Papaya, popularly known as pawpaw, is a sweet-tasting fruit with several health benefits. Just like many other fruits, Papaya is very rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E, etc. If you want to know all the health benefits of papaya, then this article is for you.
Papayas are originally from Central America. They grow in regions with tropical climates and is available most times of the year. Given its appealing colour and sumptuous taste, not forgetting its health benefit, papaya has become a widely consumed fruit.
Carica papaya, as it is scientifically called, is a yellowish fruit with black tiny seeds inside. Although bitter, the seeds are safe to eat.
Without wasting much of your time let us dive right into the real deal – the health benefits of papaya.
Important Health Benefits Of Papaya
Papaya is known to be nutritious and can help protect the body against a variety of diseases. Some of the health benefits of Papaya include:
1. Improved Heart Health
The vitamin, fibre and potassium content in papaya can help to ward off heart disease. Apparently, most fruits and vegetables have low sodium content. And excess salt can lead to a build-up of fluid around the heart and lungs, and consequently, making the heart work harder.
So a good intake of papaya will lead to an increase in potassium intake which also means a decrease in sodium intake.
This potassium and sodium exchange is an essential dietary change that can decrease the danger of cardiovascular disease. The body still needs sodium for some functions. However, too much of it can lead to high blood pressure which is a principal risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
2. Prevention of Stroke
Sodium is vital in regulating blood pressure, blood volume, osmotic equilibrium and pH, but too much consumption of dietary sodium (salt) results in fluid retention and subsequent rise in blood pressure and hypertension which consequently, results in a high risk of stroke.
Diabetes is a condition in which the body either produces less insulin or does not use it properly. papaya contains flavonoids, which help in regulating blood sugar and also has a medium Glycemic Index. Furthermore, Papaya contains Magnesium, Calcium, Potassium and Vitamin C.
So, papaya is safe to eat if you’re living with diabetes.
Adding one or two fruits to your daily diet can help in improving your overall health, but make sure you go for fruits with a low glycemic index like Cherries, Grapefruits, Avocados, Carrots, Vegetables, Apples and Oranges, etc.
Moderation, however, is key so that it doesn’t spike sugar levels. Do not take too much Papaya.
4. Papaya is a Powerful Antioxidant
Papayas possess healthful antioxidants known as carotenoids — notably one type called lycopene, which has the ability to remove excess iron. And it is pertinent to note that your body absorbs these healthful antioxidants better from papayas than other fruits and vegetables.
Antioxidants, generally, can counteract free radicals – Free Radicals are reactive molecules produced during your body’s metabolism. They can stimulate oxidative stress, which consequently, can result in disease.
Studies have shown that fermented papaya can lower oxidative stress in older adults and people with prediabetes, mild hypothyroidism and liver ailment.
5. Fight Against Skin Damage
Just like we have mentioned above, the body’s metabolism results in the production of free radicals. According to research, these radicals are responsible for the majority of skin damages that comes with ageing, say sagging, wrinkling.
Fortunately, Papaya contains Lycopene which is known to protect the skin and may help reduce these signs of ageing.
6. Anticancer Properties
The reactive strategy of anoxidants present in Papaya is to convert the oxidants to less reactive species thus reducing the risk of cancer which these reactive oxidants can cause. According to research, it can also help decrease to growth of tumors.
7. Fights Against Inflammation
Inflammatory diseases are diseases that occur when your body fights against its own tissues, resulting in inflammation. The white blood cells protect the body against virus and diseases.
But inflammation occurs when they are no diseases to fight off and so these white blood cells and other things that are meant to protect you begin to fight the body’s tissues. And that is where fruits like Papaya that are rich in antioxidants come in – they help to reduce these inflammatory markers.
8. Papaya is Beneficial to Bone Health
Sufficient vitamin K intake is vital for good health. It improves calcium absorption and may reduce urinary excretion of calcium. This means that there is more calcium in the body which would help to maintain and rebuild bones. And remember, calcium is one of the content of Papaya.
9. Papaya Aids in Digestion
Papaya contains an enzymeknown as papain. This enzyme enables protein easier to digest. Papaya is also helpful In improving bloating and constipation.
It relieves various disorders, like symptoms of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) -Research has proven this to be correct.
10. Skin Benefits
Just like many other fruits, Papaya is very helpful with skin issues and has many benefits on the skin. Which explains why some beauty products has papaya as one of its content.
Moreover, Research has shown that proteolytic enzymes chymopapain and papain in papaya is beneficial for promoting wound healing.