Confused about whether to eat papaya or not? Well, the facts listed below might just help to conclude better. Surprisingly, there are many health benefits of papaya. Some we know and there are plenty that we don’t. So, let’s find out how eating papaya on daily basis can help you improve your health and help you to stay fit and disease free.
A little about Papaya
Papayas are delightfully sweet with muskier taste and very soft, with butter-like in consistency, no wonder why papaya is called as the fruit of angels. They are available in the market throughout the year. Although there is a slight seasonal peak that they are found in early summers but mainly available throughout the year. Papayas are spherical or pear like in shape. Papaya is about 20 inches in size. The common size found in the market is about 7 inches which weigh about one pound. Papayas fruit is found to be very fruity and fleshy which is brightly orange colored with yellow-red or pink hues. The inner part of the fruit consists of black glossy and gellicious seeds which are round in shape. Like papaya fruit, even papaya seeds are edible, although they taste a little bitter. Papain which is found in papaya contains an enzyme which is used in producing digestive supplements and as a major ingredient of chewing gum.
Some Papaya Facts
- The papaya tree can grow from seed to a 20 foot, fruit-bearing tree in less than 18 months. The fruit can range in size from 1 to 20 pounds.
- The exact origination of papaya is unknown but it is believed to be native to southern Mexico and neighboring Central America.
- September is National Papaya Month.
- The white powder sold as “Meat Tenderizer” is composed mainly of an enzyme extract from the papaya, called papain.
- There are two types of papayas, the Hawaiian and Mexican.
- Most people only eat the sweet delicious flesh, but you can also eat the small, black seeds in the center of the fruit. The seeds taste like black pepper. People in some countries use papaya seeds in place of black peppercorns.
Nutritional Value of Papaya
Papayas are an excellent source of vitamin C, and one single medium fruit provides 224 percent of recommended daily intake. One medium papaya has approximately:
- 120 calories
- 30 grams of carbohydrate – including 5 grams of fiber and 18 grams of sugar
- 2 grams of protein
Papayas are also a good source of
- Folate-Decrease risk of birth defects. Adequate folate (or folic acid) intake is essential during pregnancy to protect against miscarriage and neural tube defects in the fetus.
- Vitamin A-Vitamin A plays a critical role in maintaining healthy vision, neurological function, healthy skin, and more. Vitamin A- like all antioxidants- is involved in reducing inflammation through fighting free radical damage.
- Magnesium-Magnesium’s benefits can include reduced symptoms from conditions such as chronic pain, fatigue, and insomnia. Magnesium may also provide protection from a number of chronic diseases, especially those associated with aging and stress
- Copper-Copper is an essential trace mineral necessary for survival. It is found in all body tissues and plays a role in making red blood cells and maintaining nerve cells and the immune system. It also helps the body form collagen and absorb iron, and plays a role in energy production.
- Pantothenic acid-The health benefits of Vitamin B5, also known as Pantothenic Acid, include the alleviation of conditions like asthma, hair loss, allergies, stress and anxiety, respiratory disorders and heart problems.
- Fiber-Fiber promotes the movement of material through your digestive system and increases stool bulk, so it can be of benefit to those who struggle with constipation or irregular stools.
- Apart from that Papaya also contains Vitamin B, lutein, and zeaxanthin, Vitamin K, Vitam E, Calcium, Alpha and Beta-Carotene, Potassium and lycopene.
Health Benefits of Papaya
Papayas not only offer delightful taste and bright attractive colors but are a very rich source of nutrients, vitamins, folate, antioxidants, pantothenic acid, minerals like potassium, copper, magnesium, and fiber. Altogether these nutrients play a vital role in maintaining the health of the cardiovascular system and provide protection against various cancers.
1. Rich in Enzymes
Papaya seeds are rich with high levels of proteolytic enzymes that can help in getting rid of parasites residing in our body. The same strong enzyme can be found in papain also. Both of the enzyme’s source work the same way, both of them breaks down protein in our body and it may also break down parasites and their eggs.
2. Better Digestion System
As papaya seeds have abundant of digestive enzymes, it will help your diet also. Consuming papaya and its seeds will help your body to process food with ease. Not only that, papaya seeds will help in normalizing the acidic environment in our intestinal tract, preventing worms and other forms of parasites from residing in our intestinal tract. That means a healthier and stronger digestion system.
Consuming papaya will help your body to detoxify. Even a small amount of papaya consumed will help you to detoxify your body.
4. Stronger Bones
Papaya seeds are a very rich source of calcium & protein. Regular intake of papaya will help you to maintain stronger bones and stronger muscles.
5. Cure Eye-Disorder
Papaya seed helps one to cure almost every eye related problem. They help the human body to regenerate the cells and provide all the essential nutrients which are necessary for eyes to stay healthy and to cure eye infections like cataract.
6. Increase Appetite for Food
Regular intake of papaya will help you built your appetite. It will increase the vigor & vitality to your body.
7. Cure Liver Disease
Papaya seeds, as well as papaya, provide a lot of health benefits to the internal organs of the human body, including liver. The endless nutrients present in papaya seeds help to heal almost all liver problems. To get most of it, consume papaya seeds on regular basis.
As per the research papaya if very useful to increase the sperm count in men and in the same way it is very useful to improve the fertility of eggs in women.
9. Prevent Kidney Disease
As discussed earlier papaya seeds are healthy for internal organs of human body, they play a major role in maintaining the kidney health and minimize the chances of kidney failure. Isn’t it surprising that a small seed of a fruit can help cure such a huge problem?
10. Minimize the Risk of Cancer
Papaya seeds help prevent the growth of cancer cells.
11. Remedy for your Acne
Consuming Papaya will also help you stay away from acne and help you maintain healthy skin. If you are suffering from acne problems, blend papaya leaves & papaya seeds, add some water to it and apply this mixture a face-pack for 10 minutes. Make sure to wash off after 10 minutes.
12. Keeps the Bacteria away
Papaya contains anti-bacterial properties. Consuming papaya will help you stay away from the bacterial infections residing in your body. The bad bacteria which is dangerous for the human body can be easily killed by regular intake of papaya.
13. Minimize Menstrual Pain
Consuming papaya seeds is believed to ease the menstrual pain for women. It would be better if you mix it with papaya leave, add little honey to make it taste better. Let it chill for a while before drinking it. Because cold beverages are the best, especially the healthy ones.
14. Cures Dengue
Dengue is one of the most dangerous & most unpredictable disease spreading all over Asia. Papaya leaves & papaya seeds will help you cure dengue as it helps to increase the blood level in your body.
15. Prevents Skin Problems
Papaya seeds help you from anti-aging and keep your skin wrinkle-free. It will help your skin to rejuvenate better and helps to replace the dead skin cells.
A Few Ways to Enjoy Papaya
- Mix diced papaya, cilantro, jalapeno peppers and ginger together to make a unique salsa that goes great with shrimp, scallops, and halibut.
- Sprinkle papaya with fresh lime juice and enjoy as is.
- Slice a small papaya lengthwise and fill with fruit salad.
- In a blender, combine papaya, strawberries, and yogurt for a cold soup treat.
The sweet and fruity papaya has endless benefits other than its creamy butter-like texture. Papaya is considered as a very powerful and rich fruit which deserves to be a part of your regular diet. So add this amazing and tasty fruit to your daily diet and help yourself stay healthy.