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Papaya: Health Benefits

Papaya is called the “fruit of the angels due to its health benefits.
Papaya is called the “fruit of the angels.”

Papaya is called the “fruit of the angels.” It is a sweet fruit that is oblong, grown in tropical countries, and is usually available around the year.  Besides its delicious taste, papaya is a rich source of vitamin C, minerals, and dietary fiber.  The phytoactive substances present in papaya act as antioxidants.  The enzyme papain, extracted from papaya, aids in the digestion of protein and meat in your stomach.  Inside the fruit are the black seeds, which can also be eaten but are bitter to taste.

Considering its beneficial role in your health, you must undoubtedly add this humble fruit to your diet.

Here are some evidence-based health benefits of apples:

It reduces the risk of heart attack. 

The heart pumps blood to all your organs.  Sometimes, the level of bad cholesterol in your body may increase due to increased fatty food intake and a sedentary lifestyle.  This cholesterol may form plaques inside your small blood vessels, blocking the blood supply.  This blockage can result in a heart attack.  The heart cells are also under attack by free radicals, which may harm them.

Adding it to the diet can support your heart health in many ways.  Scientific evidence has confirmed that people who took fermented papaya supplements for two weeks had a lowered level of bad cholesterol  (low-density lipoproteins or LDL).  LDL fats are responsible for heart diseases.[1] 

It also contains a high amount of lycopene and Vitamin C.  They are also instrumental in preventing heart diseases.  Its antioxidants may enhance your heart health by supporting good cholesterol (high-density lipoproteins).  [2]

Aids digestion

When we eat food, it is acted upon by various enzymes inside our digestive tract.  These enzymes break down complex compounds into simple molecules.  For example, proteins are broken down into simple amino acids, and only these simple compounds can be absorbed into your blood and utilized by the body. Papaya is rich in enzyme papain. This enzyme can support your natural stomach enzymes to break down complex meat proteins quickly.   Papaya is also rich in fiber and helps relieve constipation and irritable bowel disease symptoms.

In one research study, a group of people who were given papaya-based supplements for 40 days got relief from constipation and bloating.  [3]

The plant’s seeds, leaves, and roots are known to treat gastric ulcers in animals and humans.  [4]

Lose weight
The fruit contains dietary fiber, minerals, and many essential vitamins.  The fiber in it is a soluble fiber that swells up on sucking water from the gut.  Eating papaya can give you a feeling of fullness in the stomach and make you eat less.  It also aids bowel movement and supports your digestive health.  If you are dieting, this fruit is the perfect snack.  It is low in calories.  One cup of raw papaya containing 1″ pieces of about 145 gm contains only 60 kcal of energy.
It Improves the health of your eyes.

One of the chief causes of blindness globally is the deficiency of Vitamin A. Lack of vitamin  A in the diet can result in xerophthalmia.  It is the abnormal dryness of the eyes, which, in the long term, can lead to blindness. Papaya fruit is one of the rich sources of vitamin A.  It can help you prevent vitamin A-related blindness and keep your vision healthy.  Vitamin  A can also help treat the retinal degenerative disease of the eyes.  Its antioxidants can also protect your eyes from oxidative stress-related damage by free radicals.  [5]

It helps you to relax.
You may frequently feel stressed due to work and performance pressure.  In stress, there is a release of stress hormones, which may manifest as different symptoms in your body.  Relishing a plate of fresh fruit is always refreshing at any time of the day, and you may have it as breakfast or as part of an evening snack.  A plate of sliced papaya can help you to ease your stress.  Vitamin C in papaya can help you relax and rejuvenate your energy stores for the next day.  A study at the University of Alabama demonstrated that an intake of about 200 mg of Vitamin C could help control stress hormones.
Vitamin C in papaya can help you relax and rejuvenate your energy stores.
Vitamin C in papaya can help you relax and rejuvenate your energy stores.

Papaya has powerful antioxidants.

Fresh papaya is an excellent vitamin C, carotenoids, and lycopene source.  All these substances are potent antioxidants.  They can neutralize the free radicals in your body and protect you from oxidative damage.  It is worth mentioning that many commercial antioxidant supplements use papaya extract for preparation.    [6]

Research studies have found that fermented fruit may reduce oxidative stress in people suffering from prediabetes, liver disease, and mild hypothyroidism.  Papaya is also thought to prevent people from Alzheimer’s disease by inhibiting oxidative damage to the DNA.  Due to its potent antioxidant activity, papaya can protect you from various cancers, such as the breast and stomach.  [7]

Add glow to your skin and heal wounds.

Not only can papaya keep you healthy from the inside, but it also keeps your skin toned.  It can add glow to your skin and make you look more youthful.  The free radicals in your body are generated as byproducts of metabolism.  They may react with your body cells to cause cell damage.  This damage is responsible for many age-related skin changes resulting in wrinkling and sagging.  [8] The vitamin C and lycopene contained in papaya are potent antioxidants.  They can protect your skin from these free radicals.  Vitamin C can also help your body to synthesize collagen, which may keep your skin healthy and young.  In one study, using lycopene for 12 weeks reduced skin redness due to sun exposure.   [9]

  1. Can I eat papaya while pregnant?
    Yes, eating papaya in moderation is generally considered safe during pregnancy. However, it’s essential to be cautious with unripe or semi-ripe papaya, particularly the “raw papaya.” Raw papaya contains high levels of papain, an enzyme that may stimulate contractions and potentially lead to pregnancy complications. Therefore, avoiding large amounts of raw or semi-ripe papaya during pregnancy is advisable.
    Fully ripe papaya, on the other hand, is generally safe when consumed in moderate quantities. It provides essential nutrients like vitamin C, folate, and fiber, which can benefit the mother and the developing baby. As with any dietary concerns during pregnancy, it’s recommended to consult with a medical expert for personalized advice based on your specific health conditions and needs.


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