Health Benefits of Papaya, ‘Fruit of the Angels’

Did you know that a sweet delicious succulent papaya will increase your sensual pleasures immensely with its soft butter-like consistency?  Christopher Columbus called papayas ‘the fruit of the angels’.

Papaya was once a rare and exotic fruit, but now can be found at most times of the year. Almost all parts of the papaya (fruit, seed, root, stem, leaf, flower, peel and latex) are used for their health benefits.

papaya on the tree.

Papaya on the tree

6 Health Benefits of Papaya

1. Assists Digestion

Papayas contain the enzyme papain which helps the stomach in digesting protein, according to a study at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2011. Ripe papaya worked the best.

Also, papaya is used to treat a number of digestive issues such as intestinal problems, indigestion, constipation and diarrhea.

2. Helps Prevent Cancer

Papayas are a good source of lycopene, which has been found to help reduce prostate, lung, pancreas, colon and rectum, esophagus, oral cavity, breast, cervix and stomach cancers according to studies.

Dried papaya leaf extract was found to have a very successful anticancer effect against lab-grown tumors (cancers of the breast, liver, lung cervix and pancreas). The results were stronger when the cancer cells received larger doses of the tea.

3. Good for Eye Health

Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids which are phytochemicals found in papaya that help maintain good eyesight. A study found the intake of lutein and zeaxanthin help to prevent macular degeneration.

4. Kills Intestinal Parasites

It has been found that papaya seeds and fruit have anti-parasitic activity. In a study, children who had intestinal parasites were given papaya seeds; after seven days the children had no parasites.

5. Good for the Skin

Papayas are abundant in β-carotene and lycopene which are known to adjust the skin’s properties.

It has been found that these micro-nutrients can help protect the skin against sunburn.

Women who live in tropical climates are known to use unripe papaya juice on their skin. The raw white papaya pulp when rubbed on the skin, can remove dead skin cells and replace them with healthy skin. Also, it’s used in bath soaps, detergent bars and hand washes.

6. Lowers Stroke Risk

Papayas are a good source of lycopene, which decreases the risk of stroke in men.

There’s much more lycopene in cooked tomatoes as opposed to papayas, but the lycopene in papaya is more bioavailable. “Supplements may give you a purified form of lycopene, but you’re not sure you’re getting what you get from food. You may be getting the wrong form of lycopene in a supplement,” says Dr. Giovannucci, who has done much research on lycopene.

Please Note:  Papayas can affect a Latex Allergy as papayas contain chitinases that are connected with latex-fruit allergy. Avocado, banana, chestnut and kiwi are high on the list of latex cross‐reactive foods. Papaya is moderate on the list. It has been advised to avoid papaya during pregnancy, lactation and bleeding disorders.  There is no scientific proof, but it is advisable to avoid papaya by those who have miscarriages.
Papaya’s black seeds contain traces of carpine, which can be a toxic substance. That said, the seeds can be very effective in eliminating intestinal parasites and other health issues.

Young papaya flower

Young Papaya Flower

Papaya Trivia: 

  • The papaya plant is actually a giant herb.
  • The papaya plant can grow up to 20 foot and bear fruit in less than 18 months.
  • A papaya can be anywhere from 1 to 20 pounds.
  • In Costa Rica and Mexico, the natives refer to the papaya tree as “the tree of good health.”
  • The bark and stem of the papaya tree are used in the production of ropes.
  • Papaya is called “pawpaw” in Europe and Australia, “mamao” in Brazil, and “fruitabomba” in Cuba.
  • Just look how beautiful those papaya flowers are (above).

History of Papayas:

Papaya is natural to Central America; the Latin American Indians have highly valued it. The explorers from Spain and Portugal brought papayas to other subtropical areas in the world where they traveled; this includes India, the Philippines and parts of Africa.

It wasn’t until the 20th century that papayas arrived in the United States and cultivated in Hawaii. The largest producers of papayas are the United States (Hawaii is the major U.S. producer since the 1920s), Puerto Rico and Mexico.

Papaya Nutrition:

  • Very high content of vitamins (A and C) and minerals. Half of a small papaya can provide 150 percent of the recommended dietary intake of vitamin C.
  • Low content of sodium, calories and starch.
  • See full data here:  Papaya Nutrients
Sliced Papaya

Sliced Papaya

 

Related:

Pears: Gift of the Gods
13 Health Benefits of Oranges
Plum Crazy! 8 Health Benefits and Fascinating Facts
10 Health Benefits of Mangos

122 comments

Sonia M

Good article thanks for sharing

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Elisa F
Elisa F4 months ago

Yum :) thanks for sharing!

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Patricia L
Patricia L11 months ago

Thanks

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Sara W.
Sara Wabout a year ago

I really like adding some lemon juice on it before eating it. Makes for a refreshing breakfast on a hot day!

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallusabout a year ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for the article.

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federico bortoletto
federico bortolettoabout a year ago

Grazie.

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Sonia Valencia
Sonia Valenciaabout a year ago

I don't like papaya not the smell, look, or taste of it, so I will have to pass. The black seeds all bunched together creep me out. lol

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Carol S.
Carol Sabout a year ago

Very, very expensive here.

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Donn M.
Donn Mabout a year ago

Men in some countries have an anti-papaya bias, believe it affects their virility negatively. Too bad we can't get them all to believe that in regards to certain parts of endangered species.





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