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The possible health benefits of consuming papaya include a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, aiding in digestion, improving blood glucose control in people with diabetes, lowering blood pressure, and improving wound healing.
Papaya contains several unique protein-digesting enzymes including papain and chymopapain. These enzymes have been shown to help lower inflammation and to improve healing from burns. In addition, the antioxidant nutrients found in papaya, including vitamin C and beta-carotene, are also very good at reducing inflammation.
Papaya seeds contain nutrients that help heal cirrhosis of the liver and improve kidney health, preventing renal failure. Its anti-inflammatory properties help treat arthritis and joint disease. It contains an alkaloid called carpaine that kills intestinal worms and amoeba parasites.
Precautions and Warnings
Despite all of their beneficial properties, papaya seeds do have some side effects to be aware of and certain people shouldn’t take them. Please check if any of these apply to you before eating papaya seeds.
As a precaution, pregnant women should not use papaya seeds or the enzyme rich green papaya powder. This warning on their use would also extend to mothers who are breastfeeding.
Additionally, while papaya seeds do have strong anti-parasitic properties, they may be too powerful for young children’s gastrointestinal tracts, so a doctor should be consulted before giving them to infants.
There is also some animal research suggesting that eating papaya seeds may temporarily but greatly reduce a man’s fertility to the point that would make pregnancy unlikely.
Patients using blood thinning medications like warfarin or aspirin should consult their doctor before they eat papaya seeds regularly as papain may increase the actions of these drugs.