Learn about papaya seeds’ digestive enhancing enzymes, and why seeds from this fruit are an ally for liver health.
The papaya (Carica papaya), papaw or pawpaw fruit grows in tropical climates and is an antioxidant powerhouse. Traditionally, papaya has been used to treat everything from sinuses, burns, eczema and tumors to blood pressure, constipation and parasites, along with a variety of digestive ailments. Papaya contains Vitamins A, B, C and E, as well as iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, choline and cancer-fighting lycopene.
The real power of papaya, though, is in the digestive enhancing enzymes: papain and chymopapain. These powerful enzymes are found in the leaves, fruit and especially in the seeds of the papaya.
Papaya seeds are even more potent than the fruit and can be added to the diet after being dried and ground, or as an extract. The papaya seeds are spicy to the taste much like black pepper and, in fact, they are often used as a substitute because they have a similar flavor. Most importantly, adding about 5-6 seeds ground, or about 1 teaspoon, can add powerful enzymes to your diet and improve digestive health along with liver function.
A primary function of the liver is to produce the proteins necessary for blood clotting, to breakdown old or damaged blood cells, and metabolize fats. Liver cells digest proteins by breaking them up and changing the amino acids (building blocks of proteins) so they can be used by the body as energy. The liver also stores vitamins and iron for later use.
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