Delicious and sweet with musky flavor and soft butter-like pulp, papaya is called the "fruit of the angels" as per Christopher Columbus. The scientific name of papaya is Carica Papaya – Caricaceae. Papayas are pear shaped or spherical fruit and it could be up to 20 inches long. The fruit and the other part of the papaya tree are rich in papain, which is an enzyme and it helps in digesting proteins. This enzyme is best in its nutritional values when the fruit is unripe.
Health Benefits of Papaya
The health benefits of papaya encompasses a great range of different nutrients like carbohydrates, sugar, sodium, vitamins, soluble and insoluble fiber, amino acids, fatty acids, antioxidant nutrients like vitamin C, B, flavonoids, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, potassium etc. These nutrients have been instrumental in promoting the right functioning of the cardiovascular system. In addition, it also protects against colon cancer. The most popular health benefits of papaya include:
Protects Against Heart Disease : This is one of the major health benefits of papaya. Papayas could be very beneficial in protecting against atherosclerosis and diabetic heart ailments. These fruits are great source of vitamin C along with Vitamin E and Vitamin A which makes this fruit a strong antioxidant. Papayas are excellent source of fiber and folic acid, which are necessary for the transformation of conversion of an element called homocysteine into friendly amino acids like methionine and cysteine.
Promotes Digestive Health : The nutrients available in papaya have been proved to be protective against colon cancer. The fiber found in papaya is potent enough to bind with cancer-generating toxins and restrict them from fusing with healthy cells of colon. Apart from this, papaya is equipped with vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene, which are helpful in cutting down the risk of development of colon cancer.
Health Benefits of Papaya Includes Anti-Inflammatory Effects : Papaya is rich source of many protein-digesting enzymes like chymopapain and papain, which lowers inflammation and catapults healing process caused due to burn. Other nutrients found in papaya, like antioxidant nutrients, vitamin C, E, and beta-carotene all plays their roles in cutting down the inflammatory effect.
Papaya Supports Immune System : Vitamin A and vitamin C, which are manufactured in our body from beta-carotene found in papaya, are necessary for proper functioning of immune system. This is the reason why papaya is often recommended by physicists as healthy fruit that prevent ailments like recurrence of ear infections, flu and colds.
Health Benefits of Papaya Protects against Macular Degeneration : According to a study, which involved nearly 110,000 men and women, researchers analyzed the health benefits of papaya and its association with our vision health. It was discovered that three servings of papaya can reduce the risk of vision damage.
Protects against Rheumatoid Arthritis : In yet another study it has been proved that people who do not eat sufficient quantity of Vitamin C rich diet are at a greater risk of, almost three times, developing arthritis compare to those people who eat high quantity of food coupled with vitamin C.
Papaya Promotes Lung Health : If you are a smoker or exposed to second hand smoke, eating food rich in vitamin C can protect you from the negative effect of smoke, suggested the researchers of Kansas State University. Vitamin A, found in papaya, is helpful in preventing lung from contacting any kind of disorder or disease. Deficiency of vitamin A is the major cause of lung cancer. If you want to maintain your proper lung function and want to stay away from any lunch disease it is suggested to start eating papaya in any form regularly.
Papaya and Green Tea can Prevent Prostate Cancer : The combination of lycopene-rich food like papaya and green tea can be a healthy fusion that can help reduce the risk of contracting prostate cancer in men, indicates research published in Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Daily intake of green tea and papaya can lead to a synergistic protective cover strong enough to protect against prostate cancer.
Health Benefits of Papaya Prevent and Relieve Nausea : If you are sensitive to nausea and often suffer from nausea attack, you should consider adding papaya into your regular diet regime. Papaya is better accepted as a fruit that is very helpful in keeping nausea at bay and providing relief from this nasty tendency. To get the optimum relief drinking of pineapple juice with papaya is recommended.
Health Benefits of Papaya Protects Skin : It is well established fact that extract of papaya is great for good skin. The health benefits of papaya in terms of skin can be facilitated in the form of soap made of papaya extract. These soaps are rich in vitamins A, C and E which nourishes the overall texture of the skin along with the tone. It can make your skin look younger and radiant. The enzymes found in papaya remove the dead skin off naturally, unearthing fresh and beautiful skin from beneath. You can also apply papaya pulp to keep your skin young and glowing.
How to Select and Store Papaya
Delicious Thia Papaya Salad (Som Tam)!
Choose papaya with reddish-orange tone of skin and little soft, if you want to enjoy it within a day. Avoid those papayas which are full of bruises and excessively soft. Partially ripe (yellow) papayas should be left to ripe at room temperature for few days. Store ripe papayas in cool and dry place like refrigerator and eat it within one or two days, to get the maximum health benefits of papaya and enjoy its optimum flavor.
Precautions while Using Papaya
Papayas are safe for majority of people when consumed in safe quantity. Don’t eat large quantity of papaya it can effect adversely your esophagus, the food pipe in the throat. Administering papaya to the skin may lead to irritation and some allergic reactions in a few people. Avoid eating papaya if you are sensitive to papain. People who are allegic to latex may be allergic to papaya also, hence avoid eating papaya.
Safe Papaya Dosage Per Day
The right dose, which can be recommended as safe and healthy, depends of the different factors including the age, medical history and many other conditions of the user. You should rely on limited quantity of papaya for regular consumption.
Papaya is pregnant with whole lot of medicinal benefits. Considering this fact it can be easily suggested that incorporating papaya in your regular diet is the right decision. Just make sure you do not over eat it. Eat this fruit regularly and enjoy the health benefits of papaya.