Papaya belongs to a plant named “Carica papaya,” this tropical fruit originally belongs to the Central American and Southern Mexican region but now it’s grown and consumed in almost every part of the world. There are tons of benefits of papaya which makes it a great fruit, it has a high concentration of papain an enzyme which is known to break the tough protein chain usually found in the rigid muscles of animals, due to this it’s been used to make meat tender for centuries.
Moreover, papaya is great for digestion and even for healthy skin and hair. Here are some of the best benefits of papaya that people swear by:
Rich And Powerful Antioxidant
One of the very crucial benefits of papaya is that it is very rich in some of the most powerful enzymes like “carotenoids”. Carotenoids are known to neutralize free radicals that are formed during the metabolic process of our body. Free radicals increase the oxidative state hence cause disease and aging.
In a study, it was found that by taking fermented papaya extracts, DNA damage due to oxidative stress in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease was reduced by 40%. Due to the presence of lycopene, an enzyme that removes excess iron from the body papaya can help in reducing oxidative stress caused by free radicals.
Yes! You read that right, another one of the benefits of papaya is that it can reduce cancer risks. According to a study among fourteen different types of fruits and vegetables with known antioxidant properties only papaya showed cancer reducing activity in breast cancer cells. Researchers suggest that the high lycopene content of papaya helps in fighting cancer cells.
Papain presence in papaya makes it’s very beneficial when it comes to digestion. Papain is known to break down complex protein chains into simple ones which can be easily digested by our body. People living in tropical areas consider papaya as a remedy for constipation.
They also use papaya to treat other symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The leaves and seeds of this plant are also very useful as in some cases they have shown to treat ulcers both in humans and animals.
Prevents Skin Damage – Papaya For Tan Removal
Apart from keeping your body healthy papaya can also help in keeping your skin healthy. The presence of vitamin-c and lycopene makes it very useful in treating skin ailments like sunburn and tanning. Also due to the presence of antioxidants papaya can significantly reduce the depth of wrinkles and reduce the aging process of the skin.
Helps In Menstrual Pain
Every woman can vouch for the fact that menstrual cramps make it the worst and most dreaded time of the month. But papaya can surely be a boon in this scenario. According to research, women who ate papaya in their menstrual cycle didn’t suffer through the pain of cramps. It is shown that the presence of the enzyme papain helps smoothen the blood flow through the uterus hence giving them relief from the much-dreaded pain.
Nutrition Profile For Papaya
Small-sized papaya weighing around 150 grams contains
Carbohydrates: 15 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Protein: 1 gram
Vitamin C: 157% of the RDI
Vitamin A: 33% of the RDI
Folate (vitamin B9): 14% of the RDI
Potassium: 11% of the RDI
Traces of calcium, magnesium, and vitamins B1, B3, B5, E, and K
Word of caution: Due to the high concentration of latex in papaya it is advised that pregnant women should not consume it raw as it can cause contractions and in some cases, it can harm the fetus.
Suggest Read: Benefits Of Green Apple
So these were some of the benefits of papaya, apart from being such a beneficial food item papaya is also very versatile and tasty. Due to its mild flavors, it can almost go with any smoothie or shake. Ripe or not you can enjoy this fruit in many various interesting and delicious ways.