8 Health Benefits of Papaya: Everything You Did Not Know About this Tropical Fruit.

The papaya is an incredibly healthy tropical fruit – It’s loaded with antioxidants that can reduce inflammation, fight diseases and many more.

Here are 8 health benefits of papaya.

Papayas are mildly sweet, soft, greenish/yellow fruit shaped like a large pear, weighing in at about 1-2 pounds. Due to their mild sweetness, you might be less inclined to add them to your grocery cart.

But let me just stop you right there!

In case you didn’t know, papayas are high in fiber and loaded with key nutrients like vitamins A and C. They add versatility to recipes and can be pureed for sweet and savory sauces.

In addition, papaya also contains a special enzyme called papain – a digestive enzyme that is most known to work as a powerful aid in digestion and body detoxification.

So should we start eating papaya often?

To answer that, we have to go deep into what nutrition papaya brings to the table!

In this article about the benefits of papaya, the following topics will be covered:

What are Papayas?

Before we dive right into the health benefits of papaya, let’s go through the brief summary of what this fruit is!

So what is a papaya?

benefits of papaya Singapore

Papaya is a tropical fruit with orange-colored, sweet flesh and edible seeds that are gathered in the middle of the cavity when opened up. Native to South America and Mexico, papaya is now grown in tropical locations around the world and is especially common in Malaysia for the Asia market.

Papaya is also another versatile fruit that can be found in a variety of dishes from salads and chutneys to stir-fries and desserts. You may eat it whole, or blend it together with other tropical nutritious ingredients such as Mango.

However, you do need to make sure you choose the ripe papayas for the best flavor. Bear in mind that these fruits have a short shelf life, just like many other tropical fruits, so you’d need to store these papayas properly with the right method.

Known as pawpaw, mamao, and tree melon, papaya can weigh up to 20 pounds, the average papaya in the market is about 6 inches long, pear-shaped, and weighs no more than 2 pounds.

Why are some papaya green in color if you mentioned that papayas are orange-colored?

You’re not mistaken. Green papayas are ones that are unripened and raw while orange-colored papayas are the ripened ones.

In fact, papaya flesh can be eaten raw or cooked depending on the recipe.

There are also recipes that use green, unripened papayas, such as Thai cuisines! These green papayas are harvested from the tree before reaching maturity and have seeds that are typically white and are treated as a vegetable rather than fruit.

There are generally no differences in the nutritional content of the ripe and unripe fruits; the benefits of papaya remain consistent across the ripeness scale!

How to Know If a Papaya is Ripe?

Here comes the big question: How to know and choose the best ripe papaya at your local market?

Picking ripe papaya is never complicated as long as you follow these guidelines:

Scent + Texture + Color

By following this characteristics model, you’d have a rough idea of what the selection process for picking papaya would entail!

Favorite Papaya Recipes

Papayas are easily available and are used in various forms like raw and ripe. The raw form usually gets involved in preparations that are flavorsome – from curries, dips to kebabs among many others. Ripe forms are often included in desserts, shakes, and smoothies. Here are my favorite ones:

  • Som Tam (Papaya Salad)
  • Dalma
  • Raw papaya kebab with chutney

The 8 Health Benefits of Papaya

Papaya is a nutrient-dense food. This means each serving of papaya contains low calories but packed a high amount of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Not only are papayas a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and Potassium, but they are also a great source of other phytonutrients! Read on to find out more!

  • Promotes Proper Digestion
  • Soothes Inflammation
  • Strengthens Blood
  • Enhances Heart Health
  • May Have Anti-Cancer Properties
  • Slows Signs Of Ageing
  • Can Help Prevent Asthma
  • Can Prevent Macular Degeneration

Promotes Proper Digestion

benefits of papaya with proper-digestion

One of the most prominent benefits of papaya is its ability to promote proper digestion.

How is that so?

Certain papaya enzyme compounds such as papain can help the body break down and use proteins properly. This digestive enzyme helps to break apart the bonds between amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. Similar to other types of digestive enzymes made in the pancreas, papain also helps bodies digest meat but can work in the absence of acid.

For people struggling with low stomach acid who may not be able to tolerate consuming meat, papaya might be the right fruit for you due to its excellent ability to promote digestion and absorption.

Eating papaya can also help prevent constipation due to its high fiber content. Fiber adds bulk to the stool and eases its excretion out of the body, thus increasing stool frequency in people.

Soothes Inflammation

benefit-of papaya soothes inflammation

Inflammation is a natural immune response designed to fend off foreign invaders and protect against illness and infection. However, it’s a different phenomenon when it comes to chronic inflammation. It is believed that chronic inflammation can contribute to serious conditions like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and more.

Researchers found that eating papaya often may help reduce inflammation and relieve symptoms for people with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. Papain has also been shown to help decrease inflammation and also reverse signs of aging.

Strengthens Blood

Papaya has garnered a good reputation as a blood strengthener to combat conditions like low blood platelets. With this condition, our body finds it difficult to form blood clots which could lead to internal bleeding.

Enhances Heart Health

benefit of papaya promotes heart health

Loaded with antioxidant vitamin C, one of the benefits of papaya is they help users protect against free radical damage. They also reduce the ability of cholesterol from forming plaque along the artery walls, thus protecting against free radical damage.

Papaya also contains folate which can help convert homocysteine – a type of amino acid that when in excess amount is linked to heart disease – into other amino acids to reduce the risk of heart problems.

May Have Anti-Cancer Properties

Papain in papaya has been shown to block the growth and spread of tumors. Meanwhile, benefits of vitamin C and beta carotene found in papaya have been linked to decreased risk of several different types of cancer. In addition to promoting regularity, studies show that increasing the intake of dietary fiber could help lower the risk of colorectal cancer.

Slows Signs of Aging

benefit of papaya slows down aging

Due to high levels of antioxidants like vitamins A and C and flavonoids, papaya is a great fruit to help keep skin healthy and wrinkle-free. Lutein also benefits the skin by increasing skin hydration and elasticity and protects against harmful UV rays.

These antioxidants help prevent the free radical formation and oxidative damage to the skin, which are considered some of the leading causes of aging.

Can Help Prevent Asthma

Beta Carotene has also been shown to help reduce the risk of asthma. Maintaining adequate levels of Vitamin A in diet may be crucial to help reduce airway inflammation.

Can Prevent Macular Degeneration

Woman With Clear Eye Indicating Strong Eye Health

Papaya contains a hearty dose of beta-carotene, one of the many nutrients involved in preserving vision and protecting eye health. Two flavonoids, Lutein & Zeaxanthin can also help prevent macular degeneration. Zeaxanthin helps filter out blue light that can be harmful to the retina to optimize vision as you get older.

Nutritional Value of Papaya

There may be many benefits of papaya – from promoting better digestion to preventing asthma. In fact, these tropical fruits are so great that they only contain a low amount of calories but a high amount of vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin A and C.

To put that into perspective, one cup (about 140 grams) of ripened papaya fruit contains approximately:

nutrition facts-of papaya
  • 54.6 calories
  • 13.7 grams carbohydrates
  • 0.9 gram protein
  • 0.2 gram fat
  • 2.5 grams dietary fiber
  • 86.5 milligrams vitamin C (144 percent DV)
  • 1,531 international units vitamin A (31 percent DV)
  • 53.2 micrograms folate (13 percent DV)
  • 360 milligrams potassium (10 percent DV)
  • 1 milligram vitamin E (5 percent DV)
  • 3.6 micrograms vitamin K (5 percent DV)

In addition to these nutrients listed above, papaya is also a great source of papain – a natural digestive enzyme compounds that could not only act as a source of antioxidant, but also promote digestion!

Who Should Not Eat Papaya?

Papaya may cause allergic reactions in people who are allergic to latex as they contain a substance called chitinase – an enzyme that hydrolyses plant chitin for resistance to fungal diseases.

In addition, papayas have been known to contain GMO seeds to combat the problem with viruses and fungi that this fruit faces. For people who are fearful of all the complications that consuming GMO foods bring, you should not eat papaya. Instead, if possible, you should go with organic.

Papayas also do contain a fairly moderate amount of natural sugars, hence if you have to avoid sugar spikes or sugar entirely, I’d suggest seeking advice from the doctor before consuming papayas!

In Conclusion

Papaya is a great versatile tropical fruit that can not only satisfy your sweet tooth but also contains lots of unique health benefits which your body can take advantage of. The benefit of papaya range from enhanced digestion, improved heart health, reduced inflammation, and many more!

Furthermore, aside from its impressive flavor and nutritional profile, its star ingredient papain is also worthy of praise! Just remember to select organic papaya whenever possible to reduce the risk of exposure to herbicides or pesticides!

In short, papayas are beneficial for your whole body. Therefore, include a bowl of these tropical fruits in your daily diet for a better and healthy you.

Let us know in the comment section down below if you incorporate papaya into your daily diet!

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