Magic Fruit Papaya and Its Nutritional Benefits

This article is the first in series of power foods. The article will let you know the nutritional benefits, immunity boosting properties and disease prevention properties of the power-fruit Papaya. Not only this, get your hands on those delectable recipes in the end! Read on!

Papayas grow in tropical climates and are also known as pawpaws or papaws. The fruit is vibrant in color with a sweet refreshing taste. The delicious fruit has a number of health benefits that makes it very popular across the world. Once it was a rare exotic fruit as was only found in tropical regions but as people knew more about it, it reached every country and all types of people across the world and is available throughout the year!

The health benefits of consuming papaya include a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and blood pressure problem. It aids digestion, improves blood glucose control in diabetes and improve wound healing.

Facts about Papaya

  • Papaya is a native of Mexico and it grows naturally in Caribbean and Florida too
  • According to Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), India produces the most papayas – over 5 million tons (2013)
  • It can be added to salads, smoothies and other dishes

Papaya Benefits

Age-related Macular Degeneration

Zeaxanthin, an antioxidant found in papaya, filters out harmful blue light rays. It is thought to play an effective role in eye health, and it may ward off macular degeneration. However, a higher intake of all fruits has been shown to decrease the risk of and progression of age-related macular degeneration.

Asthma Prevention

Beta-carotene is one of the nutrients, which helps in asthma prevention, which is found in papaya also along with some of other fruits.

Cancer

The antioxidant beta-carotene present in papaya may reduce cancer risk. According to a study published in Epidemiology and Prevention Biomarkers, in younger man, diets rich in beta-carotene may play a protective role against prostate cancer.

Bone Health

Vitamin K forges good bone health because of its calcium absorption quality. This nutrient is found in papaya as well.

Diabetes

One small papaya provides about 3 grams of fiber, which is equivalent to just 17 grams of carbohydrates. Studies have shown that people with type 1 diabetes who consume high fiber diets have lower blood glucose levels, and people with type 2 diabetes may have improved blood sugar, lipid and insulin levels.

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 ward off heart ailments.

Skin, Hair and Healing

While papain enzyme is known to have helped healing when put on burnt surfaces and sores, Vitamin A and Vitamin C work wonders for your hair and skin health.

Overall Immunity

Vitamin C content in papaya along with all the other nutrients taken together strengthens your immune system. One single medium fruit provides 224 percent of the daily recommended dose of Vitamin C to the body. Papaya should be a regular in diet of all people for all the health benefits it brings.

Nutrition

One medium papaya has approximately:

  • 120 calories
  • 30 grams of carbohydrate – including 5 grams of fiber and 18 grams of sugar
  • 2 grams of protein

Papayas are also a good source of folate, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, magnesium, copper, pantothenic acid and fiber. They also have B vitamins, alpha and beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, Vitamin E, calcium, potassium, Vitamin K and lycopene, a powerful antioxidant most commonly associated with tomatoes.

Recipes

When choosing for eating, look for fresh papayas with reddish orange skin that are soft to touch. Just cut like melon, peel and take the pulp out after removing the seeds. Although seeds edible but are bitter in taste. It can be incorporated into many dishes, some of them are:

  • Make Tropical Salad with papaya, mango and pineapple.
  • Muddle papaya into a glass of lemonade, iced tea or water for burst of fresh fruity flavor.
  • Make a fresh Salsa with papaya, mango, jalapeno, red peppers, and chipotle pepper. Use as a toping for fish or regular tacos.
  • Add a few slices of frozen papaya to smoothies. Combine with pineapple juice, half a frozen banana, and Greek yogurt for sweet tropical treat.

About The Author

Rajul Tiwari

Rajul Tiwari is the Editor-in-Chief at bodyandstrenth.com and has 18 years of experience in media, content, publishing and education. She has worked with media houses like Daini.... Read More..

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