Papaya Health benefits

Do you enjoy the sweet taste of papayas? Even if you don’t, you might want to consider starting to eat them as papayas have many health benefits apart from just being a delicious fruit. Papaya benefits are not limited to any particular form of the fruit – beneficial nutrients are found in its ripe and unripe forms, both of which are rich in nutritional and mineral value.

If you thought only ripe papayas are edible, think again as unripe papayas have certain nutrients that act as a good digestive aid. You can use them as vegetables as they add a unique and tasty flavor to food. A ripe papaya is sweet to taste, refreshing and fiber-less. It is a great source of antioxidants like vitamin C, A and E, carotenes, folic acid and fiber. These antioxidants help to fight against colon cancer and to promote the health of the cardiovascular system. Papaya has an enzyme known as papain which is a digestive aid as it contains tenderizing abilities which help in breaking down meat consumed. It is also known to have anti-inflammatory qualities.

Health Benefits of Papaya

Folic acid found in papaya helps in the conversion of a substance known as homocysteine, an amino acid. Homocysteine, if unconverted could do direct damage to blood vessels and if the levels of this substance increase, it could lead to heart attacks or strokes. Consumption of papaya, indirectly ingesting folic acid, can prevent heart diseases, diabetes and atherosclerosis. An excellent source of three powerful vitamins C, A and E, papayas helps prevent oxidation of cholesterol. It is able to do this as it is associated with a compound known as paraoxonase, which is an enzyme that stops or reduces HDL cholesterol oxidation and LDL cholesterol. The fiber content in papayas helps in lowering cholesterol levels and also to ease the discomfort of constipation. It is also known to bind colon cancerous cells keeping it away from the healthy colon cells. Enzymes like papain and chymopapain present in papayas help in improving healing from burns and inflammation, people with asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis can benefit from the nutrient of this fruit. The carotene pigment found in papaya gets converted to vitamin A when consumed and promotes good eyesight. Papaya has recently also been known to help smokers or passive smokers as cigarette smoke contains a common carcinogen which brings on vitamin A deficiency. Being rich in vitamin A, this fruit helps in countering the negative effect.

Papaya is also recommended for weight-loss as the fruit is very low in calories, cholesterol free and fat free. Some researchers also believe that the enzyme Papain helps in increasing metabolism and breaks down protein. Dieticians often advise the papaya in their weight-loss diet programs. Since the fruit is packed with vitamins, potassium, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, calcium and iron, it makes for a great energy boosting source. A refreshing papaya juice might just be the thing to prepare you for a long hard day’s work.

Apart from just having health benefits, papaya is also used in beauty products. Papain promotes cell turnover and helps in skin renewal. It is great in exfoliation and its restorative properties soften the skin. Papaya has also been discovered to whiten and improve the skin’s clarity. Its vitamins help in giving the skin the moisture and protection it needs and its anti-inflammatory properties help in healing the skin. And above all, it contains anti-ageing elements. Papaya has become a favorite and leading ingredient in creams, face packs, face washes and even shampoos. Papaya based shampoos are great for getting rid of dandruff.

You can have papayas in salads, in smoothies, as a juice and in its unripe form as vegetables.


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