Papaya also known as pawpaw, or carica papaya and tagged as “fruits of the angel” by Culumbus. This exotic fruits once rare and expensive, is now commonly found across the globe and serve as staple food for many health conscious populations. Enclosed by black, rounded gelatinous seeds, the soft edible orange flesh of papayas are sweet and nutritious. All parts of this wonderful fruits are packed with numerous health benefits.
The papain, protein digestive enzymes found in papaya is responsible for its several health benefits. Papayas are also rich sources of antioxidant nutrients such as carotene, vitamin C, and flavonoids, (the B vitamins, folate and pantothenic acid), it also contains minerals such as potassium, fiber, magnesium, and copper in sufficient quantities. These nutrients help to promote the general health condition of the body by fighting several diseases and inflammations makers.
Papaya nutritional value
According to the United State Department of Agriculture, One papaya (140g), fresh, raw contains; 124g of water, 54.6 g of calories (3% DV), carbohydrate 50.1 (210 kj), protein( 2.912.1 kj), sugars 8.3 g, fiber 2.5 g (10% DV), vitamin A 1531IU, vitamin C 86.5 mg 144% DV), folate 53.2 µg (13% DV), vitamin K, 3-6 cmg (5% DV), calcium 33.6 mg (3% DV), magnesium 14.0 mg (3%), potassium 360 mg (105% DV).
Health benefits of eating papaya quick glance
- Good for your digestive health
- Good for your skin health
- Improves your hearth health
- Reduced the risk of cancer
- good for your eye health
- boost your immune system
- reduce your arthritis
- Good for your menstrual health
- Papaya contains anti inflammatory properties
- Papaya is good for your hair
- Papaya prevents diabetics
- Good for weight loss
- Helps reduce oxidative stress
- Helps in wound healing
- Helps relief your toothache
- Good for weight loss
- Treatment for dangerous intestinal worm
Papaya good for your digestive health
Papaya contains digestive enzymes called papain, papian improves your digestion by breaking down protein and improving healthy digestive tract. Improper digestion of protein in your body could result to high blood pressure, constipation and increase your level of diabetics and other complications.
In addition the high content level of fiber and other nutrients like vitamin C, beta-carotene and vitamin E found in papaya improves your digestive health by strengthening the large intestine (colon) from free radicals that may to the cancer of the colon. Take the proper quantity of papaya or incorporate papaya to your diet to enjoy this special health benefit of the fruit.
Papaya is good for your skin health
Papayas contain active nutrients that take care of your skin. The powerful enzyme papain kills dead cells and purifies the skin, thereby reducing wrinkles and dryness in your skin. Also other nutrients like beta-carotene, vitamin A and Vitamin C present in papaya helps improves healthy skin condition.
Several cosmetics and beauty industries use papaya as the active ingredients in their skin care products. Women use papaya as facemask to maintain healthy skin. Several other health benefits of papaya for the skin includes,
Treatment of eczema with papaya
When mashed and applied directly on the affected area, raw papaya can help prevent itching, redness and clear skin off eczema.
Treatment of acne with papaya
Use the thick and even pulp of a ripe papaya as a face mask and leave it on for 15-25 minutes once a day. Wash the paste with cold water. With regular application, you will notice a marked difference.
Treatment of melasma with papaya
Skin discoloration caused by melasma is characterized by symmetrical dark brown to grayish-brown patches on face. However applying simple home remedy with papaya has a very effective result.
Take a ripe papaya, peel it and mash to get a smooth paste. Apply this paste onto the face, focusing more on the dark patches, and leave it one for 15 to 22 minutes. Now wash your face with cool water. Continue repeating this process two-three times week until you get a melasma disappears.
Place half cup of ripe papaya cubes and blend them with two tablespoons of organic honey. Apply this mask on the face for 20 to 25 minutes and then rinse off with cool water. Repeat this process twice or thrice every week for a couple of months or until the pigmentation is gone.
Honey is a natural moisturizer and is also known for its incredible skin regeneration properties. It will lighten the melasma marks, keep your skin hydrated and help skin cell regeneration
Papaya improves your hearth health
Another impressive health benefits of papaya is it enormous benefits for heart health. Papayas are good sources of powerful antioxidants like vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E. These vitamins help to prevent the occurrence of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease.
These nutrients also help to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol. Only when cholesterol becomes oxidized is t able to stick to and build in blood vessel walls, forming dangerous plagues that can eventually cause heart attacks or stroke.
The antioxidants vitamin C and E contained in papayas will help to prevent the cholesterol from sticking to the walls, hence keeping your in great shape.
Papayas are also rich source of fiber, which helps to reduce the cholesterol levels in your system. Papayas are therefore great food that every health conscious person will want to add to their diet.
Papaya could reduce the risk of cancer
Papaya seeds are rich in flavonoids that can reduce the risk of cancer by arresting the development of cancerous cells. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24820939).
Also several clinical studies have links the anti cancer health benefits of papaya to the antioxidant lycopene. According to a research published in the Asia pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating lycopene- rich fruits such as papaya and drinking green tea may greatly reduce a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer.
A control study of 130 prostate cancer patients and 274 hospital control was taken, men who drinks green tea and those who eat lycopene-rich fruits and vegetables such as papaya, watermelon, tomatoes, guava and apricots were found to have 86%-82% reduced risk of cancer prostate cancer compared to those who drink s less of green tea and those who eat less lycopene rich food.
Papaya is good for your eye health
In a data reported in a study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology indicates that eating 3 or more servings of fruit per day may lower your risk of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), the primary cause of vision loss in older adults, by 36%, compared to persons who consume less than 1.5 servings of fruit daily.
Beta-carotene found in papaya and other fruits and vegetable is said to effective in reducing the effect of macular degeneration (ARMD) (http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=47). Adding papaya to your regular meal will be great benefit to your eye health.
Papaya boost your immune system
Another health benefit of eating papaya is that it helps to boost your immune system. It a rich sources of vitamin C and vitamin A, which are very important nutrients that protect your body against the activities of free radicals and other chronic disease.
Papaya can help reduce your arthritis
Papayas also benefit your health by its effectiveness against rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. The active enzymes chymopapain found in papaya helps to minimize the effects of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Chymopapin has found in in a study to increased activities of proteases found in the joints of patients with (rheumatoids arthritis Sabaratnam et al.2007).
Papaya is good for menstrual health
Papayas are good recommendation for women who suffer from periodic menstrual cramps. Papain a protein digestive enzyme found in papaya is responsible for healthy menstrual cycle. It stimulates the production of estrogen in women; there by normalizing the flow of the menstrual cycle and prevents menstrual cramps. Papayas are also tagged ‘hot food’ meaning that it produces heat that stimulates the estrogen hormone, (https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/health-benefits-of-papaya.html).
Papaya contains anti-inflammatory properties
Papaya health benefits also comes as a result the inflammatory that it contain, these includes papain, chymopapain, beta-carotene and vitamin C. Papain and chymopapain are two enzymes that have been shown to reduce inflammation in the body. The beta-carotene and vitamin C are antioxidant also work by reducing the effect free radicals in causing inflammation in your body.
Papaya is good for your hair
The vitamin A that is found papaya helps you maintain healthy hair. Vitamin is nutrients that are required for sebum production which keeps hair healthy and moisturize. Also the anti-fungi ingredient in papaya seeds keeps your away from dandruffs and head irritations.
Papaya prevents diabetics
A 200g of papaya contains about 3.5 g of fiber, foods that are rich in fiber are good for your diabetics health low in sugar are generally good for diabetics patients. In some places papaya, fresh papaya leaves and flower are consume as tea to prevent diabetics, especially type I and type II diabetics.
Papaya may help you reduce stress
It has been established that foods that rich sources of vitamin C, are good for stress management. A 200g of papaya contains about 150g of vitamin C. Food rich in vitamin C, are said to raise the serotonin levels and reduce the levels of stress hormones. Vitamin C also strengthens the immune system. (https://books.google.co.in/books?id=Y8EYCAAAQBAJ&pg).
Papaya helps your wound healing faster
Apart from the edible part of papaya, the roots, leaf, and papaya flowers also contains enormous health benefits. Specifically the extract from papaya seeds has been proved to have been to be useful in the treatment of wounds in many part of the world. Applying crushed papaya seeds to wounds can help in their faster healing.
Papaya seeds show significant antimicrobial activity that helps kill the bacteria in the wound and promotes faster healing.
Papaya relief you of your toothache
A past made from the roots of papaya is very effective as remedy for a person who suffers from toothache. This extraction is applied directly on the teeth and gum, it gives relief to the affected areas and with constant application it could completely heal the affected area.
Papaya is good for your weight loss
Papaya is another great fruits to be added to the diets of people who intend to lose weight. It is low in calories and high in fiber. A 125g of papaya contains about 45g of calories and 2.8g of fiber. A meal of papaya makes you full and keeps your bowel in great shape.
Papaya helps you eliminate the dangerous intestinal worm
Another great health benefits of papaya is it portent in the elimination of roundworms which could cause malabsorption and anorexia, two conditions leading to malnutrition among children and adults population. The digestive enzyme papain in the milk juice is powerful anthelmintic for destroying parasites like roundworm. Also caricin and carppaine found in papaya seeds and leafs respectively are also use to eliminate the dangerous intestinal worms.
Papaya is use to treat dengue fever
Papaya leaves has been proved to be a good treatment for dengue fever. Dengue fever is caused by the Aedes-type mosquito. It symptoms include fever, headache, severe joint and muscle pain, swollen lymph nodes, exhaustion and rashes in the body of the victim. An extract from papaya leaves have been confirm to be effective in treatment of dengue fever.
In India and other tropical countries where dengue fever is prevalent, extracts from papaya leaves has been administered on dengue patients to help boost up the count of platelets and the results were amazing. Papaya leaf juice increase the platelet count of the dengue fever patients.
Tips on how to buy and store papaya
- Always buy organically certified fruits to reduce the rate of exposure to pesticides in your country.
- Always select fresh papayas with reddish orange skin that are soft to the touch as they indicate that the papaya is fully ripe for eating.
- If you intend to eat your papaya in later date, buy the one that have yellow patches on their skin, this indicates that they still slightly unripe and will take a few days to fully ripen.
- Avoid buying papaya that have bruised in their outer layer or too soft, this may a sign of deterioration.
- Buy green and firm papaya if you intend to have them cooked.
- Papaya could be refrigerated to add refreshment to its great taste
- For you semi-ripe papaya, rape them in paper page to have them fully ripen within two to three days.
How to enjoy your papaya
Have a bowl of fresh ripe papaya along with your breakfast or lunch.
Sliced papaya with sprinkled of fresh lime juice is great for your lunch.
Add papaya with your fruit salad taste great.
Pregnant women should avoid the consumption of unripe or semi-ripe papaya, this is because the unripe or semi-ripe papaya contains high concentration of latex that produces marked uterine contractions. If this occurs it may led to miscarriage (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12144723)
Furthermore, those who are allergic to latex are likely to have a reaction to papaya, this is because papaya contain the latex compound.