The nutritional and medicinal benefits of papaya makes it an integral part of our diet.
Papaya, a sweet and delicious fruit, is anytime refreshing, low-cal and one of nature’s best offering. No wonder papaya has been known as “fruit of the angels” and the “tree of life” since decades. Once considered exotic, it is now available in the markets throughout the year. Although the fruit is available in the market all the year round, early summer is the peak time for this vibrant fruit.
Apart from tasting sweet and heavenly, papaya is considered as a rich source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin B, folate, pantothenic acid, minerals like potassium & magnesium and antioxidant nutrients such as carotenes. It promotes the health of cardiovascular system and also protects our body from colon cancer. The consumption of papaya after a meal helps in better digestion. The ‘papain enzyme’ prevents our body from bloating and chronic indigestion.
Protection against Heart Disease
Papayas have proved to be very helpful in the prevention of atherosclerosis & diabetic heart disease. Papayas are an excellent source of antioxidants like vitamin C , vitamin E and vitamin A through their concentration of pro-vitamin A carotenoid phytonutrients. These nutrients help in preventing oxidation of cholestrol as when the cholesterol is oxidized it is able to stick to and build up in blood vessel walls, forming dangerous plaques that can eventually cause heart attacks or strokes.
Papaya is also a good source of fiber, which helps in lowering of cholesterol levels. Folic acid found in papaya reduces the risk of damage to walls of the blood vessels and significantly reduces the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Promotes Digestive Health
The presence of fiber and nutrients in papaya prevents colon cancer. Papaya fiber has the ablility to bind cancer-causing toxins in the colon and keep them away from the healthy colon cells. Other than fiber, folate, vitamin C, beta-carotene and vitamin E helps reduce the risk of colon cancer.These nutrients provide synergistic protection for colon cells from oxidative damage to their DNA.
The papain and chymopapain enzymes help in lowering inflammation and improves the healing power of the body. The antioxidant nutrients found in papaya also help in reducing inflammation.
Vitamin A and C, which is manufactured in the body with the help of beta-carotene play a vital role in functioning of the immune system. Papaya is therefore a healthy choice for preventing diseases which are recurrent such as ear infections, cold and flu etc.
Protection from Mascular Degeneration
Studies indicate that consuming the fruit thrice a day lowers the risk of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) by 36 percent. ARMD being one of the major cause of vision loss in old age.
Prevent Prostate Cancer
Studies suggest that regular consumption of lycopene-rich fruits greatly reduces a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer as lycopene results in forming a protective synergistic effect in the prostate gland.