Health Benefits 101: PAPAYA
Papaya is the kind of fruit that you’ll either love it or you’ll hate it because of its texture, taste, and smell. But as for me, I’m that person who loves it! Papaya isn’t just a flavorful treat for the taste buds. It’s also packed with nutrients and health benefits. Papaya is once considered quite exotic, but they can now be found in markets throughout the year. Although there is a slight seasonal peak in early summer and fall, papaya trees produce fruit all year round.
What is Papaya?
According to drugs.com, Papaya is a small, bushy tree with a hollow trunk, large palmate leaves, and oblong smooth-skinned fruits (melons). The melons are usually picked in a green state and allowed to ripen. When ripe, the flesh is sweet and juicy and similar in taste to other melons.
Did You Know?
- Papaya sometimes used to be referred to as a “tree melon.” In Australia it is called Papaw or Paw Paw.
- The papaya was introduced to Hawaii in the early 1800s. Today, Hawaii is the only U.S. state that grows papayas commercially.
- The seeds of the fruit resemble peppercorns and are edible. They can be ground up and used as a substitute for black pepper.
- A small papaya contains about 300% of the recommended daily amount of Vitamin C!
Health Benefits of Papaya
GREAT FOR SKIN CLEANSING
Researchers believe that the proteolytic enzymes chymopapain and papain in papaya are responsible for their beneficial effects. Beauty experts too, often suggest using slices of papaya as a natural skin cleanser as the active enzymes work wonders to remove impurities.
Papayas have been known to be effective against rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. one of the enzymes found in papayas, called chymopapain, has a significant effect on controlling rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
IMPROVES BONE HEALTH
Papaya intake helps to maintain strong bones. And since Papaya contains Vitamin K, which is important in maintaining good bone health, it improves the absorption of calcium and reduce urinary loss of calcium as well.
AIDS IN DIGESTION
Papaya contains papain, an enzyme powerful enough to tenderize meat, and which helps prevent symptoms due to indigestion. The high fiber and water content also aid in assisting digestion, promoting intestinal motility and helping to regularize and soften stool passage.
IT IS ANTIBACTERIAL
Two of the amazing components of Papaya are papain and chymopapain. That’s why papaya is good for healing wounds because of its antibacterial action.
GOOD FOR YOUR HEART
Having three powerful antioxidant vitamins – namely vitamin A, C, and E, means papayas are helpful in preventing problems such as atherosclerosis and diabetic heart diseases.
Thinking of Ways to Prepare your Papaya?
Papayas offer not only the luscious taste and sunlit color of the tropics, but are rich sources of antioxidant nutrients such as carotenes, vitamin C and flavonoids; the B vitamins, folate and pantothenic acid; and the minerals, potassium, copper, and magnesium; and fiber. In addition with the many benefits of this amazing fruit, below is a photo of the nutritional facts of papaya.