You can find a lot of benefits in a papaya, these delicious tropical fruits are grown in the tropics, they are also known as papaws or pawpaws, papayas have a sweet taste, a vibrant orange color and a lot of shapes and sizes.
In the past, this was an exotic tropical fruit, but with time, started to become popular and now you can find them in almost any store and in any time of the year.
The consumption of papaya is strongly related with many health benefits, like the reduction of heart diseases, cancer, diabetes, among others that we will see in more detail.
They are soft, juicy and sweet, can be used in a huge variety of culinary ways, you can find numerous papaya recipes to prepare different things, like salad, diet smoothy, juice, deserts. In this article we will explore the different things you can do with them, the benefits of papaya.
You can’t imagine how beneficial a papaya can be, they are really healthy, it’s full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. They can fight the diseases and prevent them, they can help you to improve your intestinal and digestive health, take advantage of the papaya nutrition facts and improve your health. Here we show you what is papaya good for:
Full of antioxidants
The free radicals are reactive molecules that are created when your body is metabolizing, this can provoke oxidative stress, something that can lead to having different diseases. Papayas are rich in carotenoids that are capable to neutralize free radicals efficiently.
Researches done previously, shows us that fermented papaya are capable to reduce oxidative stress in people who has a prediabetes, mild hypothyroidism and liver disease and in older adults. If a brain contains a lot of free radicals, this can provoke alzheimer, so the best way to eliminate and control them is the consumption of papaya.
In a study done by researchers, they gave fermented papaya to people who were suffering alzheimer during a period of six months, these people experienced a drop of 40% in a biomarker which indicates oxidative damage in DNA.
Papaya nutrients to prevent cancer
One of the biggest and most desired papaya health benefits is that they are capable to help you to prevent cancer. This tropical fruit contain lycopene, a property that can reduce cancer. This also can be beneficial for people who are treating cancer. In a comparison of 14 different fruits and vegetables with known antioxidants properties, the papaya was the only one which demonstrated anticancer activity in breast cancer cells.
In a study, they showed that fermented papayas can reduce oxidative damage in older adults who suffered inflammation and precancerous stomach conditions, with all these data we can say that one of the most important benefits of papaya is that they can help you to treat cancer, but there must be more research.
You can reduce the risk of developing asthma if you consume a high amount of specific nutrients, we can find one of these nutrients we need in papayas, the beta-carotene, you can find this nutrient in broccoli, carrots and pumpkin too.
Some studies reveal that people with diabetes type 1 who ingest high fiber diets, contains lower level of glucose in their blood, and people with diabetes type 2 may have improved blood sugar, insulin level and lipid. A small papaya can provide you about 3 grams of fiber.
The low consumption of vitamin K is associated with a high risk of bone fracture. A regular ingest of vitamin K can provide you a good health, this can improve the absorption of calcium in different foods, the more calcium you have, the stronger your bones are, this is a huge benefit of papaya nutrition.
This tropical fruit contain an enzyme that aids digestion, this papaya enzyme is called papain, this can be used as a meat tenderizer, so it’s important to take advantage of this papaya enzyme benefits, this can help people with slow digestion and inflammation. They are also rich in water and fiber, both can help you to prevent constipation and contribute with a regular and healthy digestive tract.
They are great for health of hair because they contain vitamin A, this nutrient is necessary for sebum production, which can keep hair moisturized. But vitamin a is not only good for hair, they are necessary for the growth of all bodily tissues, including hair and skin. Papaya can provide you vitamin C too, useful for the preservation of collagen, something very necessary for skin.
Vitamin and Minerals
Papayas contain a huge amount of vitamin C and a half of this fruit can provide you the necessary amount per day. A medium papaya can contain:
- 30 grams of carbohydrate
- 5 grams of fiber
- 18 grams of healthy sugar
- 120 calories
- 2 grams of protein
- Vitamin A
- Pantothenic acid
- Vitamin B
- Lutein and zeaxanthin
- Vitamin E
Benefits you can find in the papaya seeds
In the majority of the times, the papaya seeds are overlooked and people don’t pay attention to them, ignoring the benefits you can find in a papaya seed. The people also wonder if can you eat papaya seed? the answer is yes, take advantage of all healthy benefits you can find in them.
An important health benefit of papaya seeds is that they can help you with a correct digestion, they contain an enzyme called papain, which supports a healthy digestive tract. Also, papaya seeds are useful to have an antibacterial effect on the digestive system. These seeds have been used in chinese culture during centuries to improve functions of the liver.
How to eat papaya seeds
They have a similar taste as wasabi or black pepper, so this seed can actually replace the pepper, and can be even more beneficial.
You can eat them directly from the papaya too, but can have a bitter taste, some people grind them, so they can become powder and sprinkle them in the food.
As we said, if you want to eat them directly they are going to be bitter, the best way to eat them is sweeten them with honey, an excellent natural way to do it.
Types of papaya
This delicious tropical fruit is native from southern Mexico and Central America, the most important papaya varieties you can find are Mexican papaya and Hawaiian Papaya, these are the most known. But not all the papayas you find in the market are from these two places, they actually grow in tropical weather, so they can come from different countries,even from south america.
Yellow and red mexican papaya
This type of papaya fruit is large and can reach a weight of 10 pounds. The mexican papayas and red and have a rose-colored flesh, they taste really sweet and are very juicy. But they are not as sweet as hawaiian papayas, the mexican yellow papayas with yellow flesh, are sweeter than red ones, and the sweetness is similar to hawaiian one.
Sunset and sunrise hawaiian papaya
The sunset papaya has a small or medium size, the skin and flesh has orange-red color, has a dwarf plant that can produce a high number of papayas, it was originated at the University of Hawaii. On the other hand, the sunrise papaya can wight between 22 and 26 ounces, has orange-red skin and flesh, both types of papayas have a sweet flavor.