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Children and even some adults are more likely to pick the popular tropical fruits like mango, lychee, and pineapple but papaya wins by a mile when it comes to health benefits. Not everyone likes papayas but those who do can hardly make through the day without it. One has to develop a taste for the bitter aftertaste and we recommended that you do.
The Papaya tree was sacred among the Mayans because of its medicinal properties. Not just the fruit but its leaves, seeds, and flowers have healing powers. Christopher Columbus termed Papayas as the “Fruit of the Angels.” Fruits are essential for any diet and you should have at least one serving of the seasonal fruits every day. You can fulfill your body’s sugar needs by eating fruits alone and avoid sugar and other sweeteners altogether.
Let’s face it – we eat too many unhealthy and processed foods for our digestive system to function properly. What we need are fruits like papaya to improve digestion. Papaya contains an enzyme – papain - that breaks down proteins and improves digestion. Papaya benefits people suffering from constipation; one of the best remedies for digestion related problems is a bowl of papaya or a glass of papaya juice. Moreover, its fiber and water contents prevent constipation.
The high fiber content in papaya helps maintain cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels in the body, which helps in keeping a check on diabetes. Having green tea and fermented papaya prevents the onset of diabetes according to a study. Papaya flowers are used in northeast India to prevent diabetes. The papaya flower is sautéed in a little oil and then consumed as a side with rice. Even though papaya is sweet, its glucose content is low.
Reactive molecules – free radicals – can cause oxidative stress, which leads to diseases. Papaya benefits the metabolism by neutralizing these molecules; it contains a type of antioxidants called carotenoids. The elderly and people with pre-diabetes, liver disease, and hypothyroidism can benefit from fermented papaya, which reduces oxidative stress. Researchers believe that an excess of free radicals in the brain can lead to Alzheimer’s disease. According to a study, people who consumed fermented papaya extract for up to 6 months were 40% less vulnerable to the effects of oxidative stress. Lycopene in papaya removes excess amounts of iron, which leads to the production of free radicals.
The dengue virus attacks and significantly reduces the count of platelets in the blood. Papaya leaves are used to boost the platelet count; a glass of papaya leaf juice every day is considered a good remedy for dengue by many doctors. Grind the leaves with a small amount of water to extract juice from the leaves. Dengue can prove to be fatal if the fever leads to internal bleeding, which shuts down the circulatory system.
Papaya benefits include anti-cancer properties that are associated with its lycopene content. In fact, papaya benefits people being treated for cancer; it reduces free radicals that promote the production of cancerous cells. Some scientists profess that papaya might have unique positive effects. Up to 14 fruits are known to hold antioxidant properties and none except papaya has shown better anticancer activity in breast cancer cells. It is also useful in treating inflammation and precancerous stomach conditions.
Studies have shown that the high content of Vitamin C and lycopene in papaya might boost heart health and prevent heart disease. The antioxidants in papaya improve on the effects of good (HDL) cholesterol and therefore, protect your heart. People who took fermented papaya for 14 weeks reported lowered inflammation and an improved bad to good cholesterol ratio. The latter is known to reduce the risk of heart disease.
The skin, they say, is a reflection of the inner workings of your body. Papaya benefits include improved skin health if consumed regularly. The benefits of papaya are linked to the high contents of Vitamin A, C, and E, which have antioxidant properties. These vitamins make the skin brighter and tighter, which prevents wrinkles, sagging, and dullness. Papaya is a natural source of alpha-hydroxy acids that prevent the buildup of layers of dead cells. It rejuvenates the cell tissues and improves their thickness.
Arthritis is one of those diseases that affect the quality of life by weakening the body, especially the bones. Papaya benefits the bones; its inflammatory properties and Vitamin C content prevent arthritis. People who consume foods rich in Vitamin-C are 3 times less likely to get arthritis. Additionally, papaya is packed with calcium, potassium, copper, and magnesium that help in keeping a check on arthritis.