The papaya is a large berry fruit, high in fiber and Vitamin C. Papaya is highly famous for its health benefits and low price. Papaya is usually spherical or cylinder shaped, and its orange meat surrounds its black seeds. The word Papaya came from Spanish and Portuguese word PawPaw. Papaya is a tropical fruit. In many cuisines they use papaya. They cook raw papaya as a vegetable. You cannot eat raw papaya uncooked because of its toxic latex. But you can eat ripe papaya raw. However, many of us do not know about papaya’s health benefits.
Significant source of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and calcium, papaya is also very good for digestion. Papaya contains an enzyme, papain. Papain helps the digestion system to break down protein. Papaya is high in fiber. Papaya contains an antioxidant, zeaxanthin. It filters out harmful blue light rays. Papaya plays a very significant role in eye’s healthiness. It prevents age related macular degeneration. Papaya contains beta-carotene. It lowers the risk of developing asthma and prevents cancer. Papaya is good for bone health, heart, skin, hair. It is truly an abundance of health benefits.
Must-known Facts about Papayas:
Papayas are rich in nutrition. Here are must-known facts about this nutritious fruit-
- Regular consumption of papaya can reduce digestion problems. The papain enzyme of papaya is good for our digestion.
- Although papaya is a large berry, Hawaiian papaya is small and pear shape.
- You can consume papaya in different ways. People cook raw papaya as a vegetable and eat ripe papaya uncooked.
- The black seed of papaya has a sharp and spicy taste. It also contains papain just like the meat of the fruit and is good for health. You can also use it as a substitute for black paper after grounding.
- In parts of Asia, they steam and eat papaya leaves. In many countries around the world, they drink tea made from papaya leaves. They consider it as a protection from Malaria.
- Papaya is the only fruit which contains a protein digesting hormone, papain.
- Papaya is a tropical fruit tree. Papaya originated in the tropical regions of America.
Top 10 Health Benefits of Papaya:
01. Good for Eye health:
The antioxidants that are present in papaya reduce the risks of age related macular degeneration. They believe that these antioxidants filter out harmful blue light rays.
02. Prevention of Asthma:
Scientist say beta-carotene can reduce the risk of developing asthma problems. Papaya has a high amount of beta-carotene,
03. Good for Bone Health:
Low intake of vitamin K can increase the risk of bone fracture. Vitamin K consumption is very important for good health because it improves calcium absorption. It also may reduce the urinary excretion of calcium. Papaya is a significant source of vitamin K. For better bone health, papaya is important.
04. Prevents and Controls Diabetes:
Papaya is rich is fiber. One small papaya can provide 3 grams of fiber. High fiber meal is very important and healthy for people with both types of diabetes. Studies have proved that high fiber meals reduce the sugar level of people with type 1 diabetes. Also, consumption of high fiber meals may have improved the blood sugar of people with type 2 diabetes.
05. Good for Digestion:
Fiber has an important role in digestion. Papaya has high amount of fiber and water content. These ingredients prevent constipation. Also, an enzyme in papaya, papain is a digestion aid. For a healthy digestive tract, one should consume papaya regularly. Fiber and potassium are good for our health. Also, the vitamins content in papaya has an important role to play in heart health. These ingredients prevent many fatal heart diseases. An adequate intake of potassium and less intake of sodium can increase the soundness of heart.
06. Provides Choline:
Papayas provide Choline. Choline is a very important and versatile nutrient that is very important for our body. It aids our body in sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory. It helps our body to maintain cellular membranes. Also, it helps the body in transmission of nerve impulses and absorption of fat. Choline also reduces chronic inflammation.
07. Good for Skin and Hair health:
Papaya is good for our skin and hair. We use the papain enzyme ointments for decubitus ulcers. Smashed papaya is good for cuts on skin. It can prevent infection in burned areas. Vitamin A keeps our hair moisturized. Vitamin C is good for our skin.
08. Treats various Diseases:
In many countries, they treat dengue patients with papaya. They also eat papaya leaf tea as a protection from malaria.
09. Helps to strengthen our Immune System:
Papaya is great for nutrition and it helps us keep our immune system strong. Adequate intake of papaya can make our body healthier and our digestion better.
10. Prevents arthritis:
Arthritis can actually be a debilitating disease and people who have it may have a significantly reduced quality of life. Consuming papaya is good for your bones as it has anti-inflammatory properties along with vitamin C which helps maintain various forms of arthritis at bay. A study published in Annals of the Rheumatic Disease showed that people who consumed foods with less than vitamin C were three times more likely than those who had arthritis.
Nutrition: Per 152 Grams (one small papaya) of Fresh Papaya 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
Types of Papayas:
There are basically two varieties of papaya available. These are: Hawaiian and Mexican papaya. People cultivate both of them all around the world in hot weather. Here is the description of both kinds of papaya-
- Hawaiian Papaya: Hawaiian papaya is a small pear-shaped papaya that weighs not more than 1 pound. These are the papayas you will find in supermarkets. When it is ripe, its skin turns yellow. Depending on the variety the flesh is bright orange or pinkish. And it has small black seeds clustered in center. The Hawaiian variety of papaya trees seldom grows longer than 8 feet. It is easier to harvest. Therefore, this variety of papaya is more popular among the cultivators.
- Mexican Papaya: Mexican papayas are much larger than the Hawaiian types. They usually weigh up to 10 pounds and over 15 inches long. The flesh is yellow, orange or pink when ripe. The flavor of the Mexican papaya is less intense than the Hawaiian type. But still, it is tasty and very popular for its color.
Risk Factors of Papayas:
Eating too much anything is harmful to our health. So, if you want to enjoy the benefits of Papaya, then you should know its risks too. Here are some facts about that too-
- Papayas may cause allergic reactions to sensitive people. You should avoid it if you have allergens to papaya.
- Unripe papaya contains a large amount of latex. In many countries, women use papaya as folk remedy for abortion. The latex is harmful for the fetus. Unripe papaya can cause miscarriage.
- Papaya latex is toxic. It is a severe irritant and vesicant on skin.
- High dosage of papaya leave intakes can cause stomach irritations.
- Eating too much papaya can make your palm and sole yellow. It is harmless though.
- Papayas contain a tremendous amount of papain. Taking large amount of papain by mouth may damage the esophagus.
- Drinking water after taking papaya is harmful. Papain helps the stomach and works as a digestive aid. Avoid water after eating papaya. It may cause spasms in your stomach.
Best ways of Eating Papaya:
You can eat papaya in so many ways. It is edible as both ripe and unripe. You can make salad, fruit salad of papaya. You can make curries, snacks out of it. Here are some amazing ways of eating papaya.
- As an Appetizer: You can serve papaya strips with thin slices of prosciutto as an appetizer. Drizzle it lightly with lime juice.
- Avocado Salad: Use papaya in avocado salad. It will bring a unique taste in your dish.
- Perfect as a Snack: Use dried papaya for sweet treats. Use dried papaya in Fried rice.
- Papaya Ice-Creams and popsicles: Papaya juice is a great idea for popsicles and ice-cream. It has a cantaloupe flavor.
- Grill it: Cut the papaya in half, put the seeds out. And grill them until you see the grill marks on it.
- Bake it: You can bake an unripe mature papaya. Add cinnamon and brown sugar to the quarter cut papaya pieces. Add some water to the baking pan and bake the papaya at 350 for 35 minutes.
- Eat the fruit: Ripe papaya is a delicious fruit to eat.
- Cook it as a Vegetable: Unripe papaya can be a part of your veg curry and stuffing for veg dumplings.
- Exotic Fruit Salad: Get an exotic cantaloupe flavor to your fruit salad by adding papaya in it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Papaya:
01. Question: Why is papaya bad for you?
Answer: Papaya contains papain in latex. Taking large amounts of papain by mouth can cause damage to the esophagus. When applied to the skin: Papaya latex can be UNSAFE. Applying papaya pills to the skin can cause severe burns and allergies in some people.
02. Question: Is Papaya a vegetable or fruit?
Answer: Papaya is a delicious fruit when it ripens. It can be edible as a vegetable when it is green. Its seeds are also useful. Papaya contains vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K as well as potassium, magnesium, protein carotene and natural fiber. So, it can be called both a fruit or vegetable.
03. Question: Can I eat papaya every day?
Answer: Rating a papaya daily can make up for such occasional mistakes, as it has a digestive enzyme known as papain along with fiber which helps improve your digestive health.
04. Question: Can Papaya be eaten on empty stomach?
Answer: Besides that, a cup of papaya when had on an empty stomach is known to clear the digestive tract of toxins and smoothing the bowel movement due to the presence of digestive enzymes. It is also known for keeping away digestive disorders. It includes bloating, stomach upset and constipation.
05. Question: Is papaya a superfood?
Answer: Anyway, the great thing about papaya is that the fruit (especially the undercooked fruit) contains a high amount of enzyme known as papaya, such as seeds. This enzyme works very well as a digestive aid for breaking down proteins, so if you eat meat it is a good way to increase your digestion.