The Surprising Health Benefits of Papaya

The papaya is rich in antioxidants like vitamin C (200% of the RDA), as well as vitamins A, and K, carotenes, and flavonoids; plus, it contains B vitamins, folate pantothenic acid, and minerals such as potassium, copper, and magnesium. It can help promote healthy elimination because of its fiber and high water content.  It’s also a great fruit for diabetics and helps aid weight loss because they give you that “full” feeling longer and because they are low in sugar content (8.3 grams in a cup) and on the glycemic index.

But the seeds! Next time you get a papaya, don’t throw the seeds away – they’re edible and have amazing health benefits!  Who knew?

Chewing them by themselves will only work if you can tolerate chewing mustard or black peppercorns, but rest assured there are other ways to consume them.   Of course, just eating the seeds is not the same as eating the fruit which contain enzymes called protease or proteolytic that digest protein, aiding in the digestive process by breaking down proteins into amino acids.  More specifically these types of enzymes include pancreatic proteases chymotrypsin and trypsin, papain (from the papaya), bromelain (pineapple), fungal proteases, and Serratica peptidase (known as the silk worm enzyme…but that’s another discussion.)

There’s lots of technical stuff we could cover about enzymes, but let’s not wade through all of that. The bottom line is that papaya, and their seeds in particular, are highly beneficial. We need digestive enzymes in our diet – and you won’t be getting them from processed or fast foods, so listen up and go fresh! Enzymes take charge in your digestive tract to create a healthy environment that is less than welcoming for worms or parasites.  Ah, but you say, I don’t have worms and parasites?  Got news! Everyone is subject to parasites.  We can get them a number of ways: unwashed fruits and vegetables (we want organic, but ya gotten wash ‘em right!), under cooked meat, while caught fish that hasn’t been frozen, pets, bad water, and yes through your skin.

Cleansing is a great way to get rid of them…it’s not hard…nor is it expensive.  The papaya seed contains carpaine which has been shown to be very effective at killing parasitic worms and amoebas.

Easiest and quickest way to get all the benefits of papaya? Add it all (except the skin) to green smoothie.  Try my Papaya Green Smoothie

Note: Pregnant or nursing women should not use the papaya seed, extracts, or the enzyme-rich green papaya. The anti-parasitic properties of papaya seeds may be too strong for children and babies.  There is also research indicating that too much papaya seed may have an adverse effect on male fertility. Always consult with your medical doctor for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. 

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