Papaya ( Carica papaya ) or Pawpaw is a fruit grown on the tropical plant of the same name. Papayas were called as “fruit of the angels “ by the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus because of their soft and butter-like consistency. Papayas are not only delicious in taste but is also good for our health and for skin and hair because of the presence of a large number of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants etc. present in them. In this article, we will know about the major health benefits of papaya but before we do that, let’s take a look at the below-mentioned nutrition chart of papaya to know about the major nutrients present in this soft fruit.
Nutrition Chart of Papaya
Health Benefits of Papaya
(1) Keep Our Digestive System Healthy
Papayas are very beneficial for keeping our digestive system healthy because of a digestive enzyme, “papain” present in it. This enzyme improves digestion by breaking down proteins and by cleaning our digestive tract. This reduces the conversion of protein into body fat and thus keep our digestive system healthy. Proper digestion of protein is important as undigested protein may cause problems like arthritis, constipation, diabetes, hypertension and other health problems.
(2) Promotes Weight Loss
At present obesity is a major health problem that affects billions ( Yes, billions ! ) of people all over the world. As per WHO, it has reached an epidemic level and in 2008 alone, around 1.4 billion people were suffering from obesity and around 2.8 million people die every year because of obesity.
Obesity is also a major cause of various other health problems heart attack, stroke, liver and kidney problems etc. and it is, therefore, important for us to keep us away from obesity. Although there could be many causes of obesity like diet, lifestyle, genes, hormones etc. but the most important problem is “having too much weight” and this problem can be easily solved by following a healthy low-calorie diet and by doing regular exercise.
Papayas are very beneficial for losing weight because of the low calorific value of papaya and also because of the detoxifying property of papaya which helps in cleaning our digestive tract.
So, if you want to lose weight, then simply enjoy a bowl of papaya either as mid-evening or mid-morning snack. It will help not only in weight loss but will provide other benefits too.
(3) Prevents Infections
Regular and moderate consumption of papaya is very effective in protecting us from the infections and from the complications associated with the infections because of its ability to kill intestinal worms.
(4) Provide Relief From Toothache
Toothaches can be very painful and intense, and sometimes they can be so strong that they can make our whole body shiver. For maintaining a better oral health, it is important to take good care of our teeth and gums. Papaya is good for our teeth and can be used for providing relief from a toothache.
For using papaya for toothache relief, make a paste of fresh papaya roots and massage it on your teeth and gums for few minutes. It will provide quick relief from a toothache. Bark ( mainly the inner bark ) of papaya can also be used as an alternative to roots.
(5) Reduces The Risk Of Various Types Of Cancers
Papayas possess anticancer benefits and are very effective in reducing the risk of development of various types of cancer like breast cancer, pancreatic cancers and other types of cancers.
As per a study conducted by a university of Florida research Nam Dang, it was found that extract from the dry papaya produces an anti-cancerogenic effect against tumor cells. Because of the anticarcinogenic benefit of papaya, it has been used in many western medicines.
(6) Lowers Bad Cholesterol
Regular and moderate consumption of papaya is very beneficial for lowering the bad cholesterol level in our body and for improving the overall health of our body. Too much cholesterol is not good and can give rise to other health problems like heart problems, heart attack,strokes, high blood pressure etc.
Papayas are a good source of vitamin C which is an antioxidant and prevents the free radicals from doing damage to our body cells and the dietary fibers helps in the detoxification of our system and prevents the cholesterol from building up in our arteries.
(7) Keep Our Cardiovascular System Healthy
Regular consumption of papaya is good for our heart health and helps in keeping our cardiovascular system because of the presence of strong antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin E in it. These antioxidants fights with the free radicals of our body and prevents them from doing damage to our body cells ( including the cells of cardiovascular system).
Other than this, papayas are also high in pro-carotenoid phytonutrients which prevent the oxidation of cholesterol. When cholesterol oxides then it sticks to the walls of arteries, damage them and give rise to heart attack and strokes. Antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E prevents cholesterol from sticking to the walls of arteries.
Suggested Read-10 Amazing Beauty Benefits of Papaya For Skin & Hair
(8) Provides Anti-Inflammatory Benefits
Papayas are anti-inflammatory in nature and are very effective for providing relief from the inflammation in different parts of the body. This anti-inflammatory property of papaya is mainly because of the presence of enzymes like papain and chymopapain, and vitamin C in it.
In addition to this, papayas are also effective for chronic inflammation because of the presence of choline in it. Choline also provides some other benefits like maintaining the structure of cellular membranes, aids in the transmission of nerve impulses and helps in the absorption of fats.
(9) Prevents Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Taking good care of our eyes is important as they allow us to enjoy the beauty of the world and what’s going on around us. In general, our eyesight stays good when we are young but as we age, it start getting weaker and we also start becoming a victim of eye disorders. One such common eye disorder is age-related macular degeneration which can make our vision blurred and can sometimes even cause blindness. This is an age-related illness in which ocular cells of our eyes get degenerated.
Papayas are very beneficial for reducing the risk of the development of age-related macular degeneration because of the presence of beta carotene in it. Beta carotene is an important nutrient that provides color to papaya and also improves our eyesight and prevents our eyes from age-related macular degeneration.
As per a study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology, consuming 3 or more servings of fruit on a daily basis may lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration.
(10) Provides Relief From Constipation
Regular consumption of papaya is good for our stomach as it helps in keeping our digestive system healthy and provides relief from constipation. This benefit of papaya is mainly because of the presence of dietary fibers, vitamin C, vitamin E and folate in it. These compounds form a tonic effect in our stomach and intestines and improve their function.
The dietary fibers present in papaya improves bowel movement and ensures that the stool gets excreted out of the body in a smooth manner.
(11) Regulates Irregular Periods In Women
consumption of green, unripe papayas juice is very beneficial for women with irregular periods as it helps in normalizing the irregular period cycle. As per Ayurvedic definition, papayas are hot in nature and consuming them produces heat in the body.This excessive heat production in the body stimulates the estrogen hormone. This leads to the period in females and in this way, papaya helps women with irregular periods.
(12) Effective Against Rheumatoid Arthritis And Osteoarthritis
Papayas are anti-inflammatory in nature and this is what makes them effective against rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
In addition to this, they also contain an enzyme known as chymopapain which helps in controlling rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
(13) Make Our Immune System Stronger
Regular consumption of papaya boosts the immune system of our body because of the presence of super antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin E in it. The antioxidants fight with the free radicals of our body and prevents them from doing damage to our body cells ( including the immune system ).
The immune system is an important system of our body that protects us from diseases and illness by combating with pathogens ( like bacteria and virus ) responsible for the diseases, and it is the immune system that works towards the healing process when we get ill.
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(14) Prevents Asthma
Regular consumption of papaya is good for keeping our respiratory system healthy because of the presence of beta carotene in it. Beta carotene is an important nutrient that makes our lung stronger and also reduces the risk of development of lung cancer and is also good for lowering the risk of asthma development.
(15) Good For Bones
Regular consumption of papaya is good for our bones and helps in making them stronger because of the presence of vitamin K in it. Many of us know the importance of calcium for bone health but it is important to note that vitamin K is equally important for bone health. Vitamin K is an important nutrient that improves the absorption of calcium by bones and also reduces the excretion of calcium in the urine.
(16) Regulates Blood Sugar Level
Papayas are very beneficial for the people suffering from diabetes because of the presence of dietary fibers in it. The dietary fibers reduce the rate at which sugar is absorbed into the blood and thus helps in controlling our blood sugar level. Papayas are low in sugar ( 8 grams per 100 grams ) with a glycemic index of 60 which is considered as a medium glycemic index (source ).
(17) Reduces Stress
Stress is a cursed gift of the modern day lifestyle and is known responsible for giving rise to many other health problems like asthma, diabetes, headache, obesity, anxiety, Alzheimer’s disease etc ( source ). It is, therefore, important for us to make sure that we do our best to keep our stress level under control and papaya is very beneficial in helping with the same because of the number of nutrients present in them.
(18) Provide Relief From HyperTension
Papaya is very beneficial in controlling the high blood pressure and provide relief from hypertension because of the presence of potassium in it. Potassium is an important nutrient that not only regulates blood pressure but is also good for our brain as it increases the alertness of our brain.
Hypertension is a serious health problem that can give rise to many other health problems like heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, blocked arteries, less damage etc. ( source ). Consuming papaya not only protects us from hypertension but also from the risks associated with hypertension.
(19) Cures Ulcers And Wounds
Papaya is very effective for curing ulcers and wounds. For getting relief from external wounds, take pulp of papaya and apply it on the affected area. In the same papaya juice is effective for curing chronic ulcers. For this, take some fresh papaya juice and add some butter to it. Apply this mixture on the affected area. This will dry up the ulcers and will heal them quickly.
These were some of the major health benefits of papaya. Although Papaya is a healthy fruit and there are many health and beauty benefits of papaya but still it is better to eat them in moderation as there are also some side effects of eating too much papaya.
The information contained in the post is for general purpose only and shouldn’t be considered as a medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my best to keep the information contained in this post as accurate and updated as possible, but I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.
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