Papaya is a most beneficial and delicious sweet fruit available all over the year sufficiently. Papaya is also known as pawpaw and famous for its digestive, nutritional and medicinal benefits. It is loved by all the people to eat generally after the breakfast, lunch or dinner in small amount as a natural dessert. It is pear shape of around 7 inches long and 1 pound in weight. Its juicy flesh pulp is the edible part. It can be easily cultivated in any type of clay and areas.
It is included with the lot of benefits for the different organs of the body such as benefits for skin, benefits for hair and etc. Papaya has an enzyme known as Papain (proteolytic enzyme) which is very helpful in the digestion of proteins. Papaya is also the rich source of the antioxidant nutrients like carotenes, vitamin C, flavonoids, B group vitamins, pantothenic acid, folate, minerals like potassium, magnesium and fiber. The pulp of the papaya is used as beauty materials like facial cream and shampoo.
Its original location is Central America which was distributed to other areas of the world like Philippines, Africa, India during the journey by Spainish and Portugal. The papaya has been said as “The Fruit of the Angels” by the great person Christopher Columbus.
Benefits of Papaya
- Papaya is packed with the healthy components which provide the glowing and healthy skin.
- Papaya is a rich source of the Vitamin A as well as the Papain which has the property of removing the dead cells from and break down the inactive proteins.
- Papaya has a low sodium quality feature which makes the skin hydrated through the little water retention.
- Papaya is very commonly found and cheap fruit having large amount of carotene which is very beneficial for the body functioning.
- Applying the paste of raw papaya for 25 min on the face reduces the pimples and removes the stain from the skin.
- Regular use of papaya whether it is applied on the skin or eaten offers long lasting effect and makes the skin shiny, smooth, elastic and soft.
- Sore and cracked heels can be treated when its mashed pulp is used on it.
- It works as a natural skin exfoliator and helps in removing the skin stain.
- Papaya peel is also used on the face to reduce the ageing signs and wrinkles as well as for whitening the legs.
- Raw papaya helps to treat and reduce the inflammation of the ringworms by rubbing the small pieces of it on the ringworm patches.
- Whether it is eaten or applied on the hair it nourishes the hair shaft. Because of its rich nutrients it cures and prevents baldness as well as boost the growth and strength of hair.
- It helps in removing and controlling the dandruff from the scalp head and reduces the hair thinning.
- As being the rich source of the vitamins, minerals and enzymes it helps in removing oil, dirt and chemical build up from hair.
- The extracts of the papaya leaf works as a good hair conditioner which provides shine to the dull hair.
- Using the papaya as a hair mask helps the hairs to be thick, strong and healthy.
- Papaya is a very good antidote for the hypertension. The availability of the potassium in it helps to maintain the blood pressure and improve mental alertness.
- Eating papaya two to three times a day helps the eyesight improved and maintained because of the presence of vitamin A.
- Papaya boosts up the immunity system because of the availability of Beta-carotene, vitamin C, A, E which are very necessary for the functioning of immune system.
- It helps in preventing the recurring infections of ear, cold as well as flu.
- Because of being packed with the nutrients it prevents the occurrence of heart diseases. It prevents the causes of strokes and heart attack by preventing the cholesterol oxidation. Papaya converts the substance homocysteine (which cause heart attack and stroke) into the risk-free amino acids.
- It cures and heals the external wounds and chronic skin ulcers when applied on.
- It helps in curing the respiratory disorders including bronchitis, cough and breathlessness as it has latex.
- It is good for the diabetic patients too instead of being sweet fruit.
- The fiber found in papaya has ability to bind the cancer causing toxins in colon thus prevents colon cancer.
- Papaya is rich in the antioxidants like Flavanoids and Carotenes including beta-carotene, zea-xanthin, lutein and cryptoxanthin and others which protect the body from the lung cancers and other cancers as well as reduces the ageing process.
- It helps in digestion process because of high enzyme content, soluble fiber content and high water.
- Because of the presence of papain and chymopapain, papaya helps in reducing and healing the inflammation from burn areas.
- Because of the high water content and soluble fibers papaya helps in promoting the normal bowel movements and prevent constipation.
- Papaya helps to lower the high cholesterol levels.
- B group vitamins like B1, B6, folate and minerals like potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, calcium and etc promotes the cellular growth.
- Papaya boosts the male virility as it contains the enzyme known as arginine which boosts the flow of blood around penis.
- Papaya protects the age related macular degeneration and ageing process. Papaya protects from the inflammatory polyarthritis (means rheumatoid arthritis which involves more than joints.
- Because of its low calories and high nutritional contents it aids in weight loss.
- It helps curing the morning sickness and nausea in the pregnant ladies.
- It helps in relieving the pain of people suffering from osteoporosis, arthritis and edema.
- Papaya helps in promoting the normal flow of menstruation and controlling the menstrual irregularities in women.
Papaya during Diabetes
Recently, one of my closest friends has asked me that “Is Papaya Good for Diabetic”. I answered her that there is no any restriction or harmful effects of eating papaya that a diabetic person should avoid eating papaya but it may depends on the blood sugar level of the diabetic person so he must consult his doctor before eating papaya sufficiently.
Nutrients found in papaya fruit have many health benefits for the diabetic person too. It is a low sugar and antioxidant food. Artificially prepared canned or bottled papaya juice should be avoided as it may have extra sugar level or preservatives. Antioxidant property of papaya prevents the cell damage of the human body.
Papaya during Pregnancy
Yes, eating raw papaya fruit during pregnancy causes some serious health drawbacks. Eating a fully ripe papaya fruit is not dangerous; however eating unripe papaya may cause some problems because of the availability of latex substance which can starts the uterine contractions and causes a miscarriage, stillbirth, premature induction of labor, abortion or abnormalities in the baby. An enzyme called papain (vegetable pepsin) is found in the latex and leaves of papaya which works as same as like prostaglandin and oxytocin (a hormone which starts labor pain).
Sometimes, the synthetic prostaglandin as well as oxytocin is used in order to start or make stronger the labor contractions for normal delivery. Some other severe complications like oedema and hemorrhagic placentas may also occur because of the latex. Eating ripe papaya in moderate amount is ok but raw papaya is restricted. So, the pregnant woman should avoid eating unripe papaya or its product.
Health Benefits of Papaya Seeds
As papaya gives us lots of benefits in our daily life, its small seeds also gives many health benefits. Some of are:
- The seeds of papaya fruit contain high levels of proteolytic enzyme just like papain which protects the body from parasites and their eggs as well as breaks down the protein wastes.
- Papaya seeds also have an anthelmintic alkaloid known as carpaine which can kill the parasitic worms and amoebas.
- Papaya seeds help to treat the liver cirrhosis (a disease caused by the excessive consumption of alcohol). Liver becomes hard and shrink and unable to remove toxins from the body which in turn cause serious health problems. Grinded papaya seed (four or five) can be taken by mixing with a tablespoon of lime juice for a month and twice a day to get relieve from the symptoms of liver cirrhosis. If taken regularly, helps in liver detoxification and improve its vital functioning.
- Papaya seeds have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects on digestive system by killing harmful bacteria like Salmonella, Staphylococcus, E. coli and others causing hazardous infections.
- Seeds of papaya protect the kidney from kidney failure caused by the toxins.
- Pregnant woman should avoid the papaya seeds and green papaya.
- Seeds of papaya also help in curing the piles and typhoid fever (if taken with milk).
Benefits of Papaya Leaves (juice) in Dengue fever
Papaya leaves are also used for therapeutic purposes as it has the ability to cure the dengue fever. The juice and pulp from the papaya leaves (by grinding it) is needed to be squeezed out and taken 2 tsf once a day. Papaya leaves extracts boosts as well as regenerate the platelets (thrombocytes) and white blood cells level. It has some natural ingredients including the vitamins A, C and E which supports the immune system by regulating the T-cells.
Other benefits of Papaya leaves for Skin are:
- Its higher vitamins contents, leaf juice work as a skin cleansing agent and promote the skin health. Also protects the skin from freckles, pimples and blemishes.
- The Juice of papaya leaves helps in treating the eczema if applied over the affected areas after cleaning.
- It also promotes the healing of wounds and sores.
Other benefits of papaya leaves for hair are:
- Juice of papaya leaves works as a good conditioner for hair and promotes and strengthens the hair growth by treating the thinning, balding, dandruff and etc.
- Papaya leaf juice can be applied together with the coconut milk and honey for better hair treatment. It gives shine, softness to the dull and coarse hair.
It removes the dirt and oil from the hair with no side effects.
How Much Papaya Should You Eat A Day
As the papaya is packed with the nutrients, vitamins, minerals and etc, it can be eaten three times a day. Eating more can cause unpleasant side effects over the health of body. There is not any accurate or ideal amount of the papaya which can be eaten daily by all the people. Because the energy, nutrients, vitamins and minerals requirement of the body is different for every person so the one should take papaya in balanced amount according to his own diet and nutritional requirements.
Disadvantages of Eating More Papaya
- Eating too much papaya can cause carotenemia (skin discoloration) because of the high value of beta carotene. In carotenemia, palms, white of the eye, soles of the body can be more affected and become yellowish and makes a person feel like jaundice.
- Eating more papaya can cause the respiratory distress in a person because the Papain (an enzyme found in papaya) is a potential allergen which can cause hay fever or asthma, breathing difficulties, wheezing and nasal congestion.
- Eating a lot of papaya can cause kidney stones. As the papaya has vitamin C, taking high dose of vitamin C more than the daily recommended value provoke the toxicity symptoms and oxalate (byproduct of vitamin C) kidney stones.
- Eating too much papaya can cause the gastrointestinal symptoms. The fibers, Papain and latex can cause irritation and upset of the stomach.
Nutritional Value of Papaya per 100 g
Papaya Nutritional Benefits:
Water: 88.06 g
Energy: 43 Kcal
Protein: 0.47 g
Fat: 0.26 g
Carbohydrate: 10.82 g
Fiber: 1.7 g
Sugars: 7.82 g
Glucose (dextrose): 4.09 g
Fructose: 3.73 g
Minerals found in Papaya:
Calcium: 20 mg
Iron: 0.25 mg
Magnesium: 21 mg
Phosphorus: 10 mg
Potassium: 182 mg
Sodium: 8 mg
Zinc: 0.08 mg
Copper: 0.045 mg
Manganese: 0.040 mg
Selenium: 0.6 µg
Vitamins Found in Papaya:
Vitamin C: 60.9 mg
Thiamin: 0.023 mg
Riboflavin: 0.027 mg
Niacin: 0.357 mg
Pantothenic acid: 0.191 mg
Vitamin B-6: 0.038 mg
Folates: 37 µg
Choline: 6.1 mg
Vitamin A: 47 µg
Beta Carotene: 274 µg
Alpha Carotene: 2 µg
Cryptoxanthin (beta): 589 µg
Vitamin A: 950 IU
Lycopene: 1828 µg
Lutein plus zeaxanthin: 89 µg
Vitamin E: 0.30 mg
Alpha Tocopherol: 0.02 mg
Tocopherol (gamma): 0.09 mg
Tocopherol (delta): 0.01 mg
Vitamin K, Phylloquinone: 2.6 µg
Fatty Acids Found in Papaya:
Saturated fatty acids: 0.081 g
Dodecanoic acid: 0.002 g
Tetradecanoic acid: 0.013 g
Hexadecanoic acid: 0.060 g
Octadecanoic acid (Lauric acid): 0.004 g
Monounsaturated fatty acids: 0.072 g
Octadecenoic acid (Omega-9): 0.034 g
Polyunsaturated fatty acids: 0.058 g
Octadecadienoic acid (Omega-6): 0.011 g
Amino Acids Found in Papaya:
Tryptophan (amino acid): 0.008 g
Threonine: 0.011 g
Isoleucine: 0.008 g
Leucine: 0.016 g
Lysine: 0.025 g
Methionine: 0.002 g
Phenylalanine: 0.009 g
Tyrosine: 0.005 g
Valine: 0.010 g
Arginine: 0.010 g
Histidine: 0.005 g
Alanine: 0.014 g
Aspartic acid: 0.049 g
Glutamic acid: 0.033 g
Glycine: 0.018 g
Proline: 0.010 g
Serine: 0.015 g