Eating Papaya Seeds for Digestive Health
You can eat papaya seeds and they are highly beneficial for detoxification, reducing inflammation, controlling bad bacteria, yeasts and parasitic organisms and particularly for improving your digestive system.
This page will focus on how to use papaya seeds, as well as new papaya seed powder, with dosage instructions for each and a special way to take them to minimize side effects.
Also ahead, the easiest way to get and store papaya seeds for regular use, how to dry them and preparation suggestions for using the seeds from papaya fruit for better health.
Where to Get Papaya Seeds and How to Store Them
Choosing a Papaya
When shopping for papaya it’s recommended to choose the larger Mexican or Central American papayas if you can. These fruit are not affected by the GMO issues of the smaller Hawaiian varieties and also provide many more seeds. Just look for the sticker with the origin on the fruit itself to be sure.
While the majority of Hawaiian papayas are GMO, some sources online are negatively portraying all papaya fruit as genetically modified. This is simply not true as most around the world aren’t and a real shame when papayas are so good for you.
Collecting and Storing Papaya Seeds
The easiest way to add papaya seeds to your diet is to simply buy a fresh papaya, cut it in half and scrape out the seeds with a tablespoon. Don’t worry if you get a bit of papaya fruit with them.
Find a container with a tight seal and put any seeds you’re not using immediately in there and keep them sealed in the fridge. Drizzling some lemon or lime juice over the seeds, closing the container and shaking it to coat them will help to preserve them even longer.
This works best if you use them regularly as I do for a consistent supply. Even a small papaya fruit yields many seeds and should keep you going for at least a few days of treatment.
If you’re just starting out with papaya seeds, or using them less regularly, it would be better to keep them in a sealed container in the freezer.
As a general rule, if you will use your papaya seeds within 3-4 days then keep them in the fridge. Any longer and it’s best to freeze them.
I will often split my harvested seeds and keep enough for the next few days in the fridge and the remainder frozen for future use.
They can be kept in the freezer for many months, though they should be defrosted before use, or soaked in hot water for a few minutes to warm and soften them. Alternatively, you could transfer any you intend to use for the next day into the fridge the night before.
Where to Buy Papaya Seeds
If you don’t have access to fresh papaya fruit, or they are prohibitively expensive, you may prefer to buy ground papaya seeds instead.
Importantly, only use food grade papaya seeds and preferably organic and non-GMO powdered papaya seeds like these from a specialist manufacturer.
The seeds you can get delivered online for planting could be treated with toxic chemicals or contaminated with mold and should never be eaten.
Buying cheaper papaya seed powder or seeds from questionable sources on Amazon or Ebay doesn’t make a lot of sense either if you’re taking them as a health treatment. I’d recommend either getting your seeds fresh or buying the best quality organic powder only.
Before You Start
It’s strongly recommended to read about some potential side effects and warnings on papaya enzymes, particularly if you are pregnant, have a stomach ulcer or are on blood thinning medications, before using papaya seeds.
Men wishing to get a partner pregnant would also want to avoid eating the seeds as studies show they can temporarily but drastically reduce a man’s fertility.
If, on the other hand, a man wanted to lower the chances of unplanned pregnancy, this page looks at papaya seeds potential as a natural form of male birth control.
How to Eat Papaya Seeds without Side Effects
When first eating papaya seeds start off slowly. While they are safe to eat in small doses, they are quite powerful and too much at once can cause digestive upsets.
Here’s a good starting dosage guide for papaya seeds to follow:
- The first time you eat papaya seeds try just 2 seeds taken with a protein based meal.
- If these are well-tolerated, then add another 2 seeds each time until you reach about a quarter of a teaspoon.
- After at least 3 days of taking a quarter of teaspoon without side effects you can move up to half a teaspoon of papaya seeds.
- After another 3 days you can choose to move up to a full teaspoon of fresh seeds, though this may be too much for some sensitive people, or just stay on half a teaspoon which is likely to provide similar health benefits.
- If at any point you experience side effects from eating papaya seeds then take a day off from them and start again at half the dose that gave you problems before.
Once you’ve reached a good tolerance with papaya seeds it’s better to determine your dosage based on how much protein is in the meal you’re having.
A smaller protein meal won’t need as many seeds, however if eating a big steak or burger most people would definitely benefit from a full teaspoon of their proteolytic enzymes to improve digestion.
What Do Papaya Seeds Taste Like?
Personally, I often just chew around a teaspoon of papaya seeds, both straight from the fruit whenever I’m eating papaya itself, and from the fridge when I’m having a high protein meal.
The flavor is definitely strong, with a peppery/mustard/wasabi taste, but not too unpleasant to my taste buds. If you’re used to everything you eat being sweetened though you may be in for a bit of a shock.
I’ve noticed the bigger and darker pips from the larger papaya are generally sharper, whereas the smaller fruit have seeds that are comparatively mild, though this may mean they’re not as potent.
If you’re worried about the taste, it might be best to start with a small papaya until you get accustomed to them (smaller sized non-GMO papayas from Mexico and Central America are available as well).
Papaya seeds definitely do need to be chewed though, or crushed up in some way to be effective. Don’t just swallow them like a vitamin pill.
The shells of papaya seeds are tough and unlikely to be broken down during digestion. Swallowing them whole probably won’t have much of an effect on you so there’s little point in having them like this.
If you’re having problems with the strong flavor of papaya seeds and won’t eat them then try this concentrated organic papaya seed extract which you can just add to drinks and should barely notice.
Raw Honey with Papaya Seeds
Another popular alternative way to take papaya seeds is with a small amount of raw honey. Just make sure you still chew them up a few times if you’re eating the seeds in this way.
Manuka honey with its strong antibacterial properties would be particularly good for this. Don’t use supermarket heat treated honey as it’s often mixed with high fructose corn syrup. Definitely something worth avoiding if you value your health.
How to Dry Papaya Seeds
For another way to add papaya seeds to your diet, try replacing the black peppercorns in your pepper grinder with papaya seeds.
To do this you’ll need to dry them first. Here’s how:
- Scrape the seeds from the papaya fruit with a spoon.
- Spread them out on one side of a tea towel you don’t mind washing (paper towels will only stick so don’t try using those).
- Fold the other side of the tea towel over and rub them quickly within it to remove any attached pieces of fruit.
- Wash the clean papaya seeds in warm water in a colander and shake.
- Spread them out flat to dry in strong direct sunlight or on a baking tray in the oven. Use the lowest fan setting (not grill) and cook them for 30 minutes or until the seeds are completely dry.
Once papaya seeds are dry they actually look quite similar to peppercorns and can be used in just the same way. Grinding a couple over food, especially protein rich meals, is a simple way to add extra enzymes to your diet and improve your digestive health.
Another option for eating your dried papaya seeds is to crush them up with a pestle and mortar and add them to any recipes where you’d usually use a strong peppery flavor.
Crushed papaya seeds are quite versatile in cooking and before long you may come to actually like the taste of papaya seeds in your meals like I do.
Papaya Seed Powder
Recently, this special non-GMO and organic papaya seed powder has become available and it makes for a convenient alternative if it’s difficult to get fresh papaya seeds in your area.
Since the seeds are finely powdered you only need to take a quarter of a teaspoon for an equivalent teaspoon dose of fresh papaya seeds.
The next page covers a more unusual but extremely important use for the little black nutritional powerhouses — as a parasite treatment. It also has a healthy smoothie recipe that would have to be one of the best tasting ways of eating papaya seeds.
If you find it difficult to eat fresh seeds because of the taste, but would still like to experience their digestive health benefits, then I’d recommend giving this papaya seeds smoothie for parasites a try.
Photo 1: Tatters:)