Papaya is a delicious fruit that grows in tropical climates. The ripe papayas have a vibrant color and sweet taste. Christopher Columbus called it the ‘fruit of the angels’. In the past, it was exotic and rare, but now it is available all the times of the year. It provides a wide variety of health benefits and that’s why you should be eating this fruit more. It has powerful antioxidant effects that lower oxidative stress and the risk of various diseases.
Papaya contains various vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and dietary fiber that can fight various diseases. If you can add medium-sized papaya to your daily meal plan then it will significantly improve your health. When it is ripe, you can make juice from it or add it to your salads and desserts. You can cook the unripe form along with other vegetables to eat. It contains the enzyme papain that helps to break down tough protein chains that are found in meat and that’s why it is used as a meat tenderizer. Eating papaya regularly has a range of health benefits that are discussed here:
1. Promotes Eye Health
- Papaya contains vitamin A and various Flavanoids such as Zeaxanthin and Lutein that protects the mucous membranes of the eyes and prevents age-related disease macular degeneration which may cause blurred vision or blindness.
- Zeaxanthin in Papaya helps to filter out the blue light that is very harmful to the retina.
- It contains Beta-carotene that helps to improve eyesight.
If you work in front of the computer for long hours, it can cause stress to your eyes. Drinking a glass of papaya juice can improve your eye condition. You can add slices of papaya to cereal and have it for breakfast or you can have it during lunch hour along with yogurt.
2. Prevents Cancer
Papaya contains Beta-carotene that can reduce the risk of prostate and colon cancer. It is also rich in antioxidants, Flavonoids, and Phytonutrients that prevent the cells from undergoing free radical damage and prevent various types of cancers such as leukemia, breast cancer, lung cancer, etc.
- Papaya is rich in Lycopene that helps to prevent prostate cancer.
- The seeds and pulp of papaya contain Glucosinolate compounds that have cancer-inhibiting properties.
- The fiber in papaya can bind to the cancer-causing toxins present in the colon and protect the healthy colon cells.
Papaya is a strong antioxidant that relieves the effects of cancer radiotherapy. You must include papaya in your regular diet to reduce the risk of cancer.
3. Improves Bone Health
It is known that low intakes of vitamin K can cause bone fracture. So, adequate vitamin K is required for bone health and papaya has abundant of vitamin K.
- Papaya improves the calcium absorption in the body and decreases the urinary excretion of calcium. So, more calcium will be present in the body to strengthen and rebuild the bones.
- Vitamin C in papaya protects our body from inflammatory Polyarthritis, which affects the joints.
- It helps to prevent arthritis that can significantly lower the quality of life.
- Papain and Chymopapain in papaya have anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce pain at the joints.
Eating papayas can help in keeping various forms of arthritis at bay. So, you should include it in your regular diet.
4. Helps to Control Diabetes
Papaya can help to improve the lipid, blood sugar and insulin levels of type 2 diabetes. If you are suffering from type 1 diabetes, then eating papaya will reduce your blood glucose levels due to the high amount of fiber it contains.
- Papaya has a hypoglycemic effect on the body that helps to lower the blood glucose levels.
- It has a low sugar content and that’s why it is an excellent food choice for those suffering from diabetes.
If you are already suffering from diabetes, then you should consult the doctor to know the quantity of papaya you should consume.
5. Aids in Digestion
Papaya contains the enzyme Papain that aids in digestion. If your body cannot digest food properly then it can lead to various health issues. So, having papaya regularly can ease digestion.
- Papaya is high in fiber and water content that helps to prevent constipation, irritable bowel syndrome or IBS even colon cancer.
- It helps to promote regularity and a healthy digestive tract.
- It contains certain enzyme compounds such as Papain that help our body to break down and use the proteins properly, thus aiding digestion preventing diseases such as arthritis diabetes, high blood pressure, constipation, etc.
- It can promote protein absorption in people who are suffering from other digestive issues.
- It contains high fiber content which helps to prevent constipation. The fiber adds bulk to the stool and helps in excretion. It improves stool frequency and promotes regularity in people who are suffering from constipation.
- It has a high water content that reduces bloating and improves digestion.
- It contains vitamins and folate that helps to reduce motion sickness by producing a tonic effect in the stomach.
Today, it is quite impossible to avoid junk foods. So, if you mistakenly eat junk food in restaurants, eating papaya after coming back home can help in proper digestion of food. Even when you eat meat in your meal, sometimes you may have the bloating feeling. Eating a few cubes of papaya or drinking papaya smoothie can make you feel better.
6. Prevents Heart Disease
Papaya is rich in potassium, fiber, and vitamin that help to prevent heart disease. Consuming papaya increases the potassium intake and reduces the sodium intake which helps in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Papaya contains vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants that prevent the buildup of cholesterol in the arteries and reduces the chance of a heart attack.
- It can lower the blood pressure if eaten on a regular basis and lower the chances of heart disease.
- Carpaine in papaya has a positive cardiovascular effect.
- It is rich in phytonutrients and free radicals that protect our body from heart diseases.
- It can prevent atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease.
- The nutrients present in papaya prevent the oxidation of cholesterol which may form dangerous plaques and cause a heart attack.
- It contains the compound Paraoxonase that inhibits LDL and HDL cholesterol oxidation and protects the heart.
- Folic acid that is found in papaya converts Homocysteine into benign amino acids and prevents the damage of blood vessel walls, thus lowering the chance of heart attack or stroke.
- It contains antioxidants that enhance the protective effects of good HDL cholesterol and so protects the heart.
By including more papaya in your diet, you will be able to keep your heart safe. So, make sure you eat a small bowl of papaya every day.
7. Prevents Inflammation
If you are suffering from diseases such as osteoarthritis, asthma or rheumatoid arthritis, then your condition can get worse due to inflammation. Eating papaya can make you feel better.
- Choline, vitamin C and beta-carotene in papaya help to reduce chronic inflammation which is a root cause of various diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc.
- The protein-digesting enzymes like Papain and Chymopapain also help to lower inflammation and improve healing from burns.
- The enzyme Papain in papaya increases the production of Cytokines that help to regulate inflammation.
Inflammation can cause redness, pain, swelling, joint problems, etc. Papaya can help to ease these conditions and promote good health.
8. Promotes Good Skin
The Proteolytic enzymes such as Papain and Chymopapain help to promote good skin. You can also apply mashed papaya topically to get various skin benefits.
- Papaya helps to keep the skin healthy and young due to its anti-aging properties.
- It contains vitamin C, E, and Beta-carotene that helps to fight wrinkles and prevent skin damage.
- The antioxidants present in papaya help to prevent the formation of free radical. It also doesn’t cause any oxidative damage to the skin.
- It can reduce the skin redness and other damage caused after sun exposure.
- The Papain in papaya helps to kill the dead skin cells and purify the skin.
- It can treat skin disorders such as psoriasis, acne, eczema, etc.
- It acts as a natural cleanser and helps to remove impurities.
- If applied topically, it can treat skin irritations, burns, and wounds.
Papaya is considered to be a revitalizing agent that helps to give you a fresh and younger looking skin. It can also slow down the aging process.
9. Improves Hair Condition
Papaya has rich moisturizing properties and that’s why it’s considered to be a natural conditioner.
- It contains vitamin A that is required for sebum production and keeping the hair moisturized.
- It contains nutrients that prevent hair loss and boost hair growth and strengthening.
- Applying it as a hair mask can help to get rid of dandruff.
Papaya helps to soften the hair and preserve the natural sheen of the hair. You can drink a glass of papaya smoothie for breakfast or lunch to get beautiful hair.
10. Helps to Lose Weight
If you are planning to lose weight, you should include papaya in your diet. It is packed with dietary fiber that aids weight loss.
- Papaya gives a feeling of fullness and controls cravings. So, you will eat less and lose weight.
- It clears your bowel movement and helps you to lose weight.
Eating papaya and doing regular exercises can help in losing weight. If you can maintain your weight, you will be able to prevent various diseases.
Apart from all these benefits, papaya also promotes the detox process and is good for the liver. Drinking a glass of papaya juice can help to prevent a lot of health conditions. You will love papaya once you start developing the taste for it. Most people who love papaya enjoy a bowl of freshly cubed ripe papayas every morning. Besides being an energy booster, it has medicinal properties as well. It can help to naturally treat malaria and parasitic infections. So, you must make it a habit to eat papaya everyday for having good health.