Papaya is among fruits that are unique to the tropical regions. For long, people have considered it as exotic for many reasons.
Christopher Columbus, one of the most famous explorers of all times, defined papaya as “fruit of the angels”.
However, papaya made its first appearance in the United States in the last century.
Since the 1920s, Hawaii is the leading producer of papaya in the US.
Nowadays, the US is also among top producers in the world, followed by Mexico and Puerto Rico.
With its popularity and a wide range of catching names, it is undeniable that papaya has a lot of benefits on humans.
But let’s make a closer examination on papaya nutrition facts to understand why it is beneficial for human health.
About 88 percent of papaya is water, followed by carbohydrates which hold approximately 11 percent (1).
100 grams of papaya contains only 43 calories, which makes it a low calorie fruit.
Papaya is rich in vitamins and necessary minerals that play an important role in many health benefits of papaya.
To name a few, there are vitamins A, B, C and minerals, such as potassium, selenium, sodium, magnesium, iron or phosphorus.
The high content of fiber is another outstanding feature in papaya nutrition facts.
In addition, one of the most important nutrients in papaya is papain, an enzyme which serves to aid the digestion of proteins in the body.
The impression on papaya nutrition facts will undoubtedly support your comprehension of many amazing health benefits of papaya.
Health Benefits of Papaya
Below are top 10 health benefits of papaya that might surprise you.
They have been supported by studies for years and met the need of millions of people all around the world.
1. Digestive System
One of the first and also best health benefits of papaya is to strengthen your immune system.
It is the richness of water and fiber that contributes to easier digestion. Papaya can help maintain smooth bowel movements, which protects you from constipation.
According to the result of a research, a considerable improvement in the treatment for bloating and constipation was witnessed in those consuming papaya for more than a month (2).
Besides, as papain plays an essential role in the body’s digestion of proteins, the process of digesting foods is not likely to experience any hinderance (3).
Bottom Line: In terms of digestive health, papaya can have preventive effects on constipation, bloating, ulcers, or irritable bowel syndrome.
One of the most important health benefits of papaya is associated with the skin health.
Specifically, papaya can enable you to look younger and have toned skin.
With an abundance of lycopene and vitamin C, papaya can contain the activities of free radicals.
A research concentrated on the supplement of lycopene during a period of 10-12 weeks.
The result showed that skin redness due to the excessive exposure to the sun might decline significantly thanks to lycopene (8).
Another study with older female participants required them to consume vitamin C, lycopene and some other antioxidants in 14 weeks.
At the end of the study, their facial wrinkles reduced considerably (9).
Bottom Line: Containing many antioxidants, papaya is effective to protect your skin from sun damage and aging process.
Among the best health benefits of papaya, there is something associated with the eye health.
In a study from the Archives of Opthalmology, 3 times of consuming papaya can have protective impacts against macular denegration, a common problem when you get older.
Besides, because of its abundant content of vitamin A, C, E, papaya is beneficial for the eye health in general (10).
Bottom Line: With many antioxidants and vitamins, papaya can have positive impacts on the eye health and prevent many chronic eye problems.
One of top papaya health benefits that you will not see the effect immediately is on your heart health.
Furthermore, its content of antioxidants is beneficial for the heart and stimulate the activities of HDL or “good” cholesterol (15).
Bottom Line: Thanks to the presence of lycopene and vitamin C, papaya can make contributions to the prevention against cardiovascular disease.
5. Arthritis Treatment
Arthritis is a common problem that disturbs the lives of over 50 million people in the United States alone (16).
In fact, the treatment for arthritis can become easier with the help of papaya. It is also one of the most popular health benefits of papaya.
In papaya, there are some anti-inflammatory enzymes, such as chymopapain and papain. They are effective to deal with pain and inflammation (17).
Besides, vitamins play a vital role in the fight against inflammation as well. The Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases claimed that a deficiency of vitamin C will increase the risk of arthritis.
Bottom Line: Anti-inflammatory enzymes are the deciding factors to make papaya beneficial for the treatment of arthritis.
6. Lose Weight
If you intend to lose some weight naturally, papaya is a good choice to be added into your daily meal.
This is also one of the best papaya health benefits that have been practised for many years.
With its watery content and low calories, papaya can make you feel full for longer, which in turn decreases the amount of foods consumed.
Note: To support weight loss, you had better consume papaya in the middle of the morning and evening.
7. Cancer Prevention
It would be such a mistake if we do not mention health benefits of papaya on the prevention against cancer.
Suggestions from some research showed that lycopene is responsible for this quality (18).
There are about 14 types of vegetables and fruits that have antioxidants to fight against the bad effects of free radicals in the body. These radicals are believed to wrosen the cancer development.
However, among them, papaya is the only fruit to be effective in preventing breast cancer (19).
When doing research on old people, scientists found out that papaya could lead to a reduction in oxidative damage (20).
Nonetheless, to gain a comprehensive understanding of this quality, more studies need carrying out.
Bottom Line: From its richness of antioxidants, some evidence reveals the effectiveness of papaya in preventing cancer growth.
Known as a rich source of vitamins, enzymes and minerals, papaya undoubtedly has positive impacts on the growth of your hair.
You can get a thicker and smoother hair if papaya is used regularly.
Hair experts claimed that the consumption of papaya or the use of papaya-extracted products can improve the texture, length and strength of your hair.
The considerable amount of vitamin C in papaya is the main reason for many health benefits of papaya, one of which is definitely to enhance your immune system.
Vitamin C is important for increasing the number of white blood cells and preventing against the damage of free radicals (21).
Moreover, vitamins A and E in papaya also contribute to a stronger immunity.
Bottom Line: The richness of vitamins in papaya is beneficial for your immune system.
Although health benefits of papaya might be more impressive than you imagined, it is worth concerning that papaya can cause unwanted consequences if you consume it in the wrong way.
First, it is imperative that pregnant women not use papaya because of its side effects, such as miscarriage or abortion.
Besides, many people have allergy to papain found in papaya. As a result, when they consume too much papaya, some respiratory problems can happen, such as asthma or wheezing.
The excessive intake of papaya is also claimed to trigger stomach-related problems, for example, nausea, bloating or abdominal cramps.
Disclaim: The effectiveness from using these foods on certain problems and diseases will be depended on the body condition of the applicant.