Health Benefits of Papaya – By Natasha Long
Compared to other fruits, papaya has the most health benefits from cardiovascular to colon health. No mysteries as to why it is called the wonder plant.
Papaya fruit is a source of nutrients such as provitamin A carotenoids, vitamin C, folate and dietary fiber. If you want to boost your metabolism, eat papaya as it contains vitamin B in the form of folic acid, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-1 and riboflavin.
Papaya skin, pulp and seeds also contain a variety of phytochemicals, including lycopene and polyphenols. In preliminary research, danielone, a phytoalexin found in papaya fruit, showed antifungal activity against Colletotrichum gloesporioides, a pathogenic fungus of papaya.
Papayas have a relatively high amount of pectin, which can be used to make jellies. The smell of ripe, fresh papaya flesh can strike some people as unpleasant with some even suggesting its smell is similar to feces.
The black seeds of the papaya are edible and have a sharp, spicy taste. They are sometimes ground and used as a substitute for black pepper. These small jelly-like seeds have antibacterial properties; they prevent kidney failure, purge the liver and flush out toxins. The seeds contain antibacterial properties against E.coli, Staphylococcus aureus or Salmonella typhi.
In some parts of the world, papaya leaves are made into tea as a treatment for malaria. Antimalarial and antiplasmodial activity has been noted in some preparations of the plant.
If you face discomfort with digestion, try this vibrant fruit. Papaya helps prevent constipation and helps in the digestion process. It is marketed in tablet form to remedy digestive problems.
Papain is also applied topically in countries where it grows for the treatment of cuts, rashes, stings and burns. Papain ointment is commonly made from fermented papaya flesh, and is applied as a gel-like paste. Harrison Ford was treated for a ruptured disc incurred during filming of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom by papain injections.
Women in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and other countries have long used green papaya as an herbal medicine for contraception and abortion. Enslaved women in the West Indies were noted for consuming papaya to prevent pregnancies and thus preventing their children from being born into slavery. Phytochemicals in papaya may suppress the effects of progesterone.
If you are suffering from arthritis, osteoporosis, or in any pain, papaya can lessen the agony. Papaya is known for its anti inflammatory properties and helps for faster healing.
If you are constantly nursing a cold, include papaya in your diet to fight off colds and coughs. Papaya can boost your immune system, thanks to its abundance of vitamin C.
The supplement bromelain – a papaya based enzyme also helps reduce histamine release, the body’s natural allergic response.
Papaya juice has been found to have an antiproliferative effect on liver cancer cells, possibly due to lycopene or immune system stimulation.
Natasha Longo has a master’s degree in nutrition. She has consulted on public health policy and procurement in Canada, Australia, Spain, Ireland, England and Germany.