Health benefits of papaya include anti-inflammatory qualities, a high antioxidant content, aiding in wound healing, slowing the development of Alzheimer’s disease, reducing the risk of heart disease, aiding in the battle against cancer, promoting digestive health, and guarding against sun damage.
Were you aware that papaya has health benefits? Papaya has been shown to be helpful for a number of different health conditions. This article will cover the most current scientific research on the health benefits of papaya.
However, let us begin by defining papaya and examining its nutritional profile.
What is Papaya?
Papaya is a large, elongated fruit that resembles a melon. Meat and skin are the same colour of orange to red when completely grown. Bitter black seeds are included in the flesh. It is affectionately known as “angel fruit.”
The fruit ranges in length from 15–45 cm (5.9–17.7 in) and diameter from 10–30 cm (3.9–11.8 in). The papaya fruit is native to southern Mexico and Central America. However, it is found worldwide in tropical areas. The fruit is accessible throughout the year.
Nutrition Facts of Papaya
Papaya is a good source of antioxidants such as carotenes (lycopene), vitamin C (103 percent of the daily value), vitamin A (22 percent of the daily value), vitamin E (4 percent of the daily value), and vitamin K. (3 percent DV).
Additionally, it has a large quantity of folate (10% of the daily need), fiber (70 percent of the daily requirement), potassium (30% of the daily requirement), calcium (2% of the daily requirement), and magnesium (2 percent DV). Daily percentages are calculated using 100g of papaya. Its main active component is the enzyme papain, which aids in digestion.
8 Impressive Health Benefits of Papaya
1. Anti-inflammatory Properties
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to infection or injury. Prolonged inflammation may result in chronic health issues.
Papain, the primary active component in papaya, has been shown to decrease inflammation in a number of illnesses, including asthma, genitals, stomach, liver, and eye, in both laboratory and animal studies.
2. Antioxidant Properties
Plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, oils, and nuts contain antioxidants. Antioxidants contribute to a reduction in the risk of developing heart disease and cancer. Additionally, bioactive substances or other dietary components have been shown to provide health benefits.
A test tube study showed that regularly eating papaya may increase free radical scavenging ability and decrease oxidative stress.
Another study found that after two weeks of fermentation, papaya substantially restored the health of many organs damaged by oxidative stress in people with diabetes. This was confirmed by the C-reactive protein, LDL/HDL ratio, and uric acid levels.
3. Wound Healing Properties
If wounds are not treated correctly, they may get infected. Papaya has been traditionally used to treat a number of skin problems, including wounds. The papaya fruit was used to cure rats with diabetes and wounds. The study found that as compared to a control group, wound healing was significantly improved.
While these findings are promising, more human study is required before papaya may be recommended for wound therapy.
4. Delaying the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s Illness is a gradual degenerative disease that damages brain cells, resulting in memory and cognitive difficulties. The fact that tissue is very sensitive to oxidative stress is well known. Alzheimer’s disease has been linked to an increase in the production of reactive oxygen species, a decrease in the efficiency of antioxidant systems, and a decrease in the effectiveness of repair mechanisms.
According to a study, papaya may be helpful in decreasing reactive oxygen species in people with Alzheimer’s disease. This study shows promising findings in terms of delaying the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease.
5. Decreasing the Risk of Heart Disease
Excessive triglyceride and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels are risk factors for cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke. A 14-week study discovered that consuming papaya decreased inflammation and improved the LDL/HDL cholesterol ratio.
These results suggest that eating papaya may help reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
6. Anti-cancer Properties
Cancer is the uncontrolled development of aberrant cells throughout the body, resulting in illness and death. Papaya extract was shown to prevent or delay the spread of malignant cells in a test tube study.
The antioxidant lycopene is present in red fruits and vegetables such as papaya. Numerous studies demonstrate that dietary supplements containing lycopene not only reduce the risk of developing cancer in a range of organs, but also retard the growth of tumors.
Lycopene is also helpful in the prevention and treatment of a number of other diseases, including cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and male infertility, and it helps decrease the toxicity of other medications.
7. Reliefs Symptoms of Digestive Disorders
Digestive issues may have a detrimental effect on an individual’s quality of life. Digestive disorders include heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, gas, stomach pain, and stomach cramps.
Papaya (Carica papaya L.) is used as a natural remedy for poor digestion in tropical and industrialized countries. Papaya was utilized in one study to treat people who had chronic dyspepsia and gastrointestinal issues. Papaya has been proven to relieve constipation and bloating symptoms and to aid in the digestive system’s overall upkeep.
8. Protects against Skin Damage
Reactive oxygen species in the environment, such as those produced by the sun, smoking, and pollution, cause skin damage and premature aging.
Antioxidants in papaya help to the skin’s youthful appearance and texture. In a human research, it was found that combining papaya’s lycopene, vitamin C, and vitamin E with soy isoflavones and fish oil significantly decreased the depth of facial wrinkles.
Interestingly, this is the first scientific research of its kind to investigate the skin’s response to an oral nutritional supplement.
Papaya is a nutrient-dense fruit. It contains vitamins C, A, folate, and fiber. Papaya may be a new, economically feasible intervention option for the treatment of general health and well-being due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Additionally, papaya may be helpful for wound healing, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and digestive issues. Because research on papaya and its health benefits is still in its infancy, more high-quality human studies are necessary before providing science-based dietary recommendations to treat particular health issues.
Meanwhile, eat papaya as you would any other fruit to get the benefits of its high nutritional and bioactive content.