Can You Eat Papaya Seeds? Yes, Here’s How!

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If you’re like me, you probably just toss the papaya seeds when you’re finished with the delicious fruit. But did you know that those black seeds are actually edible?

You can eat papaya seeds raw, roasted, or dried. Grinding them is the best way to get the full amount of nutrition from them. They are quite nutritious and can add fiber, protein, and healthy fats to your diet. Studies are limited, and their health benefits or potential risks have yet to be fully explored. So moderation is always key.

As you read on, I’ll explain more about the benefits of papaya seeds, including how to eat them.

Are Papaya Seeds Edible?

Yes, papaya seeds are edible and best when cleaned after you have cut a papaya and scooped out the seeds. Once cleaned, they may not have much of a smell, but they do have a nutty flavor with hints of pepper.

However, not everyone should eat papaya or their seeds. This includes pregnant women, nursing mothers or children, and those with allergies or specific medical conditions.

It’s always best to consult with your doctor before adding new foods to your diet.

Can You Eat Papaya Seeds Raw?

Yes, you can eat papaya seeds raw. It’s best to chew them very well or grind them because the outer shell is too strong for your digestive system to break down to access the nutrients within.

What Do Papaya Seeds Look Like?

Papaya seeds look like tiny round black seeds that are covered in goopy papaya membranes, similar to how pumpkin seeds are inside a pumpkin.

What Papaya Seeds Look Like

It’s best to clean your papaya seeds to get rid of the membranes before eating them. You can clean them with fresh cold water and dry them on paper towels.

Are Papaya Seeds Safe To Eat?

According to the medically reviewed article at Healthline, papaya seeds may be safe to consume for healthy adults in limited quantities, but more studies are needed to assess the overall benefits and risks.

Papaya seeds are not recommended for pregnant women, nursing mothers, or children as there is some evidence they impact fertility and your cells and DNA.

What Are Papaya Seeds Good For?

Papayas were called the “fruit of the angels” by Christopher Columbus. These rich yell-gold fruits provide a sweet source of many nutrients and offer the nutritional benefits of their seeds.​

While the health benefits of papaya seeds are not tracked by the USDA, chemical analysis has demonstrated that papaya seeds are high in healthy fats and loaded with protein.

In fact, the protein density of papaya seeds is so high that one ounce of the seeds completes a protein serving per ChooseMyPlate.gov. They also contain magnesium and calcium and provide many antioxidant properties.

According to an article, reviewed by Claudia Thompson, Ph.D., RD, consuming large amounts of papaya seeds can be unhealthy due to benzyl isothiocyanate. This chemical can cause genes to become disrupted in the cell division process.

In addition, consuming large quantities of papaya seeds has been proven to have a contraceptive effect on rats. However, the level of benzyl isothiocyanate in a standard serving of papaya seeds is negligible.​

Fresh, ripe papaya is loaded with antioxidants. It can lower your risk of developing macular degeneration due to the antioxidant zeaxanthin.

The high concentration of beta carotene in papayas reduces the risk of developing asthma and can protect against prostate cancer.

As with many nutritional supplements, papaya seeds seem healthy in moderation. Ingesting large amounts of papaya seeds may impact the nervous system because of the chemical Carpine.

Do Papaya Seeds Kill Parasites?

While papaya seeds may be able to kill parasites when eaten in large quantities, consuming large quantities could also pose a serious risk to your health, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

If you suspect you have parasites, eating papaya seeds to get rid of them is not recommended. You should seek proper medical attention for care, such as a GI Specialist.

What To Do With Papaya Seeds

Papaya seeds can be enjoyed in many different ways. One popular way is to grind them and add them to smoothies or juices to boost nutrition. You can also use them in salads, sauces, and recipes that call for pepper.

Some prefer to mix dry papaya seed powder with honey as a supplement.

When using papaya seeds in recipes, it is best to start with a small amount and increase to desired taste because the flavor can be overpowering.

How To Eat Papaya

How To Eat Papaya Seeds

Here’s how to prepare papaya seeds for your food or your favorite recipe with these simple steps.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 hrs
Total Time 5 hrs
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 1

Ingredients

  • 1 Papaya

Instructions 

  • Scoop fresh papaya seeds from its seed cavity.
  • Clean the seeds well with fresh water. Make sure to remove all pulpy membranes.
  • Dry in the oven at 150°F (66°C) as directed by wikiHow.
  • Cool, and then grind or crack
  • Add to your favorite dish.

Notes

Use as a pepper replacement or sprinkle cracked seeds on salads for a bit of crunch.

Written By Tara Williams

Tara is a food writer that has been editing and authoring articles for KitchenSanity since its founding. Her writing offers personal experience from experimentation with food and recipe creation. If you’re looking for simple tips, she will make your journey in the kitchen straightforward with a dash of fun.