Papaya is a common tropical fruit and contains numerous health benefits. It is known for its high nutritious value. The botanical name of papaya is Carica papaya. The seeds can be edible, but they will be bitter.
Papaya requires a good amount of rainfall for its growth. So, it can be commonly seen in tropical regions.
Papaya contains beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin and lycopene. It is reported to have dietary provitamin A, which reduces the deficiency of vitamin A.
Other vitamins and nutrients in papaya are vitamin C, B, flavonoids, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium and potassium. Papaya also offers a good source of fibre that promotes good gut health.
9 Health Benefits of Papaya
1. Regulates the digestive system
Papaya helps to improve digestion and promotes your gut health. Papaya contains a natural enzyme called papain.
The enzyme helps in digestion and also reduces inflammation. Papaya also works effectively against obesity and metabolic disorders.
According to the National Library of Medicine, titled “Papain Ameliorates Lipid Accumulation and Inflammation in High-Fat Diet-Induced Obesity Mice and 3T3-L1 Adipocytes via AMPK Activation”, stated that the enzyme papain was used as a folk remedy to reduce inflammation and pain, swelling caused due to infection, diarrhoea and allergies.
Papain was primarily used to improve digestion as it contains protease, an enzyme that helps break down proteins.
2. Improves Heart Health
Papaya is rich in natural antioxidants. These antioxidants will help to maintain a healthy heart and prevent heart-related diseases.
Papaya contains a high concentration of antioxidants when compared to other fruits like banana and apple, according to a data published in the National Library of Medicine titled “Nutraceutical Potential of Carica papaya in Metabolic Syndrome”.
These antioxidants safeguard your heart, and it is recommended to consume papaya daily.
|Vitamin C||61.8 mg·100 g−1|
|Vitamin A||328 mg·100 g−1|
|Riboflavin||0.05 mg·100 g−1|
|Thiamine||0.04 mg·100 g−1|
|Folate||38 mg·100 g−1|
|Calcium||24 mg·100 g−1|
|Niacin||0.34 mg·100 g−1|
|Iron||0.1 g·100 g−1|
|Fibre||0.8 g·100 g−1|
|Potassium||257 mg·100 g−1|
The above data is taken from the journal Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease titled “A review on medicinal properties of Carica papaya Linn.”
3. Can reduce your risk of cancer
Papaya naturally contains antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin B and folate, so consuming papaya can give natural protection against colon cancer, according to the paper published in the journal National Library of medicine titled “Antioxidant and Immunostimulant Effect Of Carica Papaya Linn. Aqueous Extract in Acrylamide Intoxicated Rats”.
The presence of lycopene also helps to effectively fight cancer and also reduces the risk of cancer.
4. Helps with weight loss
Obesity is the major cause of diseases like cancer, diabetes mellitus and other digestive problems. Papaya contains low calories, 32 kcal for every 100 grams of ripe fruit, which aids weight loss.
Papaya has a good amount of fibre, and consuming it can make you feel full for a long. Papaya is available throughout the year and can be eaten at any part of the year, making it an ideal snack.
5. Good for your skin
The papain in papaya will help heal damaged skin and improve collagen secretion when applied to your skin.
Collagen prevents wrinkles and delays ageing. The antioxidants present in papaya help in the formation of collagen and act as an anti-ageing agent.
Topical application of papaya helps improve your skin tone and gives an even skin tone.
It removes the dead cells in your skin and effectively removes tan. Further, vitamin A and C present in papaya lighten your skin tone naturally.
Papaya consumption and topical application help to prevent acne formation and also help with the dark circles.
6. Great for your eyesight
Evidently, papaya contains vitamin A, an antioxidant that helps to improve eyesight. The fruit, on the whole, gives protection to your eye and daily consumption of papaya can helps to maintain good vision and prevent it from deteriorating.
7. Helps you deal with irregular periods
Regular papaya consumption will help the uterus muscle contraction and promote a healthy menstrual cycle.
The carotene content in the fruit helps improve the production of oestrogen hormone in our body, which helps with irregular periods.
Papaya should be avoided during the early stages of pregnancy as it triggers uterine contractions and results in miscarriage during the first trimester.
8. Prevents arthritis
Papaya helps to keep your bones healthy. It scavenges the free radicals and contains anti-inflammatory properties.
They are known to be effective against rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis.
9. A boon for immunity
Antioxidant-rich foods like papaya will help enhance your immune system and fight pathogens entering your body.
Antioxidants also eradicate free radicals that cause diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular diseases and other inflammatory diseases.
Papaya naturally contains anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties that help to improve your immune system.
Healthy recipes of papaya
Adults know the benefits of papaya, and they can consume papaya as a fruit. Children do not eat fruits and vegetables. To make it more palatable, we can add some ingredients for them to consume.
A smoothie is a dish that can make the fruit more palatable by adding other ingredients like nuts, milk and other fruits.
To make an easy papaya smoothie, the instructions are given below.
- Take papaya, milk and a fruit of your choice, preferably carrots.
- Add sugar if you want, or you can use other alternative options like honey, jaggery or brown sugar.
- If the smoothie is prepared for children, you can also consider using a milkmaid.
- Blend all the ingredients, and your papaya smoothie is ready.
If you have diabetes, avoid sweeteners and add gooseberry or mint.
Papaya juice is relatively simple compared to the smoothie. All you have to do is blend the papaya.
- Blend papaya with milk.
- Add a sweetener of your choice.
- If it is for adults, you can add mint leaves and enjoy the drink.
How to eat papaya?
Papaya can be consumed as a fruit by just removing the seeds and the skin of the fruit. To make the dish more appealing, add other ingredients like mangoes, carrots, kiwis, raspberries and apples.
Make a tropical fruit salad with fresh papaya, pineapple, and mango
A salad is usually made with different fruits that are usually raw and is served at either room temperature or cold temperature. You can dress the salad with olive oil or anything of your choice.
Papaya, pineapple and mango taste well when combined. The sweet and tart taste of pineapple and sweet taste of mango and papaya goes well for a salad.
Muddle papaya into a glass of lemonade or iced tea
Papaya can add flavour to all your favourite drinks. You can muddle a few pieces of papaya into your lemonade. This will hydrate you and keep you full for a long time.
Make a fresh salsa with papaya, mango, jalapeno, red peppers and chipotle pepper
If you want to give a spicy touch to your salad, you can try the salsa salad. Add mangoes, jalapeño, red pepper, chipotle pepper and papaya. Additionally, infuse some mint leaves.
Give it a good mix, and enjoy your salad. Instead of snacking on some oil-fried foods, you can try these salads. They will be very healthy while your taste buds will also be satisfied.
Add a few slices of frozen papaya to smoothies
To your favourite smoothie, add some frozen papaya. This will enhance your smoothie.
Papaya is a fruit that contains a wide range of vitamins and antioxidants. The sweet taste of papaya makes it more palatable.
The lycopene and vitamin C in papaya prevents and safeguards you from any disease.
It naturally improves your collagen production and acts as an anti-ageing agent. Likely, there are many reasons to add papaya to your diet.
What happens if you eat papaya every day?
Consuming papaya daily reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer, improves your digestive system and enhances your immunity
What is the best time to eat papaya?
There is no specific time to eat this delicious fruit. When consumed at night, it helps clean the colon and improves bowel movement.
However, fruits should not be taken immediately after your meal. Have a gap of at least 4-5 hours after your meals, and then consume the fruits.
Who should avoid eating papaya?
Papaya is loaded with nutrients, but the fruit is not suitable for all. Pregnant women are advised not to consume papaya until till their first trimester.
People with hypoglycemia, irregular heartbeat and kidney stones should limit the consumption of the fruit.
What is the correct time to eat papaya?
Papaya can be consumed at night. It naturally cleans the colon and aids in bowel movement.
How much papaya should I eat per day?
A bowl of papaya will keep you energised and full for a long time.