Beautiful sunlit colored papayas are mouth-watering and delicious. The thickly fleshed fruit is known to have amazing benefits for the body, most importantly the digestive system.
In some parts of the world, raw papayas are used in cooking but it is majorly consumed as a fruit across the world. Papayas are also popularly known as pawpaw.
The papaya plant is grown not just for its fruit but also the latex it produces. It grows majorly in the tropical regions and is cultivated in farms for commercial exports.
A member of the caricaceae family, the scientific name of papaya is carica papaya.
Nutrient Content of Papaya:
Papaya has a wide range of nutrients that benefit the human body. It is a very low calorie fruit and hence is very good for those watching weight. It is also rich in many phyto-nutrients, minerals and vitamins.
Papayas are excellent sources of Vitamin A and flavonoids such as lutein, beta-carotenes and zea-xanthin. It contains vitamin B complex such as riboflavin, folic acid etc.
Along with papaya, its seed are also edible. Papaya seeds are a rich source of protein. The seeds are also rich in calcium, magnesium and phosphorous.
Benefits of Eating Papaya and its Seeds:
Papaya offers multiple health benefits which range from internal organ strength to beautification of the skin and hair. Along with papaya, its seeds too are found to have many benefits for human health.
Improves Digestive Health:
Papaya is rich in dietary fibres and hence consuming papaya regularly improves the digestive system of the body.
The enzyme called papain present in papaya aids in improving the health of the digestive tract. The fibres of papaya also help in prevention of colon cancer.
The fibres bind with the cancer causing toxins in the colon and prevent them from damaging it. The folate and vitamin C and E present in papaya also help in keeping the digestive tract, specially the colon safe from cancer.
Treats Liver Cirrhosis:
Papaya seeds are also found to be a great treatment for liver cirrhosis. Liver cirrhosis is a disease where the liver shrinks and hardens because of excessive consumption of alcohol over long period of time.
This hinders the normal functioning of the liver making it inefficient at removing the toxins from the body.
It has been found that those who eat a small amount of papaya seed everyday are able to see much better improvement in their liver cirrhosis.
Papaya seeds can be ground and mixed with a small amount of water and drank. It is however advisable to consult a doctor if on medication for cirrhosis.
Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Papaya:
Papaya is found to have anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve inflammation in different parts of the body. The papain and chymopapain present in papaya lower the inflammation in body.
They also help in healing burns. Papaya is also rich in oxidant such as vitamin C and Beta-carotene.
The anti-oxidants present in papaya are also found to have a soothing effect on the inflammation in the body.
Those who are suffering from pain and inflammation due to rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and osteoarthritis have found much relief by consumption of papaya.
Kills and Removes Parasites Present in the System:
Many are aware of the fact that papaya helps to ease the digestive tract and also aids removal of stool. But not many of us know that papaya seeds also help in killing and removing the parasites present in our body.
Papaya seeds have a have an alkaloid compound called carpaine that kills worms and parasites in the intestine.
Papaya fruit on the other hand breaks down proteins making the intestinal tract unsuitable for parasites.
This eating papaya regularly or drinking papaya seed juice can eliminate the parasites and keep the digestive tract healthy.
Papaya Protects the Heart:
Like most of the fruits and vegetables that are rich in anti-oxidants, even papaya is very beneficial to improve the heart health. The antioxidants vitamin C and A prevent the oxidation of cholesterol in the body.
It is only the oxidised cholesterol that can stick to the internal walls of the arteries and build a plaque that can lead to heart attack.
The high fibre content of papaya is also found to be helpful in lowering the cholesterol levels.
The folic acid found in papaya converts a substance called homocysteine into mild amino acids. Homocysteine damages the walls of the arteries and can lead to heart attack or stroke.
Helps in Weight Loss:
As with any fibre rich fruit and vegetable, papaya is found to have good uses when it comes to weight loss. Papaya has fibres that provide a satiating effect to the body reducing the desire to eat more frequently.
Due to its extremely low calorie content, papaya canbe consumed without increasing the calorie count of the food being eaten significantly.
Papaya also clears the bowels and hence keeps the body free of toxins making the weight reduction even faster.
Good for Glowing Skin:
Papaya when eaten and applied on skin can leave it feeling fresh and glowing.
The flavonoids present in papaya work along with the other anti-oxidants like vitamin A and C to heal the cells of the body from within, which includes skin and hair cells.
Ripe papaya can also be mashed and applied to the skin for keeping it clean. The Vitamins and antioxidants of papaya clean the skin and work towards repairing the skin cells damaged from excessive heat, harsh sunrays, smoke and pollution.
Moisturizer for Hair and Skin:
Ripe papaya also acts as a good moisturiser for both skin and hair. The water content of papaya along with its carbohydrate and fats content provide hydration and nutrition to the skin and hair cells.
The papain enzyme clears always all dirt and provides a firming effect to the skin to avoid wrinkles.
Papaya offers many health benefits and eating papaya and a small quantity of papaya seeds regularly can keep the body protected from many diseases and problems. Eat papaya regularly for healthy skin and hair and a fit body.