Everything You Need to Know About the Benefits of Papaya
“The Papaya is rich in nutrients that are good for your health.”
Papaya is a nutrient-loaded fruit with which health benefits range from lowering blood sugar level, improving digestion, and promoting a general healthy immune system. Papaya is rich in vitamins, fibres, folate, antioxidants, vitamin B complex, flavonoids, digestive enzyme papain that is known for its medicinal value. Papain is used in treating sports injuries, allergies and some causes of trauma. Papain enzyme is excellent in regulating blood flow thus a perfect fruit for women in their periods. Papaya prevents cholesterol build up in blood vessels. It is comparatively low in calories thus ideal for weight loss.
All You Need to Know About the Papaya
Papaya is thought to have originated from southern Mexico and is in the family of Caricaceae. The fruit is largely popular in the world for its diversity in utility. The fruit is eaten raw when it ripens while the green unripe one can be cooked. In some other places, the leaves of papaya are cooked and fed on. The seeds are used as a substitute for black pepper in culinary dishes. Unlike other fruits which are seasonal, papayas can be found all year long but with a variation where there is a peak season.
It is loaded with vitamin C and E & beta-carotene which are a powerful combination to fight ageing characteristics like wrinkles and age spots caused by free radicals on skin membrane. This helps your skin stay healthy and look young. The papaya is a deliciously nourishing fruit that bestows a lot of benefits into the body of a human being. Papaya contains fibre, vitamin A, C, E, and folate in higher amounts and also calcium, riboflavin, thiamine, niacin, and iron in smaller amounts. Additionally, it contains a high amount of beta-carotene and flavonoids.
An explorer once named the papaya as ‘the fruit of the angels’ possibly because of its flavour and tangy taste. They are described to taste like a mixture of different tropical fruits blended together to produce one thick fleshy fruit.
Benefits of Papaya; Nutrition Profile
100grams of papaya holds the following nutrients:
- Fat- 0.3g
- Carbohydrates- 11g
- Sodium- 8g
- Fibre- 1.7g
- Sugar- 7.8g
- Protein- 0.5g
- Calcium- 20.0mg
- Iron- 0.25mg
- Potassium- 182mg
- Folate- 37.00UG
- Niacin- 0.357MG
- Pantothenic acid- 0.191MG
- Riboflavin- 0.027MG
- Thiamine- 0.023MG
- Vitamin A- 950.00 IU
- Beta-carotene- 274.00UG
- Lutein+zeaxanthin- 89.00UG
- Vitamin B6- 0.038MG
- Vitamin C- 60.9MG
- Vitamin E- 0.30MG
More to the above nutrients found in papaya is enzyme papain which is used as a meat tenderizer. It also contains phytonutrients and other antioxidants responsible for ensuring a healthy body. More interestingly is that the body of a human being absorbs the antioxidants from papaya easily than it does from other fruits and vegetables.
Health Benefits of Papaya
Let’s look at the benefits of Papaya, risks and precautions, and how you can incorporate it into your daily diet
1. Anti-Cancer Properties
Among the many fruits and vegetables that show abilities to prevent cancer due to their antioxidants properties, papaya showed a distinctive trait where it is the only one that has an effect on breast cancer activity. Also, the antioxidant compound found in papaya known as beta-carotene has an ability to reduce free radicals that may cause some types of cancers. A study has shown that polyphenols like beta-carotene may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer. The study suggests that polyphenols in black papaya seeds have anti-cancer effects.
Cancer has risen to a major concern where death rates are increasing day by day with different types of mysterious cancer types arising. Eating a well-balanced diet is among the foremost recommendations to help reduce cancer risks and to a healthier life. Papaya is among the nutritious fruits you should include in your diet. The benefits of Papaya don’t end there.
2. Helps Prevent Diabetes
Despite the sugary taste of papaya, it has low sugar content hence alleviates glucose levels in diabetic patients. In addition, the fibrous characteristic may help reduce cholesterol levels and maintain blood sugars keeping diabetes risks at bay. Actually, in some parts of the world like in India, they use papaya flowers to prevent diabetes. A study shows that papaya works well with green tea to prevent diabetes.
Diabetes is a dangerous condition that when it’s prompted it may cause havoc in your body. Increased blood sugar levels may bring about other complications leave alone diabetes but also may lead to kidney-related diseases like kidney stones. Make it a habit to eat a healthy diet and add it to every meal to reap the full benefits of Papaya.
3. Recommended for Promoting Eye Health
Papaya is a superfood with multiple nutrients such as vitamin A and antioxidants beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin which are dependable for eye health. Vitamin A, for instance, protects the surface of the eye known as cornea from direct light rays and promotes a good vision. Beta-carotene, on the other hand, helps keep the surface of the eye moist and healthy. These nutrients work together to promote healthy eyes with super good vision and might even prevent the combat old age eye condition known as macular degeneration.
It is a natural involuntary reflex that anytime an object or anything is directed to our eyes we tend to blink or block our eyes with our hands to protect them. This is because the eye is a crucial body part that should be safely guarded. Fortunately, we can protect our eyes from inner damage through eating fruits like papaya.
4. Aids in Weight Loss
Papaya is a source of fibre. Consumption of papaya will make you feel full longer. This long-term satiety will reduce the number of times you eat foods improving your weight loss. High calories may tremendously increase your weight gain. Good thing is that papayas are low in calories thus friendly to all those looking forward to a lower weight measure. The seeds of papaya can also prevent your body from absorbing fats hence the number of fats to be burned down is low. This just improves an individual’s general health. If you have a healthy body system then everything else will work out in your favour. Healthy immune system is the most basic requirement for losing weight, this means that all other body processes will run smoothly including digestion which will definitely affect your weight loss positively.
5. Improves Heart Health
Top among the benefits of Papaya is that it’s a rich source of nutrients such as potassium, vitamin A, C, E, fibre, antioxidants which collectively pull a successful immune system. Potassium, for instance, helps in relaxing blood vessels and in coordination with calcium to ensure a controlled blood pressure thus minimizing risks of vascular diseases like stroke. Vitamin A, C, E, and other antioxidants are beneficial in preventing problems such as atherosclerosis by keeping the arteries healthy. In conjunction with some phytonutrients like pro-carotenoid, antioxidants help prevent oxidation of cholesterol in the body. They reduce oxidative stress and free radicals that may cause damage to cells connecting to the heart causing strokes and other vascular diseases.
In addition, fibre plays a vital role in balancing between ‘bad’ and ‘good’ cholesterol hence promoting heart health. Secure your heart from attacks such as hypertension by including papaya in your diet.
6. Promotes Healthy Skin
A healthy skin is a beautiful skin! Our daily skincare should not only include the physical retouch of some beauty skin products but also a balanced nourishing diet. Papaya will take away all your skin problems in a short while. Papaya is a stronghold of healthy skin-promoting nutrients which include; vitamin C, E, beta-carotene and papain enzymes which are all good for healthy anti-ageing skin. Beta-carotene promotes the growth of skin cells, repair and offers protection against damaging free radicals caused by sun rays. Besides, the effect of antioxidants on the skin prevents radical activity that is associated with skin ageing causes. Vitamin E makes the skin tougher and brighter hence skin glow.
Papain is used to reduce skin irritations, promote skin healing and treat sunburn as well as kill dead cells and purifies the skin. This opens the blocked pores hence enhances skin breathing contributing to a clearer even-toned, renewed and rejuvenated skin. With papaya for skincare, you are on the right track.
7. Promotes Digestion Activities
The papain enzyme in papaya is an incredible organic catalyst with varied uses. Papain alongside fiber in papaya improves digestion activities in the body by catalyzing food compounds and breaking them down for easier absorption. Fibre increases bowel movements reducing constipation thus promoting a healthy digestive system.
We are accustomed to the modern lifestyles that include unbalanced food diet choices and less physical activity. These oily chemical-filled foods are not easy to digest and may build up provoking lifestyle illnesses such as cancers, obesity, and others. Thanks to the water, fiber, and papain in papaya for their powerful ability to support digestion.
8. Known to Support Bone Health
Papaya consumption helps promote strong bones because of the anti-inflammatory properties and presence of vitamin C which combats the spread or development of arthritis which is a bone disease. Researches have shown that foods rich in vitamin C protect humans against inflammatory polyarthritis and eases pain in patients with arthritis. Papaya is also a source of calcium which is excellent in building stronger bones and promoting repair of wounded body parts. A high intake of calcium is capable of repairing fractured bones. Papaya is among many other foods that will provide you with this crucial nutrient element.
9. Good at Regulating Menstruation
Papain enzyme regulates and eases blood flow during menstruation. This helps relieve pain and cramps that are associated with menstrual periods. Also, papayas produce heat in the body which may stimulate estrogen hormone to induce blood flow thus a smooth coordinated painless cycle. For the ladies with irregular periods, papaya is here for you. Through papain, it helps stabilize the menstrual cycles.
10. Excellent Anti-inflammation Agent
The papain enzyme helps reduce inflammation in the body. It controls the production of proteins that help in regulating inflammation. Beta- carotene is another antioxidant that reduces inflammation effects. Nevertheless, it helps reduce risks of inflammation-related diseases like asthma and arthritis. Another compound named choline also assists in reducing inflammation.
There are several ways in which you can flexibly include papaya in your diet to achieve the best health benefits of papaya;
- Smoothies – Blend papaya with coconut milk and ice for a smooth delicious drink.
- Salad – Make papaya salad and add some sliced other fruits and use ice cream for dressing.
- Dessert – Bake chopped unripe papaya which has been sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar until baked. Serve hot
- Grilled – Slice into halves, scoop out the seeds and grill it.
- Make popsicles – Freeze small sizes of ripe papaya and enjoy.
- Stuffed breakfast – Fill in yoghurt into halves of papaya and blueberry topping and eat it for breakfast.
- Salsa – Chop onions, tomatoes and add sliced papaya. Mix with lime juice for a delicious and nourishing salsa.
Risks and Precautions
Even though the benefits of papaya are numerous, there are a few papaya shortcomings;
Gastrointestinal irritation– Excess intake of papaya especially unripe ones may cause stomach and intestine irritations.
Harmful in pregnancy– Papaya has latex compound which may cause uterine contractions leading to miscarriage. Also, the latex may cause cross-reactions with the immune system developing oesophagus problems.
Why We Recommend
The benefits of Papaya make a good choice. They range from promoting heart health, cancer & bone health to reducing risks of arthritis, diabetes, inflammation, and constipation. Not to mention the delicious beneficial taste it has and the versatility in consumption.
Papaya is a rich source of healthful nutrients that will help control and prevent the risks of some chronic diseases. It is rich in fibre, antioxidants, vitamins, water, minerals and enzymes that help in blood sugar control, aid in digestion, repair and eliminates dead cells, promote healthy skin and fight free radicals that cause damage to cells triggering chronic diseases. Try adding this amazingly sweet and beneficial fruit into your diet and you will see the benefits of Papaya.