The Reason You Should Never Eat Pawpaw Skin Or Seeds

If you're not familiar with pawpaws, then chances are this trendy fruit hasn't taken off near you yet. According to Serious Eats, one of the wonderful things about pawpaws is that they are native to North America. The fruit's amazing flavor is another reason people can't seem to get enough of them. Though the fruit may look unripe to many an unfamiliar eye, the green-skinned pawpaw reveals a yellow flesh that tastes like a blend of tropical fruits rolled up in one bit. Mango and banana are the two dominant flavors of the pawpaw, but it also tends to have a hint of citrus.

While you might be ready to take a bite into one of these fruits already, you definitely need to know what parts of the fruit you can eat. According to Serious Eats, Pawpaws tend to range from 3 to 6 inches long, but you can only eat a fraction of the fruit. You should never bite into the skin, nor should you bite the seeds on the inside of the fruit.

This is what happens if you eat pawpaw seeds or skin

Both the skin and seeds of pawpaw fruit are toxic to humans. According to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, when eaten over a long period, they can cause mild symptoms like vomiting or severe issues like nerve damage. These reactions are caused by a toxin known as annonacin. An elderly man who ate too many pawpaws experienced difficulty with speech and declining balance he thought could have been the result of consuming the fruit. Allergic reactions to pawpaws are also possible.

But there are some major benefits of pawpaws too. According to Perdue, they are a good source of many vitamins and minerals, and the twigs of pawpaws are being studied in cancer treatment drugs. So while you should limit the amount of pawpaws you eat and avoid certain parts, don't write the fruit off just yet.