Papaya is one of the most versatile fruits there is. Seriously. No part of this tropical fruit goes to waste, ripe or not, and that includes the leaves and, yup, seeds!
Papayas are considered to be one of the most power-packed fruits, health-wise, which is why you will often find them on many lists of superfoods you need to add to your repertoire.
Papaya seeds are as adaptable as the fruit itself when it comes to incorporating them into your diet. But before we get to that, it’s perhaps important to quickly highlight why you should be adding these bitter little guys into your menu.
Papaya seeds are right up there in terms of nutritive benefits. They are high in fiber and serve as a rich source of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. In a nutshell, their benefits include, among others:
How to Eat Papaya Seeds
Now that you know their potential benefits, here are three ways on how to eat papaya seeds:
One way to eat papaya seeds is to consume them as is.
For this, you will need to get a papaya fruit (or two). You can opt for either variety available in the United States – Hawaiian or Mexican papayas.
When you have your fruit, scoop out the seeds and keep the seeds you are not using at that particular time in an airtight container for storage in the fridge.
First timers can start by eating as little as 2 seeds. Avoid swallowing them like a vitamin pill – they are most effective when chewed (we know!) or crushed up in some way.
After about three days without any side effects, add two more to reach about a quarter teaspoon. Then move on to half and if you are not the sensitive kind, bump it up to a teaspoonful.
If you are just starting out with papaya seed therapy or you use them on a less frequent basis, it’s better to store them in the freezer instead (in an airtight container).
As a rule of thumb, papaya seeds meant for use within 3-4 days are best stored in the refrigerator; otherwise, freeze them.
A good way to go about it is to split your seeds for those you will be using within the next few days and stash the rest in the freezer where they can go even for months without losing their potency.
Another way to eat papaya seeds is to source ground seeds from a specialist manufacturer like Herbal Papaya.
The good thing with papaya seed powder is that, in addition to being more cost-effective compared to fresh papaya fruit which might be prohibitively expensive in some areas, you can use it in a whole range of ways – in desserts, smoothies, fruit juice, yoghurt, lemon juice; even plain water for those who find H2O a little blah.
Its peppery taste also makes papaya seed powder a great salad (or morning cereal) dressing or any dish that requires pepper for that matter. For best effect, it is best sprinkled on your plate serving rather than cooking with the food.
Herbal Papaya products have the added benefit of being GMO-free and 100% organic.
You can also eat papaya seeds in the form of an extract. The good thing with papaya seed extract is that, just like papaya seed powder, it is more concentrated compared to fresh seeds. This means it is more effective especially at infections.
It also comes with the added benefit of being easier to take. Unlike fresh papaya seeds or papaya seed powder, you can take papaya seed extract on an empty stomach with a glass of water.
Again, the best papaya seed extract is best sourced from a reputable dealer who only specializes in non-GMO, organic products. Herbal Papaya is that source.
Papaya seeds have a host of potential side effects, especially when consumed in excess.
Make sure you are aware of the side effects before you start papaya seed therapy, more so if you have stomach ulcers or other digestive issues.
Pregnant women and those on blood thinning medications also need to exercise caution with papaya seeds, so it’s best to consult your physician first before getting started.