The papaya, a previously exotic and rare fruit, is now readily available at most times of the year. Papayas grow in tropical climates and are also known as papaws or pawpaws. Their sweet taste, vibrant color and wide variety of health benefits are just a few reasons to add them to your diet.
Papaya has many health benefits. Papaya is low in calories, nutritionally rich; therefore, it is one of the best foods for those who are on diet. Due to its many health and medicinal benefits; it is used widely all over the world. The fruit has given the name “The Fruit of the Angels” by Christopher Columbus.
Presenting 15 Proven & Surprising Health Benefits of Papaya
1# Age-related Macular Degeneration:
The antioxidant zeaxanthin, found in papaya, filters out harmful blue light rays and is thought to play a protective role in eye health and possibly ward off damage from macular degeneration.1 A higher intake of all fruits (3 or more servings per day) has also been shown to decrease risk of and progression of age-related macular degeneration.
2# Great for Your Eyes:
Papayas are rich in Vitamin A and flavonoids like beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, cyptoxanthin and lutein which keep the mucus membranes in the eyes healthy, preventing them from damage. Vitamin A in them also prevents the development of age-related macular degeneration. The best thing about papayas is that the carotenoids present in them are more bio available that carotenoid present in other vitamin A rich foods like tomatoes and carrots.
3# Asthma Prevention:
The risks for developing asthma are lower in people who consume a high amount of certain nutrients. One of these nutrients is beta-carotene, contained in foods like papaya, apricots, broccoli, cantaloupe, pumpkin and carrots.
4# Immune Support :
Vitamin C and vitamin A, which is made in the body from the beta-carotene in papaya, are both needed for the proper function of a healthy immune system. Papaya may therefore be a healthy fruit choice for preventing such illnesses as recurrent ear infections, colds and flu.
5# Lowers Cholesterol:
Papayas are rich in fibre, Vitamin C and antioxidants that prevent cholesterol build up in your arteries. Too much cholesterol build-up can block the arteries completely, causing heart attack. Papaya extracts have also found to reduce lipid and triglycerides in diabetic rats. You may also want to read how to reduce cholesterol levels naturally.
Consumption of the powerful antioxidant beta-carotene (found in papayas) has been shown to have an inverse association with the development of colon cancer in the Japanese population.
Among younger men, diets rich in beta-carotene may play a protective role against prostate cancer, according to a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health's Department of Nutrition
7# Helps Ease Menstrual Pain:
Women who experience menstrual pain should help themselves to several servings of papaya, as an enzyme called papain helps in regulating and easing flow during menstrual periods.
8# Bone health:
Low intakes of vitamin K have been associated with a higher risk for bone fracture. Adequate vitamin K consumption is important for good health, as it acts as a modifier of bone matrix proteins, improves calcium absorption and may reduce urinary excretion of calcium.5
9# Good for Diabetics:
Despite being sweet in nature, papayas are low in sugar content (8.3 gm in one cup of sliced papaya) as well as glycemic index. This property makes papayas excellent fruits for diabetics. The vitamins and phytonutrients present in them prevents development of heart disease in diabetes. Also, people who don’t have diabetes can eat papaya to prevent it from happening.
Papayas contain an enzyme called papain that aids in digestion and can also be used as a meat tenderizer.
Papaya is also high in fiber and water content, both of which help to prevent constipation and promote regularity and a healthy digestive tract.
11# Prevent Heart Disease:
The fiber, potassium and vitamin content in papaya all help to ward off heart disease. An increase in potassium intake along with a decrease in sodium intake is the most important dietary change that a person can make to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease.
12# Anti-Inflammatory Effects :
Papaya contains several unique protein-digesting enzymes including papain and chymopapain. These enzymes have been shown to help lower inflammation and to improve healing from burns. In addition, the antioxidant nutrients found in papaya, including vitamin C and beta-carotene, are also very good at reducing inflammation.
13# Skin and Healing:
When used topically, mashed papaya appears to be beneficial for promoting wound healing and preventing infection of burned areas. Researchers believe that the proteolytic enzymes chymopapain and papain in papaya are responsible for it's beneficial effects.2 Ointments containing the papain enzyme have also been used to treat decubitus ulcers or bedsores.
14# Papaya Seeds as a Treatment for Liver Cirrhosis :
Papaya seeds are often reported as an effective treatment for liver cirrhosis. One method is to grind up around five dried seeds in a pepper grinder, or crush up fresh ones in a mortar and pestle, and mix them with a tablespoon of fresh lime juice. Drink this papaya seed treatment down twice a day for a month. Many cirrhosis sufferers have had dramatic improvements with this powerful natural remedy.
15# Papaya Removes Worms:
Papaya helps to expel out worms. It removes worms from the stomach; one should take two spoons of papaya seeds along with honey twice a day. The seeds, leaves and milk of papaya can also be used to kill intestinal worms
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