The 11 benefits of papaya, a delicious tropical fruit
With a sweet and refreshing flavor, papaya is a fruit that is especially striking for its exotic orange color and pear shape .
It is a fruit native to southern Mexico and Central America, which is now grown in most tropical countries. There are two main types of papaya: the Mexican, of greater weight, and the Hawaiian, of smaller dimensions.
Why is papaya healthy?
In addition to its delicious flavor, this exotic fruit provides a series of benefits for our health. They are what we show you below.
1. It favors the digestion
One of the health benefits of this delicious fruit is its power to promote digestion , this is due to an enzyme present in papaya that helps in the breakdown of proteins. Papaya supports digestion .
2. Reduce bad cholesterol levels
This exquisite and attractive fruit contains a large amount of antioxidants, fiber and vitamin C , elements that act against the increase of cholesterol in the arteries. As a result, the consumption of papaya prevents the accumulation of cholesterol in the arteries causes cardiovascular problems. Likewise, the flavonoids present in papaya act against the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.
3. Prevents diabetes
There are many researches that have concluded that raw papaya could help to maintain stable blood sugar level (avoiding hyperglycemia) and cholesterol due to high fiber content, which would be important for the prevention of diabetes.
According to a study carried out by the Center of Excellence for Biomedical and Biomaterial Research of the University of Mauritius, fermented papaya is a preventive element for diabetes. In some countries, even papaya flowers are used in different culinary dishes for their preventive power against this disease.
4. Prevents cancer
Papaya is a food that helps prevent cancer , since its antioxidants help reduce the free radicals that contribute to the development and progression of this disease. Science has shown that it contains lycopene, which reduces the risk of cancer.
Researchers have also found that this fruit is effective against breast cancer and pancreatic cancer , and in fact, a study proved that papaya leaf extract has anti-carcinogenic effects. This study was conducted by a researcher at the University of Florida, named Nam Dang, together with a group of Japanese researchers.
5. Improves the health of the skin
The papaya takes care of the skin, since it works as a revitalizing agent and, for that reason, it is used in many cosmetics . They are also often used in homemade masks, as this fruit removes dead skin cells and purifies the skin. The beneficial properties and healing enzymes present in papayas help to treat sunburn and irritated skin. Papayas are also used to treat skin disorders such as eczema.
6. Anti-inflammatory properties
The enzymes present in papayas, especially papain and chymopapain, reduce inflammation in different parts of the body. An investigation showed that the people who increased their intake of this fruit, with a high content of carotenoids, had a significant decrease in inflammation.
7. Improves the immune system
Papaya is a great source of vitamin A, B, C and K and, therefore, is beneficial to the immune system . It also promotes the growth of body tissues, including hair and skin. It helps in the maintenance of collagen, the structural protein of the connective tissues.
8. Fight arthritis
Papaya also combats pain, and specifically arthritis , as it is a fruit rich in minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium and copper. Regular consumption over a prolonged period of time seems to be effective in maintaining control over arthritis.
Therefore, it is possible to enjoy this kind of benefits of the papaya incorporating it to desserts or snacks, either cut or in shakes.
9. Improves cardiovascular health
Papaya improves cardiovascular health and reduces the risk of heart problems . Papaya seeds are good for a healthy vital organ, as they contain three powerful antioxidant vitamins, such as vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E.
Studies suggest that papaya prevents atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease due to the presence of pro-carotenoid phytonutrients, which helps to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol in the body, as I have previously commented.
10. Improves vision
Eating papaya is beneficial to our eyes, specifically, it prevents macular degeneration, a condition by which eye cells degrade, resulting in blurred vision and, sometimes, blindness.
Macular degeneration occurs, usually with age. Studies suggest that papaya can be beneficial to prevent this eye damage thanks to its high content of beta-carotene . According to a study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology, the consumption of 3 or more daily servings of fruit or vegetables with this component (for example, papaya or carrot) can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration.
11. Prevents infections
Studies also suggest that papaya prevents intestinal infections and helps reduce tooth pain . In the latter case, there is a home remedy based on papaya that seems to be beneficial for toothache. It consists of making a paste with papaya and massaging it directly on the painful tooth or gums.