Have you included papaya in your diet already? If not, you need to do so now, and here is why.
Papaya is the secret ingredient you need for longevity and timeless beauty. The Mayans (indigenous people of Mexico and Central America) called it the “Tree of Life.” It was considered sacred and revered by them for its many health benefits. It is not only loaded with vitamins and minerals but with several antioxidants that prevent a number of health conditions including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. When it comes to anti-aging and beauty, Papaya can be used topically or ingested to remedy dry skin, wrinkles, skin blemish, pimples and acne.
There is a belief that papaya field workers had smoother hands by working with these fruits which was attributed to the enzyme papain and bromelain. These enzymes are known for their exfoliating properties. We are not claiming it as the fountain of youth, but papaya will not only improve your health but also your look and appearance, making you look great and younger. No wonder, it is used in so many skin and hair care products.
Here are 19 amazing health benefits of papaya
- Reduces The Risk of Certain Cancers
The decoction made from papaya leaves are widely used for healing properties against cancer. Beta Carotene and Vitamin C found in papaya lowers the chances of cancers especially colon cancer. Fiber found in papaya lowers the cancer-causing toxins in the digestive system. The high antioxidant properties and anti-parasitic properties in papaya makes it a detox or a cleanse which enhances immunity. Unripe fruits have nephroprotective activities which reduces oxidative stress and protects you against free radicals. The humble papaya is even gaining credibility in Western medicine for its anticancer powers that folk cultures have recognized for generations. According to Science Daily, a study conducted by the University of Florida showed that papaya extract seemed to have a toxic effect on cancer cells by producing a key signaling molecule called Th1-type cytokines that regulates the immune system.
- Manages Diabetes
Several studies have shown that the papaya plant possesses hypoglycemic effects in both humans and animals. The aqueous extract of papaya promotes metabolic disruption formed by diabetes. Although papaya is very sweet, it is actually low on the glycemic index and high in fiber which it stops your blood sugar from spiking.
- Promotes Digestive Health
Papaya has chymopapain and papain which helps to support digestion, cleanse the colon and prevent constipation. It also has anti-inflammatory properties which helps to lower inflammation of the colon and stomach. The juice is helpful to cure peptic ulcers by eliminating bacteria H. Additionally, it helps to heal and prevents stomach ulcers. To drive the point home in how it helps with digestion, papaya is actually used commercially as a meat tenderizer.
- Exfoliates and Repairs the Skin
This buttery, sweet and musky fruit not only taste great, but its rejuvenating enzymes exfoliate your skin to give a youthful glow. It supports direct anti-aging action reducing wrinkles and spots. The healthy dose of Vitamin C is needed for the building and maintenance of the skin which not only provides structure to the skin, but also helps with keeping the skin moisturized. Papaya applied directly to the skin can heal cracked heels, fades dark spots and treat dry skin. Papaya contains lycopene and its job is to assist with metabolic functions related to growth and repair. The juice of raw papaya can prevent breakouts and blemishes on your skin.
The skin of papaya can be rubbed over the skin to remove dead cells and age spots. Enzymes and plant-based antioxidants effectively removes all dead, damaged cells, tissue, debris from the surface while also penetrating the interior layers of skin and eliminates dust, grime and excessive oil secretions. This process cleanses the pores and reveals a bright, clear complexion. Apply papaya directly to ski and in just a few days, you will have very soft and supple skins due to all the flavonoids.
- Heart friendly Nutrients
One of the main benefits of consuming papaya is that it has several properties that can prevent cardiovascular disease. It prevents cholesterol build-up in the arteries mainly through the combination of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, antioxidants like beta-carotene and Lycopene that helps with the oxidation of cholesterol in your arteries.
- Repairs Damaged Hair
Folic acid found in papaya helps in hair growth by improving circulation to the hair follicles. Externally, it can be combined with honey and coconut milk for a silky and smooth mane. If you have rough and brittle hair with split ends, no problem, team up papaya with olive oil and honey for a hair mask to restore health to your beautiful strands. Papaya is also an anti-fungal and can treat dandruff and scalp infections.
- Abundant in Bioflavonoids
Did you know there was a Vitamin P? Vitamin P (also known as bioflavonoids) are semi-essential nutrients that works as nature’s modifier and responds to biological changes in the body. The bioflavonoids in papaya modify the reaction of the body to viruses, carcinogens and allergens; thereby, protecting the body from life-threatening disease.
- Improves Eyesight
Papaya is very rich in Vitamin A and three important flavonoids: beta-carotene, cryptoxanthin and lutein. These keep the mucus membranes in the eyes healthy and protect them from damage. Additionally, papaya can help stop the loss of vision due to macular degeneration which is the loss of vision that commonly affects aging adults. The antioxidant zeaxanthin filters out rays that harm the retinas and reduces this risk.
- Reduces Chronic Inflammation
There is a magical enzyme in papaya called papain that is a natural anti-inflammatory agent. Consuming papaya has been accounted for soothing swollen blood vessels as a result of hemorrhoids, reduces inflammation of the lungs and help reduce the pain that results from arthritis.
While we want you to receive as many benefits as possible from papaya, be careful not to consume to much papaya as it can lead to carotenemia which is the yellowing of the soles and palm. Pregnant women should not consume papaya as it may result in miscarriage. The roots are actually used as an abortifacient.
- Improves Brain Function Reduce the Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease
Although this has not been fully studied, the research has been promising that papaya may actually counteract the effects of oxidative stress in people living with Alzheimer’s disease and slow the progression of the illness. The exact cause of Alzheimer’s is still unknown, but it is believed that oxidative stress plays a role in the condition. Oxidative stress is an imbalance between antioxidants and the free radicals that cause cell damage.
- Asthma prevention
Asthma is a disturbing disease characterized by chest pain, difficulty breathing, persistent cough, and wheezing. Its debilitating symptoms can make your life a living hell. Fortunately, regular consumption of papaya can help. Numerous studies have found that the risk of developing asthma is lower in people who consume foods rich beta-carotene and anti-inflammatory compounds. Papaya is rich in all of them.
- Bone health
Insufficient intake of calcium and vitamin K has been associated with an increased risk of bone disease, including fracture. Not only adequate vitamin K consumption is vital to your bone it also improves calcium absorption which is another crucial element for healthy bones. Papaya is loaded with these nutrients and other compounds which may strengthen and rebuild bones. In addition to benefit bone health, this exotic fruit has been found to be helpful against rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
- Wound healing
Mashed papaya is commonly used topically to promote wound healing and prevent infection of wounds and burned areas. Ointments containing papain enzyme is also used to treat bedsores. Although there is not enough research done on it, some researchers believe that the healing property is due to proteolytic enzymes chymopapain and papain in the papaya.
- Cleanses the Body
When your body is loaded with toxins it impacts the functioning of the immune system and all the major organs. Of course, you may cleanse every once in a while, but there’s no better cleansing than regularly keeping your body hydrated to facilitate the liver and kidneys flush toxins out. The hydrating properties of the papaya can do wonders in supporting the excretory system in discharging wastes. In addition, papayas contain plenty of antioxidants which can help the body to move toxins out of your system easier.
- Increases Circulation
Good circulation is the soul of optimal health. It helps blood and oxygen continuously flow throughout the body and provide necessary nutrients to the organs. Unfortunately, as we get older, circulation becomes poor which increases the risk of a variety of medical conditions including heart problems, high blood pressure, and diabetes. A simple and natural way to improve your circulation is to include papaya in your diet. It helps circulation and improves blood flow. Papaya is well known for its beneficial property on circulation and cardiovascular health.
- Weight loss
Are you overweight? You are not alone. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 39% of adults in the world are overweight, and 1 in 5 children and adolescents are overweight. This is a serious health concern considering “Obesity is a significant risk factor for and contributor to increased morbidity and mortality, most importantly, from cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes, cancer and chronic diseases, including osteoarthritis, liver and kidney disease, sleep apnea, and depression.”
One of the simple ways you can help your get rid of a few pounds is consuming papaya regularly. In addition to its cleansing benefit, it is rich in fiber and other weight lost compounds which makes you feel full and have less desire to eat.
- It Boosts the Immunity
The immune system is like the national guard of your body; without it your body is defenseless against pathogenic attacks. It fights back against germs, infections, virus, bacteria, pollutions, and others. Therefore, if your immune system is weak, you are most likely to fall sick and unable to recover from sickness. Papayas benefits the immune system by providing it the necessary boost it needs to function properly. If you want your body to have a strong defense, eat papaya daily and you will see the effects on your skin and health overall in just a few weeks.
- It Is a Healthy Snack
We all like to snack. Snacking is a normal signal of your body telling you that something is out of balance; it needs a small dietary change to complete the void. Thus, the importance of snacking on healthy foods. Papayas make for one of the healthiest natural snacks that you can buy very cheap. Not only healthy, it won’t increase your daily calorie count or impact your diet plan because it contains zero fat and almost no sugar.
- Helps to Heal the Liver
Some of the minerals, vitamins, and essential compounds that are contained in papayas may help cleanse the liver and reverse or prevent minor damages. Papayas can even help your liver to restore from damage that has occurred over the short or long-term.
An unhealthy liver is often associated with different symptoms including weight gain, yellowing of the skin, lower back pain, poor eyesight. If you experience any of these symptoms, first and foremost, stop consuming unhealthy fats, sugar, alcohol and salt, and include papaya in your diet.