Delicious and refreshing fruit papaya, enclosing hundreds of black, gelatinous seeds, is a staple during summer. It becomes almost impossible to leave the house without digging into a bowl of fresh papayas. But there’s a lot to this fruit besides providing relief from the harsh heat of summer. Also referred to as the ‘fruit of angels’ by Christopher Columbus, papaya has some of the most amazing benefits which many are not aware of. Below we’ll discuss some of the unheard benefits of papaya for health, skin, and hair.
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Nutritional Value Of Papaya:
This bright, tropical fruit is a source of nutrients like carotenes, flavonoids, antioxidants, Vitamin A, B, C and E, fiber, magnesium and more. Take a look at the complete list papaya’s nutritional value below.
Principle Nutrient Value Percentage of RDA Energy 43 Kcal 0.02 Carbohydrates 0.08 Protein 0.47 g 0.01 Total Fat 0.26 g 0.01 Cholesterol 0 mg 0 Dietary Fiber 1.70 g 0.04 Vitamins Folates 37 Âµg 0.09 Niacin 0.338 mg 0.02 Pantothenic acid 0.218 mg 0.04 Pyridoxine 0.038 mg 0.03 Riboflavin 0.027 mg 0.02 Thiamin 0.023 mg 0.02 Vitamin A 950 IU 0.32 Vitamin C 60.9 mg 1.02 Vitamin E 0.30 mg 0.02 Vitamin K 2.6 Âµg 0.02 Electrolytes Sodium 8 mg 0.005 Potassium 182 mg 0.04 Minerals Calcium 20 mg 0.02 Iron 0.25 mg 0.03 Magnesium 21 mg 0.05 Phosphorus 10 mg 0.01 Zinc 0.08 mg 0.005 Phyto-nutrients Carotene-ÃŸ 276 Âµg -- Crypto-xanthin-ÃŸ 761 Âµg -- Lutein-zeaxanthin 75 Âµg --
Benefits of Papaya For Health:
Not just the fruit, all the other parts of papaya tree are beneficial to the health in some way or the other. Some of the amazing benefits of papaya for health include:
- Improves Digestive Health:
This is one of the most popular health benefits of papaya. Indigestion of protein by the body can cause several health conditions like diabetes, arthritis, constipation and high blood pressure. But the compound papain present in papaya improves digestion by breaking down proteins and cleaning the digestive tract. This reduces the conversion of protein into body fat marginally.
- An Excellent Fruit For Diabetics:
Despite being a sweet fruit, papaya is a nourishing fruit for people who have diabetes. That’s because the sugar content in papaya is very low, with a cup of sliced papayas containing just 8.3 grams of sugar. The phytonutrients and vitamins present in this fruit will also prevent heart diseases in diabetes patients.
- Papaya Juice Induces Period:
If you’re suffering from irregular periods, papaya juice can be beneficial for you. Papaya, especially unripe papaya is considered a hot food, which means it produces heat in the body. Excess production of heat stimulates estrogen hormone in the body, thereby inducing period in women.
- Improves Immunity:
Consumption of papaya is also linked with improved immunity. Research conducted by Hiramato, Sato, Mori and Inoue in Japan has proven that papayas can improve the immune system of people. Not just the fruit, even the root, and flowers of papaya plant is proven effective against bronchitis, jaundice, and colic.
- Papaya Aids In Weight Loss:
Papaya is excellent for people trying to lose weight naturally. It contains significant high levels of fiber, which promote weight loss by making you feel full and controlling cravings for sugary food. All you need to do is include a bowl of papaya in your diet as a mid-morning or evening snack. And don’t worry. This fruit is low in calories too!
- Provides Relief From Toothache:
If you’re suffering from mild to a moderate toothache, just massage fresh paste of papaya roots on the teeth and gums. It will provide you relief in no time. Apart from the roots, the inner bark of the papaya tree is also helpful in giving relief from tooth and gum ache.
- Papaya Contains Anti-Cancer Properties:
Researchers have discovered that papayas can be extremely effective against pancreatic, breast and other types of cancer. A study conducted in Japan found that papaya leaf extract had anti-carcinogenic effects against the tumor cells.
- Improves Heart Health:
Papaya seeds contain three potent vitamins, namely, Vitamin A, C, and E, which can help prevent problems like diabetic heart diseases and atherosclerosis. Pro-carotenoid phytonutrients and vitamins in the papaya fruit prevent oxidization of cholesterol in the body, thereby preventing strokes and heart attacks. Being a healthy source of fiber, papaya will also keep your cholesterol in check.
- Prevents Macular Degeneration:
In macular degeneration, the ocular cells are degenerated, resulting in blurred vision and even blindness in some cases. Papaya contains beta-carotene, an antioxidant that’s proven to improve eyesight and reduce the effect of macular degeneration. Research published in the Archives of Ophthalmology concluded that a daily consumption of 3 or more servings of papaya could lower the risk of macular degeneration.
- Prevents Arthritis:
Research published in “Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases” concluded that people who included less amount of vitamin C in their diet were three times more likely to suffer from arthritis. The anti-inflammatory properties of papaya, combined with Vitamin C and calcium in the fruit can keep arthritis at bay.
Benefits Of Papaya For Skin:
The revitalizing properties of papaya make it an excellent addition to several cosmetics and skin care products. Papaya fruit is incorporated in several facials and face masks too. Let’s check out some of the astonishing benefits of papaya for skin.
- Reduces Acne:
Papaya latex is very useful for treating pimples and acne. A diet rich in papayas will also cure all the internal conditions, making the skin clear and pimple free.
- Prevents The Signs Of Ageing:
As surprising as it may sound, a regular consumption of papaya can make you look five years younger than you really are. It’s also rich in antioxidants like beta-carotene and vitamin E, nutrients which counteract free radicals damage and keep wrinkles and fine lines at bay.
- Promotes Skin Healing:
When applied topically, papaya can promote wound healing and prevent infection. Researchers opine that papain and proteolytic enzymes chymopapain is responsible for the skin healing properties of papaya. Even ointments containing papain are believed to treat bedsores or decubitus ulcers.
- Treats Psoriasis And Eczema:
Papain in papaya will exfoliate the dead skin cells to cure skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. When applied directly to the skin, papaya will also treat itchiness and redness. To prevent and cure eczema and psoriasis, you should drink a glass of papaya milk daily.
- Clears Skin Pigmentation:
Papaya can come to your rescue if you’re suffering from uneven skin tone and pigmentation. Papaya is believed to have skin lightening properties, which can help clear pigmentation and blemishes. Also, phytochemicals, enzymes, and beta carotene can promote skin lightening. The alpha hydroxyl peroxide present in papaya will also dissolve the inactive protein and dead skin cells, making your skin lighter and fairer. This feature of papaya can help clear dark circles as well.
Benefits Of Papaya For Hair:
- Gives Strong And Healthy Hair:
Besides keeping the skin and body healthy, papaya can also give you beautiful mane. Vitamin A in papaya promotes sebum secretion to keep the hair smooth, moisturized and shiny. A topical application of papaya extract on the scalp will also help you get rid of dandruff.
- Stimulates Hair Growth:
This is one of the little-known benefits of papaya. Folic acid in papaya will improve circulation in the hair follicles to promote hair growth.
Selection And Storage Of Papaya:
While purchasing papaya, ensure that it has reddish orange skin and is a soft touch. Store ripe papayas in the refrigerator. Unripe papaya can be kept at room temperature.
How To Eat Papayas:
- Papaya are delicious on their own, but if you want you can soak it in honey and lemon juice to make it more palatable.
- Or make a smoothie with strawberries, papaya, and yogurt. It will be a treat for your taste buds.
- You can even add a slice of papaya to your fruit salad or breakfast cereals and oats.
- Make a delicious salsa, using papaya, mango, red peppers, jalapeno and chipotle pepper.
Side Effects Of Papaya:
The benefits of papaya are plenty, but there are a few side effects you must be wary of. These include:
- Papaya can cause miscarriage in pregnant women as it’s a hot food.
- Papaya suffering from latex allergy should avoid eating papayas as it can lead to a serious reaction.
These amazing benefits of papaya for health, skin, and hair must have got you all by surprise now. So why wait? Head to the supermarket and get some papayas right away.