Papaya is a fruit rich in nutrients and antioxidants such as carotenoids, flavonoids and vitamin C, as well as vitamin B (folate and pantothenic acid). It is a good source of fiber and mineral salts like magnesium. All these nutrients help improve cardiovascular health and protect against colon cancer.
40 reasons to eat papaya
In the papaya there is an enzyme called papain, which helps the digestion of proteins. Papaya in raw form contains this enzyme, which is also used in the preparation of food supplements.
- It helps to lower cholesterol naturally: the papaya is rich in fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants that positively contribute to preventing the accumulation of cholesterol in the arteries ( 1 ). An excessive concentration of cholesterol can in fact block the arteries completely, causing a heart attack. Papaya extracts have also been shown to reduce lipids and triglycerides in laboratory tests.
There are many ways to naturally lower cholesterol, and papaya also does its part.
- Supports the immune system: one of the most praised benefits of the papaya is its ability to stimulate the immune system. In fact, thanks to the concentrated vitamins this fruit has, it acts positively in cases of low immunity. But they are actually the antioxidants concentrated in Papaya that can counteract the advance of free radicals to support our body’s defenses ( 2 ).
- Facilitates healing and reduces swelling: typically the application of crushed papaya seeds on wounds can aid healing. This regenerating factor is due to the antimicrobial activity of the papaya which helps to eliminate the bacteria lurking in the wounds, allowing a faster healing ( 3 ).
The juice obtained from green papaya is also a natural remedy to prevent swelling and pus formation, if applied to wounds.
- Protects the eyes from macular degeneration: papaya can help stop vision loss caused by this condition, which often affects the elderly. Macular degeneration is a gradual loss of vision, often due to aging of the eye.
Papaya has an antioxidant called zeaxanthin which filters out rays that damage the retina. This reduces the risk of macular degeneration.
In addition, papayas contain vitamin A and flavonoids such as beta-carotene, cryptoxanthin, and lutein. These keep the mucous membranes in the eyes healthy and protect them from damage.
So, it’s a good idea to have a papaya newspaper to improve your vision.
- It has a high fiber content: papaya is a great source of dietary fiber. This nutrient absorbs toxins in the colon that can cause cancer and eliminates them from the body through bowel movement. Thanks to its rich fiber content, digestion aids papaya and gives it a beautiful glow to the skin.
- It has anticancer properties: new research has shown that papaya seed extracts can have chemotherapeutic effects. Papaya seeds are also rich in flavonoids which can reduce the risk of cancer by stopping the development of cancer cells ( 6 ).
- It helps digestion: one of the functions of the papaya is to help keep the digestive system protected, reducing the risk of gastric ulcers and consequently alleviating disorders such as heartburn and indigestion ( 7 ). In the popular medicine of some Central American countries it is also used to treat acid reflux.
- Natural remedy for melasma: this condition is also known as chloasma or a pregnancy mask that appears as small brown patches that appear on the cheeks. The causes are different but essentially this phenomenon is a chromatic alteration of the skin.
Papaya can positively contribute to treating chloasma due to its exfoliating properties. Apply fresh papaya to the affected area to make the skin smoother and softer.
- Effective for sore throat and dissolving the phlegm:a mixture of papaya juice mixed with honey can effectively contribute to disorders of the oral cavity thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. It is also useful in cases of tonsillitis and to remove excess phlegm.
- In case of menstrual pain: menstruation is a natural process and a part of every woman’s life, but sometimes they can be accompanied by almost unbearable painful cramps.
A natural solution to avoid the abuse of drugs that can also interfere with the regularity of the menstrual cycle is to opt for taking Papaya, which is often recommended in case of menstrual pain and to facilitate the flow of blood during menstruation . These properties are due to papain, a proteolytic enzyme contained in the papaya, able to stimulate the production of estrogen and normalize the menstrual cycle.
- It burns fat and allows you to lose weight faster: if you are looking for a natural and effective way to lose weight naturally, adding papaya to your diet will undoubtedly bring benefits.
100 grams of papaya contains only 43 calories – which makes it an ideal weight loss food. The fiber content in the papaya will make you feel full and empty the bowel movement. This makes it easier for you to lose those pounds in a physical activity regime.
- Source of carotene, useful for the treatment of ringworm: the papaya contains carotene, and this compound, if consumed regularly, can treat ringworm infection, thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties of the papaya that can reduce the redness caused by the infection.
- The nutrients contained in Papaya are indispensable: for the human body to receive the right amount and distribution of vitamins and mineral salts is practically essential for its proper functioning. As already mentioned, papaya inherits many qualities, thanks to the abandoning amounts of vitamin C, vitamin A and mineral salts such as phosphorus, iron, potassium, copper and manganese.
- Rich in bioflavonids: also known as vitamin P, bioflavonoids are semi-essential nutrients that function as nature modifiers and respond to biological changes in the body. Papaya bioflavonoids modify the body’s reaction to viruses, carcinogens, and allergens, thus protecting them from harmful and life-threatening diseases.
- It reduces stress naturally: stress is one of the biggest problems in modern society, so neurotic and chaotic. We find it in front of us on a daily basis almost everywhere in our lives: from relationships, to work to family.
The enzymes contained in papaya extracts can help reduce stress naturally. Several studies have shown that the ideal daily vitamin C requirement in cases of stress is 200 mg, this is needed to more easily regulate the hormones responsible for stress. But don’t worry because a large papaya can provide up to 476mg of vitamin C.
- Prevents nausea and motion sickness:papaya is particularly useful for women during pregnancy, when consumed in moderation and in small quantities. This fruit is in fact able to alleviate morning sickness, and even motion sickness, a neurological disorder that affects the perception of movement: causing car sickness or sea sickness for example.
The effectiveness of papaya is demonstrated by the presence of vitamins C and E, and folate.
For a relief from nausea it is recommended to mix the papaya with another fruit juice. However, it is advisable to always consult a doctor before taking papaya during pregnancy.
- Effective in case of hemorrhoids: Those who take papaya regularly can undoubtedly testify to its anti-inflammatory efficacy, which becomes particularly useful in the case of difficult and obstinate hemorrhoids. The fruit of the papaya is in fact able to soothe swollen blood vessels, offering some relief from pain.
- It is used for birth control: perhaps more a curiosity than a real advantage. But papaya seeds and even unripe fruits have been used for centuries in many regions of Southeast Asia, and in the Indian subcontinent as a method of birth control.
Women when they want to avoid a pregnancy consumption colossal amount of unripe papaya fruits, it is also said but not completely confirmed that if applied directly to the uterus can cause abortion.
- Slows the development of type 2 diabetes: unlike what can be imagined, papaya is a fruit with a low sugar content, proving to be a plausible option for those suffering from diabetes.
The actual amount of sugar is quantified in 8.3 grams for a cup of diced papaya. Many studies have also concluded that papaya extract can also slow down the progression of type 2 diabetes, which is responsible for the loss of the pancreas of the ability to secrete insulin.
- It prevents arthritis: this disease can be very debilitating and people who are affected can find their quality of life significantly reduced.
Consuming papaya is good for bones as it has anti-inflammatory properties and along with vitamin C, it helps maintain various forms of arthritis at bay. A study published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Siseases showed that people who consumed low vitamin C foods were three times more likely to have arthritis than those who had inflammation of the lungs.
- It allows the renewal of muscle tissue:as it is also a rich source of proteins, papaya contributes to the renewal of muscle tissues, which are essential for the optimal functioning of our body.
- It treats gout, thanks to vitamin C:gout is caused by an accumulation of uric acid in the blood. This excess acid forms crystals, causing swelling, redness and pain in the joints. Of course, like many citrus fruits, papaya is a trusted remedy to treat gout.
- Natural cure for vitiligo:about 1.5% of the world population suffers from vitiligo – a condition in which white spots appear on the skin. Papayas are one of the most effective home remedies for curing vitiligo.
Applying a ripe papaya paste to the affected area will increase melanin production, restoring skin to its normal color.
It is also possible to consume papaya juice to help the internal healing of vitiligo.
Note: You can use papaya juice instead of papaya mash. It will be less dirty to apply and easy to wash.
- Effective in cases of irritable bowel: thanks to the 12% total fiber content, of which over 60% soluble fiber, papaya is able to attenuate the symptoms of irritable bowel ( 24 ). It is also rich in proteolytic enzymes, responsible for correct bowel movement.
- Contrasts dengue fever: this disease is a typically tropical infectious disease caused by the homonymous virus. Papaya consumption can help increase the platelet count of those suffering from dengue fever.
The natural remedies based on papaya for dengue are as follows: papaya salads, or a glass of fresh juice with a dash of lemon two or three times a day. It is very important in this state to always remain hydrated, because dengue fever can show the following symptoms: fever, muscle pain, blood loss and fluids. You can also extract the fresh juice of papaya leaves with a mortar and pestle. Drink two tablespoons twice a day for a speedy recovery.
- Useful in case of lung inflammation caused by smoking: passive or non-smoking cigarette smoke can lead to the development of some mild lung inflammations. Papaya can help prevent these inflammatory states. In case of excessive coughing, it is advisable to start drinking the juice.
- It stimulates the activation of growth hormones:
dry papaya feeds the endocrine system and promotes the production of arginine in the body. Arginine is a type of essential amino acid that is known to activate human growth hormones (hGH) ( 27 ). These hormones play a key role in the reconstruction of bones, muscles, skin and liver cells, and promote general cell rejuvenation.
- Maintains blood pressure under control: high blood pressure can be caused due to lifestyle and dietary factors. Low levels of potassium in the body also lead to high blood pressure. 100 grams of papaya contains 182 mg of potassium, which is an essential mineral for keeping blood pressure under control.
Potassium neutralizes the effects of sodium, thus excluding the possibility of a sudden increase in blood pressure.
- Improves eyesight:papayas are rich and flavonoids such as beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, cyptoxanthin and lutein that keep mucous membranes in healthy eyes, preventing them from damage ( 29 ). The best thing about papaya is that the carotenoids present in them are more bioavailable than those present in other foods rich in vitamin A, such as tomatoes and carrots.
- It has antioxidant properties: in this fruit are contained compounds believed to possess strong antioxidant actions. These substances act as scavengers against free oxygen-derived radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes. The consumption of natural fruits rich in carotenes has been able to protect the body from lung and oral cavity tumors.
- Suitable for any age:This easily digestible fruit is also considered good for children, which is why it is one of the first foods introduced to them ( 31 ). It is usually introduced for children when they are 7 to 8 months old.
Papaya helps correct bowel movement and keeps children healthy and happy.
- Recommended during pregnancy: this fruit is considered good for pregnant women due to the high presence of vitamin C, vitamin E, and folate content, but only when taken in moderate amounts. It helps relieve acidity, heartburn, constipation, and many other stomach disorders and promotes fetal growth.
Many women of the Central American native populations in fact take a drink based on milk, honey and papaya. This mixture is a rich source of nutrients for pregnant and lactating women.
- Enlarges the breast: some of you will turn up your nose, but in the popular tradition of some countries, papaya has been used to encourage breast enlargement. Whether this is true or not, tradition has it that drinking papaya juice in the morning can deliver results thanks to the amount of proteolytic enzymes.
- It favors the production of milk: the raw papaya includes a less famous galactogoga property, therefore able to favor the production of breast milk.
Benefits for hair and papaya skin
- Eczema and psoriasis: main enzyme of papaya, papain is able to exfoliate dead skin cells, eliminating impurities. When applied directly to the affected area, raw papaya can help prevent itching and redness. You can also have a glass of papaya milk a day to prevent skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis ( 35 ).
- Lightens the skin: the papaya is able to help eliminate light spots and uneven skin pigmentation. Furthermore, the beta-carotene, enzymes and phytochemicals present in papaya aid promote equity. This, in turn, will make your skin lighter and softer.
- Eliminates wrinkles and dark circles under the eyes: papaya peel can help reduce the signs of aging. Some argue that it is as effective as Retin-A. The peel contains enzymes that remove dead cells from the surface of the skin. This helps remove wrinkles and age spots.
Instead, using papaya pulp on dark circles around the eyes is a great way to get rid of them. Since it is a natural bleaching agent, papaya helps to clear skin discoloration.
- Effective for acne and blackheads: Also in this case, the papain enzyme proteolytic makes papaya an effective treatment for acne. Apart from the fruit itself, the leaves, skin and seeds also contain some enzymes that can diminish the scars and blemishes.
We use the pulp of a ripe papaya as a face mask and apply it for about 20 minutes. Regular applications will allow you to dampen the effects of acne and blackheads.
Another alternative is to use papaya juice directly on the acne, as a lotion to soothe inflammation.
- Stimulates hair growth: inaddition to maintaining healthy skin, papaya is also used to stimulate the production of sebum, a compound that is crucial for keeping hair smooth, shiny and hydrated. The external application of papaya extract to the scalp can help get rid of dandruff. The nutrients in them help hair loss. They stimulate hair growth and strengthening.
Papaya also contains folic acid, which can improve circulation to hair follicles and promote growth.
- Eliminate dandruff: papaya seeds can be used in the form of hair packs. One of the main causes of dandruff is a fungal infection. The antifungal properties of papaya seeds help control and prevent dandruff ( 40 ).
Conservation and maturation
The papaya is ripe when its skin has a red-orange color, and must be consumed within a few days. Basically, it is not a fruit that lasts a long time.
If, on the other hand, the papaya has a more yellow color it is still partially unripe, this is the best condition to buy it if you want to keep it a few days before eating it.
Ripe fruits should always be kept in the refrigerator, and once they are cut, at the latest within a day or two.
Contraindications and warnings:
- The consumption of papaya charge is considered safe only if consumed in moderate quantities. This factor is very important to keep in mind because in case of excess, these could damage the esophagus .
- Pregnant and lactating women should avoid consuming excessive papayas. In fact, the risk of poisoning the liver may arise. Always consult your doctor before taking papaya during pregnancy.
- The possibility of allergic reactions may occur in some people due to papain or latex.
- Diabetics should avoid consuming fermented papayas because they can reduce their blood sugar. Consult your doctor and any descriptions on the product box.
- Those who use anticoagulant drugs should consult their doctor because the fruit can interact with this type of medicine.
- It is a fruit that is potentially safe for most people, but still a source of caution and moderation in consumption to avoid side effects.