Papayas are also known as pawpaws or papaws. They are grown in tropical climates. Their vibrant color, sweet taste and a wide variety of health benefits they provide make them a very popular fruit. They are available at the most time of the year. The possible health benefits of papaya include diabetes, aiding in digestion, cancer, reduced risk of heart disease, improving blood glucose control in people with lowering blood pressure, diabetes and improving wound healing.
Papayas are fleshy, soft fruit that can be used in a wide variety of culinary ways. Here we will discuss more on the health benefits, how to incorporate more of them into your diet, uses and what nutritional value papayas have.
Fast facts on papaya:
(1). Papaya is native to Mexico. However, it grows in Florida and Caribbean too.
(2). According to the FOA, India produces the most papayas in the world.
(3). It can be added to smoothies, salads and other dishes.
Health benefits of papaya
(1). Age-related macular degeneration
Zeaxanthin is an antioxidant which is found in papaya. It helps to filters out harmful blue light rays. It is thought to play a protective role in ward off macular degeneration, and protective role in eye health.
A higher intake of all fruits has been shown to the progression of age-related macular degeneration and decrease the risk of.
(2). Asthma prevention
People who consume a high amount of certain nutrients have a lower risk of developing asthma. One of these nutrients is beta-carotene, contained in foods like carrots, papaya, pumpkin, apricots, cantaloupe, and broccoli.
(3). Cancer: Health benefits of papaya
An antioxidant like beta-carotene found in papayas, which helps to reduce cancer risk. Among younger men, a diet rich in papaya may play a protective role against prostate cancer.
(4). Bone health
Papayas contain vitamin K, which is very good for bones health. Low intakes of vitamin K creates a higher risk of bone fracture. It improves calcium absorption and reduces urinary excretion of calcium. It means more calcium in the body to rebuild and strengthen bones.
(5). Diabetes: Health benefits of papaya
People with type 1 diabetes who consume more high fiber diets have lower BG(blood glucose) levels, and people with type 2 diabetes may have improved lipid, blood sugar, and insulin levels. One small size papaya provides 3 grams of fiber, which is equal to just 17 gms of carbohydrates.
Papayas contain papain that aids digestion and it can be used as a meat tenderizer also. Papaya is also high in water content and fiber, both of which help to prevent constipation and healthy digestive tract.
(7) . Heart disease: Health benefits of papaya
The potassium, fiber and vitamin content in papaya all help to ward off heart disease. A decrease in sodium intake along with an increase in potassium intake is the most important dietary change that a person can make to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease.
Choline is a very versatile and important nutrient found in papayas that aids our muscle movement, memory, learning and bodies in sleep. choline also helps to aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, maintain the structure of cellular membranes, reduces chronic inflammation and assists in the absorption of fat.
(9). Skin and healing
When used mashed papaya appears to be beneficial for preventing infection of burned areas and wound healing. ( Read: Best foods to eat for clear skin) Researchers believe that the papain and proteolytic enzymes chymopapain in papaya are responsible for their beneficial effects. Papain enzyme has also been used to treat bedsores(decubitus ulcers).
(10). Hair health: Health benefits of papaya
Papaya contains vitamin A, which is really good for the health of your hair. (Read: Foods that promote hair growth)Vitamin A is also necessary for the growth of our all body tissues, including hair and skin. Papaya contains vitamin C, which is needed for the maintenance and building of collagen, which provides structure to the skin.
One medium papaya has approximately:
- Calories: 120
- Carbohydrate: 30 grams
- Fiber: 5 grams
- Sugar: 18 grams
- Protein: 2 grams
Papayas are also a good source of :
- Fiber(Read: 21 high fiber foods list: you must eat)
- Pantothenic acid
- Vitamin A
They also have alpha and beta-carotene, B vitamins, zeaxanthin and lutein, calcium, vitamin K, potassium, vitamin E, and lycopene, a very powerful antioxidant most commonly associated with tomatoes.
There are many ways to add papaya to your diet. The fruit is very juicy so it is tricky to eat., but consider the following methods of recipes and eating.
How to eat papaya
When eating papaya, look for fresh papayas with orange-reddish skin that are soft to touch. Cut it like a sweet melon, scoop out the seeds and enjoy. The seeds of the papaya have a peppery, bitter taste but they are edible. By using a spoon it is easy to scoop out the soft flesh of the fruit.
Papaya is a versatile, soft fruit. This means we can use it in many ways, and consider the following easy methods of preparation:
- Make a fresh tropical salad with fresh papaya, mango, and pineapple.
- You can muddle papaya into a glass of iced tea, lemonade or water for a burst of fresh fruity flavor.
- Make a fresh salsa with papaya, jalapeno, mango, chipotle pepper, and red peppers. Use as a topping for tacos.
- Add some slices of papaya to smoothies. Combine with half a frozen banana, pineapple juice, and greek yogurt.