One of the things that I miss most about living in Costa Rica is the fruit. My favorite tropical fruit, hands down, is papaya. It took some time to get used to it, but after about two years in CR, I found myself eating it nearly every morning. I would cut the fruit in half, scoop out the seeds, and then eat it straight out of the skin. At least until I found out that tossing out the papaya seeds meant I was tossing out the most nutritious part.
Now, most of my knowledge about nutrition and superfoods comes from alternative health blogs and scientific studies conducted by Western scientists. But this is not the case with papaya seeds. I learned about papaya seeds through word of mouth when living in a tropical climate where parasites and insect borne illness were very common.
The importance of eating papaya seeds hit home when a friend visited me after spending some time with the Sequoya Tribe in Ecuador. He told me that one of the shaman happened to walk by when my friend was cleaning out the seeds out of the fruit (so he could eat it!) The shaman laughed, as they often do just about everything, and told my friend that he’s throwing out all the good stuff. To the indigenous man, you might as well throw out the whole fruit if you don’t eat the seeds.
I won’t deny it. Papaya seeds are definitely not the most-delicious. I mean really, who wants a mouthful of peppercorns?
Nevertheless, they are packed with nutritious goodness. They are rich in oleic and palmitic fatty acids, which are believed to ward off cancer. In traditional Chinese medicine, they are used to detoxify the liver and kidneys. Papaya seeds also have strong anti-inflammatory properties. In Latin American countries, the seeds are known to aide digestion, promoting regularity and protecting against GI parasites and worms. I guess those little buggers don’t like the peppery flavor either!
3 Simple Ways to Ingest Papaya Seeds
For me, the health benefits of this flavorful seed is enough reason to become accustomed to the taste. So here are some ideas on how to ingest papaya seeds.
1) Add to Smoothie – First option is to put spoonful of seeds into your morning smoothie. You benefit, while the peppery flavor goes unnoticed. They will keep in the fridge for 7-10 days, so just keep them in a closed container if you like this option.
2) Pepper Substitute – You can also dry papaya seeds in the oven for about 15 minutes at 250-300 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, let them cool. Once they are dry, grin them up to use instead of pepper in salad dressings and on other foods (like eggs).
3) Papaya Seed Tonic – The last option is to grind down dried papaya seeds, or blend fresh ones, and take about 1 teaspoon of ground seeds with 1 tablespoon of lemon or lime. This is a wonderful option if you need something to settle an upset belly. In Costa Rica, the locals swore that this natural remedy would fight off the worst bout of digestive illness or food poisoning.
I know papaya isn’t a common fruit outside of tropical climates. Nevertheless, it’s worth buying papaya once every few weeks so you can enjoy the benefits from ingesting the seeds. If you can’t find good papaya where you live, or just don’t really care for the taste of the fruit, you can also purchase papaya seed powder on Amazon. Then you can put it in capsules or in your smoothie to reap some of the same benefits.
This article (Here’s How to Prepare Papaya Seeds to Support Digestion and Detoxify the Liver) is copyrighted by Awareness Junkie, 2017. Furthermore, you may not copy, reproduce, publish or distribute any content therein without written permission. You may contact us here.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Moreover, views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Awareness Junkie or its staff.