Papaya is a power-packed fruit with more health benefits than you can ever imagine. Probably that’s why it was reputedly referred to as the “fruit of the angels” by voyager Christopher Columbus.
In the past, this exotic fruit was rare but now it is readily available round the year. It is deliciously sweet and fragrant fruit with musky undertones which you come to love once you develop a taste for papaya.
Once you start liking papaya, it is arduous to get by a morning without digging into a freshly cubed bowl of this delicious and nutritious fruit.
The orange colored flesh of papaya has a soft butter-like consistency which offers excellent nutrition and numerous health benefits.
The luscious taste and sunlit color of papaya are not just delicious but they are an excellent natural source of vitamins and minerals essential for normal functioning of the body.
Amazing Nutritional Facts Of Papaya
Papayas are a rich source of antioxidants like carotene, vitamin C, and flavonoids. They are also rich in vitamin B’s, folate and pantothenic acid. Papaya is also a good source of fiber and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and copper.
Guess what? antioxidants benefits are better absorbed from papayas than from other fruits and vegetables like carrots and tomatoes, according to a study.
The chart below gives you a quick peep into the nutritional composition of a medium sized papaya with the daily recommended values.
|Nutrient||Value||RDA %||Nutrient||Value||RDA %|
|Dietary Fiber||3.0 g||10%||Iron||0.1 mg||1%|
|Fat – total||0.0 g||–||Magnesium||14.0 mg||3%|
|Sugars||8.3 g||–||Mangnese||0.0 mg||0%|
|Omega-3 Fatty acids||35.0 mg||–||Phosphorus||7.0 mg||1%|
|Omega-6 Fatty acids||8.4 mg||–||Potassium||360.0 mg||10%|
|Cholesterol||0.0 mg||–||Selenium||0.8 mcg||1%|
|Nutrient||Value||RDA %||Nutrient||Value||RDA %|
|Vitamin A||1531.0 IU||31%||Vitamin C||86.5 mg||144%|
|Vitamin B12||–||–||Thiamin||0.0 mg||3%|
|Vitamin E||1.0 mg||5%||Riboflavin||0.0 mg||3%|
|Vitamin K||3.6 mcg||5%||Vitamin B6||0.0 mg||1%|
|Choline||8.5 mg||–||Niacin||0.5 mg||2%|
|Folate||53.2 mcg||13%||Pantothenic Acid||0.3 mg||3%|
Source: Nutrient data for this listing was provided by USDA SR-21 and published in nutritiondata.
Percent Daily Values (%DV) are for adults or children aged 4 or older and based on a 2,000 calorie reference diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower based on your individual needs.
Refreshingly sweet and exotic, papaya offers a complete bouquet of nutrients which helps promote:
- Better cardiovascular health
- Offers excellent antioxidants properties
- Helps manage diabetes
- Protects against cancer
- Help lose weight
- Protects against skin damage and heals skin
- Aids digestion
- Prevents Infections
- Protects against age-related Macular degeneration
- Helps ease menstrual pain
- Promotes hair growth
1. Papaya Helps Improve Heart Health
Prevention is better than cure and adding papaya to your diet may be extremely beneficial for your heart.
Papaya is rich in three powerful antioxidants, vitamin-C, vitamin-A and vitamin-E which have shown to help prevent heart disease related to diabetes and plaque build-up in the arteries.
Pro-carotenoid, a phytonutrient present in papaya help preventing cholesterol oxidation which sticks to the walls of blood vessels and forms plaque. Plaque is known to cause heart attacks and strokes.
Vitamin-E and vitamin-C from papaya help in keeping your heart healthy by preventing cholesterol to stick on the artery walls.
We all are aware of the importance of fiber in our daily diets. Papaya is a good source of fiber potassium and vitamin content which helps digestive system and promotes heart health. Fiber may also improve blood sugar control and help in weight management.
Include this nutrient rich fruit to a healthy heart and boost overall health.
2. Papaya Offers Excellent Antioxidants & Anti-inflammation Properties
Papaya is a rich source of antioxidants like vitamin C and beta-carotene which help reduce inflammation in the body.
Studies have shown that unhealthy diets and lifestyle choices drive inflammatory process which leads to chronic inflammation which is the root of many diseases.
Papaya contains some unique protein-digesting enzymes such as papain and chymopapain which have been shown to help reduce inflammation in the body.
Another important nutrient found in papaya is choline. Choline helps absorb fat and reduce inflammation and also aids the body in muscle movement, sleep, memory etc.
Probably that is why people with diseases such as asthma osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis which gets worsened due to inflammation feel better when they consume foods rich in these nutrients.
3. Papaya Is Great To Manage Diabetes
Papaya is rich in minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium and low in sugars which makes it perfect fruit to eat for diabetics.
The papaya extracts can also slow down the progression of type 2 diabetes where the pancreas loses the ability to produce and secrete insulin completely.
According to a study by the Centre of Excellence for Biomedical and Biomaterials Research at the Mauritius University, green tea and fermented papaya work together as preventive means for diabetes.
What’s more? papaya is also rich in antioxidants which protect from diabetes-related heart diseases. Consuming raw papaya could help maintain blood sugar levels and cholesterol.
According to a study by the Mauritian researchers, green tea and fermented papaya work together as preventive means for diabetes and could be economically feasible nutraceutical supplement for the management of diabetes
All in all, papaya is surely a recommended fruit not only for diabetics but for everyone.
4. It Protects Against Cancer
Papaya has gained incredible credibility for its anticancer properties and is being used in many western medicines.
According to a research conducted by Japanese researcher, Nam Dang found that papaya has dramatic anticancer effect against a broad range of lab-grown tumors such as cancer of the cervix, breast cancer, liver cancer, lung, and pancreas.
The researchers used dried papaya leaves extract and found that the anticancer effects were stronger when cells received larger doses of the tea.
According to Dr. Nam Dang, a professor of medicine and medical director of the UF Shands Cancer Center Clinical Trials Office found that the papaya extracts did not have any toxic effects on normal cells and did not have the common and devastating consequence of many cancer therapy regimens like chemotherapy.
Papaya is also a good source of Lycopene which is a cancer-preventative phytonutrient. According to a research published the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, consuming foods rich in lycopene and drinking green tea may dramatically reduce the risk of prostate cancer in men.
5. Papaya Aids Weight Loss And Weight Management
Want to lose weight naturally? Include papaya to your mid-morning snack packed with dietary fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
A cup of cubed papaya yields just 60 calories, 15.6 grams of carbs, 0.4 gms of fat, 0.7 gms of fat. It is also high in fiber which helps you feel fuller for longer and eat less during the day aiding less calorie intake.
This fruit also contains enzyme papain which helps digest proteins and helps clean up intestine walls. Papain may also help the symptoms of constipation, stomach bloat, and heartburn.
A study says that a better functioning digestive system functions better and increases the metabolic rate which in turn helps burn fat.
6. Papaya May Protect Against Skin Damage, Heals And Nourishes Skin
No wonder why papaya and its extracts are so widely used in cosmetics. It has great revitalizing properties and healing enzymes which this fruit so good to nourish and heal skin.
Vitamin-c in this fruit protects the skin from sun damage. It contains papain which works as a natural bleaching agent. helps clear complexion and cleanses the skin of impurities.
Enzymes present in papaya help nourish dry and flaky skin, heal sunburn, irritated skin and make skin soft and supple.
The beta-carotene, phytochemicals, and enzymes such as papain along with present alpha-hydroxy acid work togeather as excellent exfoliators. These papaya properties also help dissolve dead skin cells and inactive proteins leaving you with lighter and softer skin.
You can eat papaya for health and use the peel to treat wrinkles and age spots. Using papaya peel on the skin can remove dead cells which are claimed to be as effective as Retin-A.
Retin-A is a form of vitamin A that helps the skin renew itself.
Applying green papaya or raw papaya pulp helps get rid of dark circles under the eyes and erase skin discoloration.
Papaya peels work wonders on your skin making you look younger and they are also used to treat various skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis, melasma.
Eat the fruit for health and use the skin to look better.
7. Papaya Improves Digestion
Compounds such as papain found in papaya help the body digest meat and proteins better. It also cleanses the digestive tract and ensures a reduced conversion of protein into body fat.
This digestive enzyme offers immense help to people with digestive disorders such as autoimmune and inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel movement, leaky gut.
Including papaya to your daily diets may promote a healthy digestive system. A study published in the May 2007 edition of the “Journal of Medicinal Food” found that papaya pulp and seeds offer very potent antimicrobial activity.
The researchers found papaya seeds to be very effective in treating parasites among children who were tested positive for intestinal parasites. Researchers also found that it did not have any harmful side effects.
Papain along with fiber found in papayas can help boost your digestive health immensely.
8. Papaya Protects Against Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration is an age-related disease of the eye which results in blurred and/or loss of vision. Vitamin-A and beta-carotene deficiency is linked with this disease.
Papaya is fruit rich both, beta-carotene and vitamin-A, which are known to aid in reducing the effects of macular degeneration. Including papayas in your diet may help reduce the risks associated with this disease.
9. Helps Ease Menstrual Pain
Menstrual pain or cramps, also known as dysmenorrhea, can be a very uncomfortable condition for women especially when it occurs every month.
Women who experience this condition should include several servings of this fruit to ease the condition.
Papain, an enzyme found in papayas may provide relief from menstrual pain/cramps and may also help regulate the periods and aid in easing the flow.
So next time you go shopping, add papaya to your list of must buy’s. It is not a just delicious fruit but a powerful nutrient-rich superfood you cannot afford to ignore.
It may ward off many age-related diseases and add few more healthy years to your life, reduce visible signs of aging and get a smooth and youthful glowing skin.
Just eat the cubes, little seasoning makes this fruit even more delicious. Or, just drizzle some honey and lemon for a great treat. You could add it to your salads, smoothies or fruit salad.
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