Papaya, sometimes referred to as “paw paw”, is a luscious tropical fruit with a pleasantly sweet taste. Grown in Hawaii and some parts of South America, the fruit’s flesh is a sought after commodity worldwide. More than just a tasty treat, papaya health benefits promise to make the body stronger, leaner and healthier.
Papaya Nutrition Profile
Tropical fruits are unique in both nutrients and appearance. In fact, most get their colorful appearance from the nutrients they contain. Papaya is no different. Rich with a variety of vitamins and minerals, it deserves a place on the world’s healthiest foods list.
Papaya has one of the highest amounts of vitamin C, one that exceeds the recommended dietary intake. It also offers generous amounts of vitamin A, B and beta-carotene. Papaya’s mineral profile includes potassium, magnesium and copper.
Papaya health benefits can also be attributed to its fiber, protein and a collection of digestive enzymes. When the protein is ingested, it breaks into more than 200 amino acids. Only a few foods provide such a wide variety.
Papaya Health Benefits
Whether you need to eat better for your heart or need to get in shape, including papaya in your diet can help get your health where it needs to be.
For your body to break down food into nutrients, it needs enzymes. Fortunately, papaya has lots of them. One of the main enzymes is called papain. Its job is to improve the digestion of protein. In doing so, it prevents acid reflux and indigestion.
Papaya also encourages healthy digestion by providing fiber. Dietary fiber regulates the pace of digestion. As a result, nutrients are well-absorbed and bowel movements become regular again. If you have irritable bowel syndrome, eating papaya can help ease symptoms.
As one of the best sources of vitamin C, papaya can improve your body’s ability to fight infections. With the help of vitamin A and beta-carotene, can be an effective organic treatment for respiratory conditions. These vitamins also prevent degenerative diseases that often come with age.
Protects the Heart
The heart is a fragile organ and your diet can affect how well it functions. Papaya is a good food choice because it contains magnesium and potassium. These minerals can keep your heart rate in the normal range and prevent cholesterol in the bloodstream from reaching your arteries.
In today’s world, people are aging faster because of poor diet and environmental toxins. Preventing premature aging is one of the best papaya health benefits. With its combination of A, B and C vitamins, papaya can help clear your skin, nourish your hair and improve your eyesight.
If you have trouble controlling sugar and carb cravings, papaya might be the perfect choice of food. Not only is it sweet, the fruit also contains fewer calories and provides more nutrition than processed foods.
How to Eat Papaya
The edible parts of a papaya are the flesh and seeds. To eat, just slice it in the middle and pull the halves apart. Scoop out seeds and peel away the skin. You can eat the flesh alone or in a fruit salad. Although papaya seeds are edible, try not to eat more than a couple of teaspoons at a time to avoid stomach aches.