The internet is full of a lot of interesting health claims that sometimes make you wonder: Is this too good to be true? One of the biggest trends right now is centered on the idea that papaya seeds can help flush parasites from your body — and hundreds of thousands of people are trying it out for themselves.
So, can papaya seeds actually rid you of parasites? And more importantly, should you be eating them in the first place? Here’s what you need to know.
Are papaya seeds safe to eat?
Yes, papaya seeds are edible! One thing to note, however, is that raw papaya seeds can taste incredibly bitter and may be an acquired taste for some people. If you want to get the purported health benefits of these seeds but with a much milder flavor, you can scoop out the seeds, rinse them, and leave them on a towel in the sunlight to dry out. Then, put them in a spice grinder and use them as a seasoning similar to how you would use peppercorn in your foods.
Additionally, some people may experience gastrointestinal discomfort from eating too many raw seeds at once, so see how your body reacts to eating one or two first.
What are the health benefits of papaya seeds?
As a fruit, papaya has long been lauded for its immunity-strengthening and anti-aging properties, but its seeds have a number of potential health advantages. First and foremost, they’re packed with fiber, which regulates your digestive tract and lowers signs of inflammation. Fibrous foods may also soothe hemorrhoid symptoms and reduce the risk of stomach ulcers.
Studies have shown that these seeds could potentially work wonders for kidney function, too. The antioxidants in them may protect your kidneys from cellular damage as you age, and animal studies highlight promising results that they may actively prevent kidney disease.
As if all of that wasn’t enough, papaya seeds do have some infection-preventing properties that can fight fungal infections and potentially parasitic organisms. That said, scientists have made it clear that their research is very rudimentary on this front.
Are there side effects if you eat too many?
A few animal studies have shown that high and consistent papaya seed consumption may lead to issues with fertility, though only sperm counts are largely affected. Plus, test subjects who saw this potential problem were eating way more than the recommended amount of seeds over an extended period of time. If you have any questions though, you should definitely talk to your doctor before you add them to your regimen!