our health in many ways if we learn to share and consume them.

Benefits of Papaya Seeds

As someone who grew up eating papayas, I have realized over time that discarding the seeds was truly a missed opportunity to gain from their healthful properties. While removing the seeds does leave us with a smoother texture to enjoy the flesh, retaining some seeds and incorporating them into our diets can do our body a world of good. Papaya seeds are packed with several antioxidants, essential fatty acids, Vitamins, and minerals including vitamin C, E, K, B6, folate, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and copper. They have been found to protect against heart disease and cancer owing to their anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting properties.

Are Papaya Seeds Edible?

While papaya seeds may seem small and black and have a slightly bitter taste, they are indeed edible and have been used in traditional medicine for centuries throughout various cultures where papaya grows. In many parts of Asia and Latin America, papaya seeds have long been consumed both for their unique medicinal properties and in culinary applications. Some innovative chefs have even started incorporating papaya seeds into a variety of dishes like smoothies, salads and stir-fry preparations.

When dried and ground into a powder or spice, papaya seeds become much easier to make into things like tea or to be eaten more raw. The bitterness is diminished significantly, leaving a mild nutty flavour that livens up both savoury and sweet preparations. While the taste may still be somewhat unappetizing for some, papaya seeds are completely edible and hold promise for boosting health and wellness when consumed judiciously.

How to Eat Papaya Seeds

If you are someone who wants to try eating papaya seeds but aren’t sure where to start, here are a few things to keep in mind. It’s always important to start with a small amount and only then gradually increase the quantity over time. Since papaya seeds have a natural laxative effect, consuming them in large amounts all at once may not agree with your digestive system.

Papaya seed tea is another easy way to enjoy the benefits of these nutrients. Dried and ground papaya seeds can be brewed as a tea that is milder in flavor than consuming them raw. Steeping 1-2 teaspoons of the powdered seeds in hot water makes a beverage rich in antioxidants. Papaya seed tea has similar health promoting properties like boosting digestion, supporting liver function and may even have anticancer effects when enjoyed regularly as part of a balanced diet.

The best way is to start with half a teaspoon and see how your body responds before increasing the amount further. You can also work your way up slowly by adding a few more seeds every few days. Listen to your body and what it can comfortably try without any adverse reactions. Going slow is recommended, rather than trying to eat a big plate of papaya seeds in one sitting. Being gentle with your intake is the best approach.

Can You Eat Papaya Seeds Raw?

Yes, it is perfectly fine to eat papaya seeds raw. However, it is advisable to grind or powder them first before using in things like smoothies, salads, or other raw food dishes. This helps cut down on the bitterness and makes them easier to digest, too. You can also dry the seeds and use as a spice to enhance both sweet and savoury dishes.

When eating papaya seeds raw, it is best to first remove the thin white membrane surrounding each seed. This membrane tends to make the seed taste extremely bitter and unpleasant if consumed. Taking the time to remove the membrane before consuming the seed naked results in a much milder flavour that is still nutty but not overwhelmingly rude to the palate.

Nutritional Value of Papaya Seeds

  1. They are extremely energy dense and provide 558 calories. The seeds are rich in proteins, fat and fibre, making them a wholesome addition to any diet.
  2. They contain several important vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc in appreciable amounts that support overall health and well-being.
  3. Papaya seeds are a storehouse of monounsaturated fatty acids, like oleic acid. They are also loaded with polyphenols and flavonoids, which act as powerful antioxidants within our bodies. The antioxidant properties help protect cells from damage.

9 Reasons to Consume Papaya Seeds

1 – Digestive Health

Papaya seeds contain the enzyme papain which aids in digestion. Consuming a small amount of papaya seeds along with a meal can help break down proteins efficiently and improve digestion. This may reduce symptoms like bloating, constipation and indigestion.

2 – Liver Detoxification

Papaya seeds have the ability to support liver health as they contain compounds that are detoxifying and protect the liver from damage caused by toxins from excessive alcohol consumption.

3 – Antibacterial Properties

Papaya seeds have antibacterial properties that help fight bacterial infections in the body. Crushing them and mixing with honey to be added to dressings and marinades can enhance these effects.

4 – Anti-inflammatory Effects

Due to their anti-inflammatory properties, papaya seeds help reduce inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation has been linked to diseases like arthritis and heart disease. Consuming papaya seeds aids in managing such conditions.

5 – Natural Parasite Treatment

Papaya seeds have long been employed in traditional medicine as a natural solution for addressing intestinal parasites. They contain an alkaloid called carpaine that is effective against parasitic worms. Consuming small amounts of freshly ground seeds on an empty stomach can help eliminate parasites.

6 – Immune System Support

Papaya seeds are rich in antioxidants that boost the immune system and protect the body from disease-causing pathogens. Including them in the diet can strengthen and enhance overall health.

7 – Anticancer Properties

Some studies have indicated that papaya seeds possess anticancer properties as compounds within them called isothiocyanates have demonstrated the ability to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. However, more research is still needed to fully understand the extent of their effects in this area.

8 – Cardiovascular Health

The presence of antioxidants and phenolic compounds in papaya seeds help reduce oxidative stress and lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases by reducing cholesterol levels and maintaining a healthy blood pressure.

9 – Skin and Hair Benefits

Consuming papaya seeds has positive effects on skin and hair health since they are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that can improve overall health and promote growth. Using a seed extract or oil topically can help nourish the skin as well.

Recipes To Add Papaya Seed To Your Diet

  1. Scoop out raw seeds from fresh papaya and eat them as a snack on their own. Any leftover seeds can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge to enjoy later.
  2. Add a teaspoon of seeds to homemade vinaigrette dressings and smoothies to get their nutrients, while the bitter taste is cut by the other strong flavours.
  3. Make a marinade by mixing crushed papaya seeds with lemon zest, garlic cream or lemon juice, chopped garlic and fresh cilantro to slather over meat, seafood, or veggies before baking or grilling.
  4. Clean, dry and bake the seeds whole before crushing them into a powder. Add the nutty-flavoured powder to your favorite spice mixes or rubs for an antioxidant boost.

Benefits of Papaya Seeds Juice

Another simple way is to blend papaya seeds into a fresh juice. Blending 1–2 tablespoons of dried and powdered papaya seeds with fruits like papaya, orange, and apple makes a richly nutritious juice beneficial for digestion, liver function and more. 

Drying Papaya Seeds

  1. Scoop out seeds from a ripe papaya half using a spoon.
  2. Clean the seeds by rinsing them thoroughly under cold water to remove any residue from the fruit.
  3. Spread the rinsed seeds evenly on a clean paper towel or clean dry plate.
  4. Allow the seeds to air dry for a few hours until the surface moisture has evaporated.
  5. For oven drying, preheat the oven to the lowest setting, around 150-170 °F, and lay the seeds out in a single layer on a baking sheet to dry for 2–3 hours until completely dry and crispy.
  6. Seeds can also be sun-dried on a tray or cloth in a warm, dry climate, stirring occasionally to ensure even drying under direct sunlight.

Once fully dried, store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place where they will retain texture and nutrition for up to 6 months. Dried seeds can then be ground into a powder and used as a spice, added to smoothies or salads for extra nutrition and flavour.

Benefits of Papaya Seeds Sexually

Papaya seeds have gained attention for their potential sexual health benefits. Rich in nutrients like flavonoids, phenolics, and alkaloids, papaya seeds are believed to have aphrodisiac properties, promoting libido and sexual performance. Consuming papaya seeds may enhance blood flow to the genital areas, facilitating stronger and longer-lasting erections in men. Additionally, these seeds are thought to contribute to hormonal balance, which can improve fertility and reproductive health in both men and women. Some research suggests that papaya seeds may also help combat sexually transmitted infections due to their antimicrobial properties.

However, it’s important to note that scientific evidence supporting these claims is limited, and more research is needed to fully understand the extent of papaya seeds’ sexual health benefits. As with any supplement, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating papaya seeds into one’s diet for sexual health purposes.

Side Effects of Papaya Seeds

  1. Excess consumption of papaya seeds is not recommended during pregnancy, as it may be harmful to the growing fetus.
  2. Consuming large quantities regularly could decrease fertility in men by affecting sperm number and quality.
  3. Papaya seeds have natural laxative properties, and eating too many at once may cause diarrhea due to their ability to stimulate bowel movements.
  4. Lactating mothers should avoid eating papaya seeds in large amounts as well as they may dry up breast milk supply since the seeds have mild milk-yielding properties.

In summary, papaya seeds are safe in moderation for most people if consumed as part of a healthy diet. But those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or have fertility issues need to exercise caution with intake amounts.


papaya seeds are a highly nutritious superfood packed with health-promoting properties. Adding them to your diet in small, regular doses can offer numerous benefits. However, pregnant women should always consult their doctor before eating papaya seeds. Though tasting slightly bitter, grinding and adding them judiciously to recipes is a tasty way to reap the rewards of these often discarded seeds.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are there Any Benefits of Papaya Seeds for Dogs?

Papaya seeds have also shown benefits for our canine companions. As part dogs’ digestive systems work similarly to humans, papaya seeds can help support a dog’s digestion and gut health when given in small quantities. The papain in papaya seeds helps break down proteins and supports stool regularity. Some pet owners add a few soaked and peeled papaya seeds to their dog’s meals 2-3 times a week. Papaya seed powder can also be mixed into treats or topper. This helps freshen doggy breath too.

Papaya seeds contain antibacterial properties that may support skin and coat health when consumed regularly. More research is still needed but preliminary studies indicate papaya seeds are safe for dogs and provide similar anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits as they do for humans. Consult your vet before giving any new supplements.

How many papaya seeds should I eat per day?

It is recommended to not consume more than 1 teaspoon of papaya seeds per day.

Can papaya seeds be eaten everyday?

Papaya seeds are highly nutritious and associated with health benefits for the kidney and in cancer-related ailments. However, high doses can cause side effects, so issues can be easily avoided by moderating intake to small doses or servings per day.

Are papaya seeds good for the liver?

Yes, papaya seeds have detoxifying properties that help the liver. It increases appetite, especially in elderly, children and alcoholic patients. It also helps prevent free radical production in cells and promotes new cell generation.

Who should not consume papaya seeds?

Pregnant women, people with stomach ailments and allergies, and those with hypoglycaemia or kidney stones should consult a doctor before consuming papaya seeds.

What is the best way to eat papaya seeds?

Despite their slightly bitter, peppery taste, papaya seeds are rich in nutrients and offer several health benefits when consumed correctly. The correct way is to dry, grind them into a powder and sprinkle on food or add to smoothies, salads and dishes.

When eating papaya seeds, do you chew them?

For first-timers, start with eating just a little – 2 seeds. Avoid swallowing them like a vitamin pill. They are more effectively absorbed when chewed or crushed up in some way. Try this for 3 days without side effects before adding 2 more to reach a quarter teaspoon.

Is it OK to drink papaya seeds?

In summary, papaya seeds are highly nutritious and extracts are associated with many health benefits like cancer prevention and kidney protection. However, high doses can cause side effects, so moderating intake by sticking to a few servings per day is recommended.

Whisk and Nibble

Whisk & Nibble is a blog devoted to all things related to food - from sharing recipes for meals and drinks to highlighting the latest dessert trends and culinary lifestyle content. Visitors can find ideas and inspiration for all eating occasions while enjoying engaging writing about food culture. Whisk & Nibble aims to bring readers together over the shared joy of cooking and dining.

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