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 are also good for us due to the essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc. present in them.
In this article, we will know about the major health and beauty 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 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 a 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.
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(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 help in the detoxification of our system and prevent 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 fight with the free radicals of our body and prevent them from doing damage to our body cells ( including the cells of the 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.
(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 starts 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.
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(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 prevent 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.
(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.
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(16) Regulates Blood Sugar Level
Papayas are very beneficial for 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.
(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 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 way, 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.
Beauty Benefits of Papaya For Skin
(1) Improves Skin Complexion
Papaya is a wonderful fruit that helps our skin in many ways. It is a good source of vitamin C which is an antioxidant that fights with the free radicals of our body and prevents them from damaging our body cells ( including the skin cells).
This helps in removing impurities out of our skin and being a natural bleach, papaya helps in improving our skin complexion. As papaya fights with the free radicals, so it also helps to fight premature aging and help in regaining the lost glow of our skin.
There are many ways through which papaya can be used as a bleaching agent. Some of these are:-
(a) Take some freshly cut papaya slices and rub the flesh part of it on your face, neck, hands, and legs. Let it air dry and then wash off with cold water. Repeat the same for 3 to 4 times a week.
(b) Take a ½ cup of mashed ripe papaya and the juice of one lemon. Mix them together and massage all over our face and neck. After 30 minutes, rinse off with cold water. Doing the same on a weekly basis will help your skin.
(c) Blend one cup of green papaya, one teaspoon of vitamin E oil, one teaspoon of honey and one teaspoon of yogurt together to make a fine paste. Gently massage this paste on your skin and rinse off with cold water after 15 minutes.
(2) Keep Our Skin Hydrated
Water plays an important role in keeping our skin healthy as it moisturizes it, keep it hydrated and at the same time, it also helps in the removal of impurities out of our skin.
About 80 percent of papaya’s weight is water and this makes it an excellent fruit for keeping our skin hydrated.
Although consuming papaya either as a fruit or a juice or smoothie is a good way of providing hydration to our body and skin but the external application of papaya is also effective in keeping our skin hydrated.
For this, mix a ½ cup of raw papaya and some raw honey together and blend them to form a fine paste. Apply this paste on your face and neck and rinse off carefully with fresh water ( after 15 minutes). Pat dry your skin.
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(3) Protects From Premature Ageing
Papaya is a good source of compounds like vitamin C and vitamin E and the alpha hydroxyl acid.
These compounds play an important role in protecting our skin from the signs of premature aging like wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, etc.
Vitamin C being antioxidant protects our skin from premature aging by fighting with the free radicals of our body and thus preventing them from doing damage to our skin cells.
The Alpha hydroxyl acids help in dissolving dead skin cells and prevents aging signs like wrinkles and fine lines. Vitamin C and vitamin E also helps in skin rejuvenation and make your skin look young and refreshed again.
Regular consumption of papaya either in the form of fruit or in the form of juice is the beneficial but external application of papaya is also good for protecting our skin from premature aging.
For this, mash a ½ cup of overripe papaya and add few drops of honey and a tablespoon of milk to it. Mix them together to form a paste and apply on your face and neck. Let it air dry for 15 minutes and then rinse off with cold water.
(4) Controls Acne And Pimples
Papaya is very beneficial in providing relief from acne and pimple which is considered as a major skin problem that affects millions of people all over the world.
Although there could be various factors behind acne the most common factor is the clogging our skin pores by impurities, dust, pollutants, etc.
Papaya contains enzyme papain which is known for its skin cleansing properties that help in removing impurities out of the clogged skin pores and make them unclogged again.
This provides relief from acne and pimples and being an exfoliating agent, papaya is also effective for getting rid of dead and dry skin cells.
For using papaya for acne treatment, extract the juice of some freshly cut raw papaya slices and apply it to the affected area using a cotton ball. Let it sit for 10 minutes and then rinse off with lukewarm water.
Daily application will provide relief from acne and pimples.
Alternatively, you can also rub a slice of freshly cut raw papaya on the affected area for 10 minutes and then rinse off with lukewarm water.
(5) Diminishes Skin Spots
Papaya is very effective in treating black spots, acne spots, brown spots, dark elbow, and knee spots and also for removing tan from our skin.
These benefits of papaya are because of the presence of several enzymes in it.
For using papaya for dark spot treatment, mix a ¼ cup of raw papaya, one tablespoon of lemon juice and a ½ tablespoon of raw honey together.
Apply it on the affected area and then wash off with cold water after some time. Using this face mask 3 to 4 times a week can help in reducing spots of any kind.
(6) Treats Wrinkles and Crow’s Feet
The antioxidantal property of papaya ( because of the presence of vitamin C ) makes it very beneficial for diminishing the appearance of wrinkles around the mouth or forehead, and it is also good for reducing crow’s feet at the outer corners of the eyes.
For this benefit of papaya, take a small piece of raw papaya and rub it gently around the eye area for 5 minutes on a daily basis. Leave it on for 10 minutes and then rinse off with cold water.
Another method is to mix one tablespoon of ripe papaya pulp and a little bit olive oil together. Apply it on the affected area and wash off with cold water after 20 minutes. Apply some moisturizer. Do it on a daily basis.
(7) Heals Cracked Heels
Cracked heels can sometimes be very painful as it can give rise to peeling skin, itchiness, red or flaky patches, bleeding from cracks, etc.
Papaya is very effective for the treatment of cracked heels because of its moisturizing properties.
For using papaya for treating cracked heels, Make a fine paste by mashing one cup of ripe papaya.
Apply it on the freshly cleaned heels and gently wash off your feet with warm water after 15 minutes.
Apply some olive oil on your heels and wear a pair of socks overnight.
Repeating the same every night before going to bed can make your heels soft and smooth.
(8) Lightens Unwanted Facial Hair
Papaya is very effective for getting rid of unsightly facial hair because of the high amount of papain enzyme present in ripe papaya.
Regular application of raw papaya can weaken the hair follicles on our face and prevents the regrowth of hairs.
For treating unwanted facial hair, mix a ½ cup of raw papaya paste and a ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder together.
Apply this paste on the affected area and let it air dry for some time. After this, scrub off the paste and rinse off the face with warm water. Repeating the same every week will help in lightening unwanted facial hair.
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Beauty Benefits of Papaya For Hair
(1) Provides Nourishment To Hair
Papaya is very effective in providing nourishment to our hair because of the number of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, enzymes, etc. present in it.
The presence of these nutrients and enzymes boost hair growth and also improves the strength of our hair.
Papaya can make your hair thick and shiny and also helps fighting baldness. The protein present in papaya helps in reducing split ends.
For using papaya for hair benefits, blend one cup of ripe papaya, one cup of ripe banana, yogurt and one teaspoon of olive oil or coconut oil together. Apply this mask on slightly wet hair and then cover your hair with a shower cap for 30 minutes.
After this, rinse off your hair with warm water. Doing the same on a regular basis will make your hair healthy. Alternatively, you can also consume papaya on a regular basis to enjoy the same benefits.
(2) Helps Controlling Dandruff
Papaya is very effective in controlling dandruff which is known as one of the most common hair problems that affect millions of people all over the world.
This dandruff control benefit of papaya is mainly because of the presence of several enzymes in it.
These enzymes prevent the buildup of oil and impurities on the scalp and minimize the causes of dandruff.
For using papaya for controlling dandruff, blend one raw papaya thoroughly, add a ½ cup of yogurt to it and mix them thoroughly.
Apply this mixture on your scalp and hair. Leave it for 30 to 40 minutes and then wash off with cold water.
After this, shampoo your hair. Doing the same once or twice a week will help not only in treating dandruff but also for adding shine to our hair.
The information contained in the post is for general purpose only and shouldn’t be considered as 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, I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.
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