Papaya is sweet, delicious and useful tropical fruit. Rich in antioxidants and nutrients, papaya has numerous benefits to offer for your skin, hair, and health. The health benefits of papaya include better digestion, relief from toothache, improvement in the immune system and the promotion of better heart health.
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.
5. Helps in cases of arthritis
Arthritis is a vicious disease that can progress really fast if people don’t take some measures. People who already have arthritis are well-aware that the quality of their lives is reduced. Papayas are excellent fruit for bones because they have powerful anti-inflammatory properties and because of the presence of vitamin C which keeps different types of arthritis away from the system. According to a study presented in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, people who practiced diet that was low on vitamin C had 300% more chances to develop arthritis.
6. Relives menstrual pain
Women who are dealing with strong menstrual pain should increase the intake of papaya during this period. The reason for this practice is simple – the papain enzyme found in this fruit is helping the body with its efforts to regulate and balance flow in time of menstrual periods.
7. Helps the digestive system
No matter how hard you try, you will frequently be forced to consume some “bad” food. This is the price we pay for practicing modern lifestyle. It is not uncommon for modern people to visit a fast food restaurant or restaurant where the food is prepared in way that is not very healthy. By consuming papaya on a daily basis you will help the body deal with these mistakes easier because the papain enzyme together with fibers helps the digestive system.
8. Encourages hair growth
People who live in areas where papaya grows naturally have used this fruit as a hair growth remedy for centuries. Vitamin A found in papaya supports the production of sebum. This compound is very important for the smoothness and moisture of the hair. Papaya extracts that are used externally can help you eliminate dandruff.
9. Slows down the process of aging
The process of aging is inevitable, but this doesn’t mean that we can’t slow it down a little bit. Eating papaya on a regular basis can help you look several years younger than you are. The main ingredients found in papaya that can help you with these efforts are vitamin E, vitamin C and some antioxidants like beta-carotene which protects the skin from free radicals and formation of wrinkles and fine lines.
10. Reduces stress
Once you return at a home after a long day at work it is always a good idea to eat some papayas. This amazing fruit contains many nutrients including vitamin C which can help you forget about stress. A recent study conducted by the scientists from the University of Alabama that taking about 200 mg of vitamin C can help the proper regulation of stress hormone production in lab rats.
11. Prevents cancer
This exotic fruit contains large quantities of phytonutrients, antioxidants and flavonoids that protect your cells from the damage done by free radicals. According to a study conducted in the Harvard School of Public health’s Department, the large amount of beta carotene in papaya can protect the body from the occurrence of colon cancer and prostate cancer.
12. Reduces high blood pressure
Thanks to the potassium found in papayas you can control and stabilize your blood pressure. Papayas are great for people dealing with hypertension.
13. Helps the respiratory system
By eating papayas on a daily basis, you can also improve the work of your respiratory system. Vitamin C keeps the viral infections away and Vitamin A reduces the effects of emphysema.
14. Reduces acne problems
Creating a combination of mashed papaya and one teaspoon of honey is a very good idea for those who are suffering from acne. Put this mixture on your face and leave it for 10 minutes and the soothing antibiotic properties will help your body deal with acne very fast.
15. Reduces high temperature
Papain contained in papaya, helps to treat ulcers, reduces swelling, helps with high temperature and helps the healing of wounds after surgery.