Papaya (also called papaw or pawpaw) is a fruit native to the tropical regions of the world. The fruits are famous for their vibrant color, soft texture and sweet taste. Papayas are used in a variety of culinary dishes, such as salads, smoothies and shakes.
The benefits of eating papaya add to their popularity. Papayas were previously thought to be rare fruits, however, they are now readily available at almost all times of the year for us to enjoy.
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Nutritional Value of Papaya
There are many benefits of eating papaya. Papayas are an excellent source of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K. 100 grams of ripe papaya consists of 32 calories, 0.6g of protein, 0.1g of fat, 7.2g of carbs and 2.6g of fiber.
The fruit is filled with antioxidants, which helps reduce inflammation, fight a host of diseases, and keep wrinkles at bay.
11 Proven Health Benefits of Papaya
Christopher Columbus rightfully called papayas “the fruit of the angels”. Papayas and health benefits go hand-in-hand. Listed below are some health benefits:
1. Papaya Lowers Cholesterol
Papayas are rich in fiber, antioxidants and Vitamin C, which help in the prevention of increased cholesterol in your arteries. Too much cholesterol leads to several coronary diseases, including heart attack, stroke, and hypertension.
This fiber-rich fruit helps control blood pressure and also regulates levels of “unhealthy” (LDL) cholesterol in the blood. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), one large fruit (about 780 grams) has about 13 to 14 grams of fibre, which is a decent amount. Fibres also ensure smoother digestion, add bulk to the stool and facilitate bowel movement
2. Immunity Booster
Papayas contains more than 200% of your daily dose of Vitamin C. It is beneficial for keeping several diseases at bay, including scurvy. Vitamin C is essential in creating collagen, which in turn helps in connecting bodily tissues.
The deficiency of vitamin C leads to several symptoms, such as anemia, weakness, skin problems and gum disease. Therefore, it is good to have a bowl of papaya regularly to keep such health problems at bay.
3. Papaya Aids Weight Loss
Papaya aids in weight loss because it is low in calories and a good source of fiber along with low GI. The fiber content that is present in papayas keeps you feeling full for a long time, thus, reducing cravings.
According to a study, Papaya juice has anti-obesity, anti-dyslipidemia, and anti-inflammatory benefits in addition to lowering lipid absorption.
4. Papaya Helps in Diabetes
One of the biggest symptoms of diabetes is craving sweet foods. Papaya benefits include being immensely helpful for people suffering from diabetes, as the fruit is low in GI and high in fiber, thus preventing blood sugar from rising in diabetics.
According to a study, papaya has a hypoglycemic effect on the body. Flavonoids are natural antioxidants found in the fruit that may aid with blood sugar regulation.
5. Protection Against Arthritis
Papaya includes papain, an anti-inflammatory chemical found naturally in the fruit. Papain has been shown to be useful in lowering joint pain and stiffness, making it an excellent supplement for anyone with arthritis.
Furthermore, People who suffer from arthritis find themselves in a lot of pain as their bone structure becomes weaker and weaker. Papayas benefit people who are at risk of developing arthritis in the future, as it keeps bones from getting inflamed. This way, various forms of arthritis are kept at bay.
6. Papaya Helps Ease Digestion
Because papaya contains papain, an enzyme powerful enough to tenderise the meat and prevent stomach symptoms, including it in your diet can aid with digestive issues. The high fibre and water content aids digestion, increases intestinal motility softens and regularises bowel movements.
7. Papaya Improves Eyesight
Papaya health benefits also include your eyesight. The fruit is rich in vitamin A, which helps your eyesight tremendously. Eyesight is weakened a lot with age due to macular degeneration.
In addition, Zeaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant important in human vision, is found in papaya flesh. By filtering out UV light, it protects retinal cells from injury, especially age-related macular degeneration, while also preventing blindness.
8. Papaya Prevents Wrinkles and Signs of Ageing
Papaya benefits you by making you look younger. With the fruit being an excellent source of Vitamin C, it helps build collagen in your body, resulting in your tissues binding together. Altogether, eating a bowl of papaya every day can ensure that you look at least five years younger than your actual age.
9. Papaya Reduces Stress
Papaya health benefits also include your mental state of mind. It is recommended to have a bowl of papaya every day, especially if you have a stressful workplace. Papayas help in regulating the flow of stress hormones through Vitamin C.
10. Cancer Prevention
Studies have shown that a build-up of cancer cells can be prevented through a daily dose of antioxidants, flavonoids, and phytonutrients. Instances of colon and prostate cancer in people are shown to be reduced through daily consumption of papaya.
However, these studies are still in their infancy. It would not be wise to start following them without proper research and consulting your oncologist.
11. Papaya Eases Menstrual Pain
Every woman can testify that menstrual cramps are the most dreaded time of the month. Women who suffer from severe cramps should eat papaya regularly. One of the main papaya benefits, especially for women, is that the fruit helps the flow of menstrual blood.
Papayas contain an enzyme called papain, which helps in the smooth passing out of blood from your uterus.
Papaya for Weight Loss
People are always on the hunt for a weight loss miracle that will help them lose their additional pounds without having to go to the gym or being on a restrictive diet. While such a miracle does not exist, some fruits and vegetables do help in curbing weight loss effectively.
Papayas are one such fruit. Rich in antioxidants and minerals, papaya benefits weight loss candidates as the fruit is low in calorie content.
Losing weight in a calculative and holistic manner is important to ensure that you do not regain your lost pounds. Losing weight without a goal to keep it in control will only help in regaining weight in the future.
Papaya’s benefits include helping you lose weight but without depriving you of other necessary nutrients. Your body learns how to lose weight and continue keeping it off. Remember to not go overboard with consuming papayas. Eat the fruit for 2-3 days a week for a few months for the best results.
Papayas are loaded with various antioxidants and enzymes that help in bettering the body in every way. Consuming papayas regularly can help the body improve from the inside out, wherein, skin starts looking younger and the digestive tract improves drastically.
In short, Papayas are beneficial for your whole body. It is recommended to include a dose of papayas in your daily diet for a better and healthy you.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. What are the benefits of eating papaya?
A. Papayas lower cholesterol, boost immunity and aid weight loss.
Q. Who should not eat papaya?
A. Pregnant women, people with papain allergy and ones undergoing any surgery should not eat papaya.
Q. What are the disadvantages of papaya?
A. Papayas may be harmful to pregnant women. It could also lead to digestive issues and may not go well with medications.
Q. Does papaya burn fat?
A. Papaya improves digestion. But there is no convincing evidence that it burns fat.
Q. Can we eat papaya everyday?
A. Yes, you can eat papaya every day to keep you energised and immune to several diseases.
Q. Why does my stomach hurt after eating papaya?
A. While papaya is a source of fibre and is suitable for digestive health, eating too many may have a laxative effect, causing diarrhoea and an upset stomach.
Q. Does papaya give you gas?
A. Yes, excessive consumption of Papaya may cause flatulence and loose motions.
Q. How many calories is 1 kg of papaya?
A. 1 kg of papaya approximately has 120 calories.
Q. Is papaya a low-calorie fruit?
A. Yes, papaya is a low-calorie fruit. For example, one cup of diced papaya contains only 62 calories.
Q. Can I eat papaya at night?
A. Papaya acts as a good laxative. So if you’re looking for a good bowel movement, you should eat Papayas at night before going to bed.
Q. Is papaya good for losing weight?
A. Yes, papaya is perfect for losing weight. It is low in calories, has a moderate GI, and is a good fibre source.
Q. Can I eat papaya empty stomach?
A. Eating Papayas on an empty stomach can clean your digestive tract and clear toxins.
Q. What is the nutritional value of papaya?
A. Papaya has a high nutritional value. It contains carbohydrates, proteins, fibres, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B9 or folate and potassium.
Q. Is it OK to eat papaya every day?
A. Yes, it is ok to eat papaya every day to keep you energised and immune to several diseases.