Carica papaya is a herbaceous perennial plant, which belongs to the family Caricaceae. It is a tropical plant that eventually, produces oval-shaped fruits when it grows. This is the most popular fruit which is grown in different parts of the world with a wide range of varieties. The most common varieties of papaya are the Mexican variety and the Hawaiian variety. It is actually native to tropical America which gradually spread to most tropical and subtropical countries with time. However Now it is widely cultivated in countries like Mexico, China, India, Sri Lanka, Malaya, Venezuela, Brazil, and Africa. So, let’s see the health benefits of papaya.
02. Do you know that this fruit contains lots of essential nutrients??
It contains Vitamins such as Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, lycopene, and Folic acid. Moreover, it’s rich in potassium and dietary fiber. Amongst them, vitamin C and folate are present in high quantities. Papaya can increase iron absorption in the body. So if you are a pregnant woman consume more papaya to maintain a healthy pregnancy period. But be cautious not to eat unripened or semi-ripened papaya, because it may have bad effects on pregnancy. (1)
03. Are you aware of the Medicinal value of Papaya??
We consider Papaya a medicinal plant because many parts of the plant have medicinal properties. Therefore you can use Seeds, leaves, latex, and fruits to derive excellent medicinal characteristics that can be used as remedies for a number of different ailments. The fruit, stem, and leaves of papaya contain plenty of latex. These latexes from the fruit contain enzymes like papain and other compounds including chitinases, cysteine, peptidases, protease inhibitors, alkaloids, and glycosides.
Now the world is more concerned about bioactive compounds. You will be surprised to hear that Apart from the above compounds, it contains a lot of bioactive compounds like
- steroids(2 )
Obviously, these compounds play an important role in the
- Phytochemical activity
- Anticancer activity
- Nutritional value
- Free radical scavenging activity.
04. Use Papaya leaf extract against dengue to see amazing results!!
You can use papaya extracts as a treatment for viral diseases such as dengue fever. Doctors recommend papaya leaf extract for increasing the platelet count of patients. Try to prepare the leaf extract as follows:
- Wash the Papaya leaves thoroughly with water
- Grind the leaves
- Add some amount of sucrose to repress the bitter taste
Give about 25 ml of the extract to the patient twice a day, consecutively for about five days. When taking the daily blood reports, You will be amazed to see the improvement in platelet count and white blood cell counts. (3)
Furthermore these important compounds in papaya help in preventing diseases like heart diseases, asthma, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis mainly and promoting lung health and immunity. (3)
05. Do you know how important papaya juice is??
Juice or the extract of papaya seeds is important to protect against kidney dysfunction because of flavonoids and phenolic compounds. Besides these seeds can also protect from a number of infections and they can avoid typhoid disease when used with milk.
Health Benefits of Papaya
01. What are the anticancer effects of phytochemicals in papaya??
Papaya contains phenolics, carotenoids, and glucosinolates which have the best anti-cancer properties. And also it contains other phytochemicals such as lycopene, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, beta-cryptoxanthin, etc. Particularly Lycopene is the compound that gives the bright red-orange color to papaya. You may be amazed to hear that the same compound responsible for appealing color has the most important effects on cancer prevention.
- This compound is highly unsaturated and it undergoes many oxidative and non-oxidative mechanisms. Because of this unsaturation lycopene can prevent the phosphorylation of certain proteins that have cancer-inducing properties.
- Other than that this amazing compound avoids cell proliferation of certain cancer cell lines.
- Another benefit of lycopene in papaya is that, if you eat papaya while having Green tea as a routine, it will reduce the risk of prostate cancer to a greater extent. Lycopene and other antioxidant compounds in papaya and green tea which is a reservoir of antioxidants will act together to reduce cancer cell growth. (5)
02. Anti-inflammatory effects of papaya
Do you know Papaya is good at reducing inflammation? These effects are due to papain and chymopapain enzymes. Vitamin C and vitamin E are available in fruit and leaves which have anti-oxidant properties and also have the ability to lower inflammation too. Now it’s clear why this fruit help to improve healing from burns. In addition to the above effects, this fruit will provide protection against rheumatoid arthritis. If you have severe asthma or rheumatoid arthritis better to eat more papaya to reduce inflammation. Because the disease condition can get worsen with a high degree of inflammation. So consume more papaya frequently, and reduce the risk of arthritis. (6,7)
03. Papaya for lung health
Have you ever wondered why some smokers do not suffer from any ailments although they smoke severely? Perhaps there may be a reason for that.
Papaya is rich in vitamin A and many other bioactive compounds. Some late researches suggest that lung cancer and emphysema occur in smokers due to vitamin A deficiency. So if you have Vitamin A rich diet you have a chance of saving your body from lung cancer. Now you may understand why Papaya helps in preventing lung cancer and emphysema. As it provides high quantities of vitamin A in the diet it will help to reduce those ailments. But, to stay healthy just consuming papaya won’t help. You need to adjust your diet to get sufficient health benefits. (6, 8)
04. Papaya for your immunity
Vitamin C and vitamin A in papaya are vital for the proper functioning of your healthy immune system. Routine consumption will help you to prevent recurrent infections and promote the immune system. Therefore It can be used as a remedy for preventing illnesses such as colds and ear infections. (8,9)
05. Papaya for your digestion
Papaya is known for its digestive benefits due to the presence of an enzyme called papain. Papain is a proteolytic enzyme, meaning it breaks down proteins into smaller, more easily digestible units. This can help to improve digestion and reduce symptoms of digestive discomforts, such as bloating, gas, and constipation.
Papain is found in the flesh of the papaya and works by breaking down tough protein fibers in food, making it easier for the body to absorb nutrients. It also helps to reduce inflammation in the digestive tract, promoting a healthy gut environment.
In addition to papain, papaya is also high in fiber, which can help to regulate digestion and promote regular bowel movements. The fiber in papaya can also help to slow down the rate of sugar absorption in the body, which can be beneficial for managing blood sugar levels and diabetes.
It’s important to note that while papaya can be a helpful addition to a balanced diet, it’s not a cure for digestive problems. If you have concerns about your digestive health, it’s best to consult a healthcare provider.
06. Papaya promotes your skin health
Papaya is considered a superfood for skin health due to its high levels of antioxidants, vitamins, and enzymes. These nutrients work together to protect and nourish the skin, promoting a healthy, youthful appearance.
- Antioxidants: Papaya is rich in antioxidants, such as Vitamin C and beta-carotene, which help to protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals and environmental stressors. These antioxidants also help to reduce inflammation, promoting healthy skin.
- Vitamins: Papaya is a good source of Vitamins A and C, which are important for maintaining healthy skin. Vitamin A is important for cell growth and repair, while Vitamin C helps to produce collagen, which gives skin its elasticity and firmness.
- Enzymes: Papaya contains an enzyme called papain, which has natural exfoliating properties. This helps to remove dead skin cells, leaving the skin looking brighter and smoother.
- Moisturizing: Papaya is also a natural source of moisture, which helps to keep skin hydrated and supple.
Incorporating papaya into your diet or using products containing papaya extract can be a great way to promote skin health and improve the appearance of your skin. However, it’s important to keep in mind that diet and skincare products alone may not be enough to achieve the desired results. It’s best to have a balanced approach to skincare that includes a healthy diet, proper hydration, and the use of effective skincare products as recommended by a dermatologist.
07. Papaya for your eye health
Papaya is good for eye health due to its high content of Vitamin A, which is essential for maintaining good vision. Vitamin A is important for the functioning of the retina, the part of the eye responsible for detecting light and transmitting visual signals to the brain.
In addition to Vitamin A, papaya is also rich in antioxidants, such as Vitamin C and beta-carotene, which help to protect the eyes from damage caused by free radicals and oxidative stress. These antioxidants also help to reduce inflammation, promoting eye health.
It’s important to note that while eating papaya can be beneficial for eye health, it’s not a cure for eye problems. If you have concerns about your vision or eye health, it’s best to consult an eye doctor.
Incorporating papaya into a balanced diet, along with other nutrient-rich foods and regular exercise, can be a great way to promote overall eye health. It’s also important to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays by wearing sunglasses when outdoors and to get regular eye exams to monitor your vision and eye health.
08. Papaya Aids in weight loss
Papaya can be a helpful addition to a weight loss diet due to its high fiber content and low-calorie count.
- Fiber: Papaya is a good source of fiber, which can help you feel full and satisfied, reducing the urge to overeat. The fiber in papaya can also help to regulate digestion and promote regular bowel movements, which can be beneficial for weight loss.
- Low-calorie count: Papaya is a low-calorie food, making it a great option for people who are trying to lose weight. A medium-sized papaya contains only about 120 calories, which makes it a filling and nutritious option for a snack or as part of a meal.
- Nutrient-rich: Despite being low in calories, papaya is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which can help to support a healthy weight loss program.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that papaya alone is not a magic solution for weight loss. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight requires a balanced approach that includes a healthy diet, regular physical activity, and stress management. It’s always best to consult a healthcare provider or a registered dietitian for personalized recommendations.
09. Papaya Helps manage diabetes
Papaya can be helpful for managing diabetes due to its low glycemic index and high fiber content.
- Low glycemic index: The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how quickly a food raises blood sugar levels. Papaya has a low glycemic index, meaning it is less likely to cause spikes in blood sugar levels. This can be beneficial for people with diabetes who need to manage their blood sugar levels.
- Fiber: Papaya is a good source of fiber, which can help to slow down the rate of sugar absorption in the body. The fiber in papaya can also help to regulate digestion and promote regular bowel movements, which can be beneficial for managing diabetes.
- Antioxidants: Papaya is also rich in antioxidants, such as Vitamin C and beta-carotene, which have been shown to have a protective effect against diabetes.
It’s important to keep in mind that while papaya can be a helpful addition to a balanced diet for people with diabetes, it’s not a cure for the disease. Managing diabetes requires a comprehensive approach that includes a healthy diet, regular physical activity, and proper medication management as prescribed by a healthcare provider.
10. Papaya Helps manage diabetes
Papaya can be beneficial for heart health due to its high content of antioxidants and fiber.
- Antioxidants: Papaya is rich in antioxidants, such as Vitamin C and beta-carotene, which help to protect the heart and blood vessels from damage caused by oxidative stress and inflammation.
- Fiber: Papaya is a good source of fiber, which has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. The fiber in papaya can also help regulate digestion and promote regular bowel movements, which can be beneficial for overall heart health.
- Potassium: Papaya is also a good source of potassium, a mineral that is important for maintaining a healthy heart. Potassium helps to regulate blood pressure and can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Incorporating papaya into a balanced diet, along with regular physical activity and stress management, can be a great way to promote overall heart health. However, it’s important to keep in mind that diet and lifestyle changes alone may not be enough to achieve the desired results. If you have concerns about your heart health, it’s best to consult a healthcare provider for personalized recommendations.
Organize your diet from now on…
To achieve more health benefits from papaya, consume the fruit in an appropriate way. Include raw papaya salads, green papaya salads, raw papaya cubes, papaya jam, papaya salsa, and papaya bars in your diet. You will be surprised by the results!!
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