Papaya is sweet, delicious and useful tropical fruit. After trying papaya in the late 15th century, Christopher Columbus called it “fruit of the angels”. Does papaya deserve this flattery?
Papaya (Carica papaya) is a large tropical shrub that reaches from 6 to 9 meters. The fruits of papaya resemble in shape and color like cantaloupe. Have a yellow-green skin and pink-orange marrow with a large number of black seeds that are used dried and grounded as a condiment.
The taste of papaya is between melon and peach. Not surprisingly, in China and Sri Lanka is called “tree melon” in Cuba is known as “fruta bomba”, in the Dominican Republic as “lechosa”, and in the Caribbean is popular as “papaya” and thus received its official name. The stem, the leaves and unripe fruit of papaya contain milky white latex and therefore it is used in the manufacture of this important raw material.
The exact origin of the papaya is not known, but the region of southern Mexico and Central America is considered for its home. Papaya seeds are found back in 1525 in Panama and in the Dominican Republic and about a century later commercial fleets of Spain and Portugal distribute them in Central America, India and Europe. Today, the main producers of papaya globally are Hawaii, the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka and tropical Africa.
Top 15 Health Benefits of Papaya
1. Helps to lose weight
Even a medium sized papaya has no more than 120 calories. In case you want to start practicing a healthy diet in order to lose weight make sure to add this fruit on the menu. In addition, papayas are rich in dietary fiber that helps the weight loss process by suppressing appetite and preventing food cravings.
2. Stabilizes the cholesterol levels
As previously mentioned, papayas are packed with fiber, but they also contain Vitamin C and some antioxidants that can stop the accumulation of cholesterol in the arteries. An accumulation of cholesterol in this area can lead to heart attack or even stroke because it can clog the arteries entirely.
3. It is very helpful for diabetics
Although they are known for their sweet taste, the fact is that papayas contain very small amounts of sugar (only 8 grams in one cup of papaya). They also have low glycemic index. In other words, papayas are great fruits for those suffering from diabetes. The phytonutrients and vitamins found in papayas protect diabetics from heart disease development. Of course, people who are not dealing with diabetes can use this fruit as a substitution for sweet products.
4. Boosts the immune system
An immune system that is functioning properly protects people from different infections that can lead to serious illnesses and diseases. By taking only one papaya you will get more than necessary amount of vitamin C for your body during the day.