Do you know what the main benefits of papaya are? The fruit from Central America is widely consumed in the US and other parts of the world. It is considered one of the five most nutritious fruits daily, as it can supply all caloric and nutritional needs.
Cultivated in Asia, Africa, and the American continent, the papaya or Carica papaya is a perennial plant part of the Caricaceae family. It can reach more than ten meters in height. The fruits of the tree have a wide range of sizes and are sweet, juicy, and bright orange when ripe.
In addition, papaya fruit is rich in several vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients essential for maintaining good health. Along with its versatility in consumption, it has become a popular fruit in many parts of the world.
Because of the importance of fruit, Homemade Remedy prepared this article showing the ten main benefits of consuming papaya according to science and how to choose and incorporate fruit in meals.
Benefits of consuming papaya
Papaya is a trendy fruit in America. Mainly because the fruit can be grown in all regions and does not require great care. Furthermore, the fruit is tasty and full of health benefits. Check out which are each of them below.
1. Fight bacteria
Both the pulp and the papaya seeds have bactericidal properties. Consuming these parts can inhibit the proliferation and exterminate some bacterial colonies that can harm health.
This was first mentioned in a study published in 1982 by the University of Nigeria, when papaya’s properties were discovered to prevent harmful microorganisms from increasing in the body, helping to prevent various diseases.
Another study published in 2003 found that these effects are also visible in the seeds of the fruit. Her extract was very effective against different types of bacteria.
2. Helps control blood pressure
Another study, published in the 2000s in Phytotherapy Research by Nigerian researchers, revealed that papaya fruit pulp also has hypotensive properties.
In other words, when consumed moderately, the fruit helped lower blood pressure and kidney pressure in hypertensive rats. In addition, the extract made with papaya pulp has also been shown to be a natural relaxant for the arteries. Thus, improving cardiac functioning and preventing various diseases related to organ malfunction.
3. Facilitates the treatment of diabetes
In addition to having the ability to help regulate blood pressure, papaya is also hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic. The fruit can directly reduce glucose and cholesterol in the blood of people with diabetes mellitus.
Diabetes mellitus is divided into two types and is characterized by chronic excess blood sugar, which can lead to several problems. In addition, people who suffer from the disease are also likely to have higher-than-recommended lousy cholesterol levels.
Therefore, consuming papaya regularly can help control these two problems and act in conjunction with regular medication.
4. Protect the cells
Another benefit found by science in papaya is that it is rich in antioxidant substances. The main ones are called phenolic and polyphenol compounds, such as tannins and flavonoids. The latter is considered the most potent antioxidant found in plants.
In addition, the fruit is also rich in carotenoids, which are composed of lipids that dissolve in water and are responsible for the colours yellow, orange, and red.
In body, these compounds protect the body against different types of diseases and muscle and heart degeneration and act as potent antioxidants.
5. Improves bowel function
Papaya contains an enzyme called papain, known for breaking down proteins in the stomach, making them easier to digest. This enzyme may also help reduce inflammation in the digestive tract, and papaya promotes the healing of digestive disorders such as gastritis and ulcerative colitis.
Additionally, papaya is high in fibre, which can help regulate bowel movements and prevent constipation. Papaya also contains antioxidants such as vitamin C and beta-carotene, which can help reduce inflammation and protect against cell damage.
For example, a study published in 2017 in the World Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences showed that people with a gluten allergy did not experience any symptoms when eating processed products with papaya.
In addition, fruits are also rich in fibre, which helps improve the intestinal tract’s functioning—so satisfying to prevent problems with constipation.
6. Protects the liver
Consuming ripe papaya fruits also helps protect the liver from damage caused by external toxic agents. Such as the accumulation of fat in the region, alcohol abuse, and some medications metabolized by the organ. Since this is one of the primary uses of the fruit in some areas of the United States and Asia.
7. Helps prevent cancer
Papaya also has phytochemicals that help prevent many types of cancer and even inhibit the growth of malignant tumours. Especially when it comes to breast, cervical, and pancreatic cancer.
In addition, the fruit also has anti-inflammatory effects that help reduce cases of necrosis, which is when the death and decay of cell tissue occurs. Thus, this fruit improves the quality of life of patients with the disease.
This benefit is derived from a large number of antioxidants present in the fruit’s pulp and papain. This heat-resistant enzyme helps dissolve muscle fibres, which involves several types of cancers and makes treatment difficult.
8. It can prevent the appearance of ulcers
Consuming papaya regularly can also help prevent and treat stomach ulcers. This is because the phytochemicals present in the fruit help prevent the breakdown of blood cells and protect the stomach from possible damage.
Furthermore, as already mentioned, the fruit has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects. Thus, its consumption prevents the proliferation of ulcer-causing bacteria and helps reduce lesions’ inflammation.
9. Boosts the immune system
Papaya is also responsible for helping to strengthen the immune system, which is the body’s defence against various beneficial diseases, i.e., which appear when the body’s defences are not working correctly.
Part of this is due to the fruit’s antioxidant action, which prevents cell degeneration, and the large amount of vitamin C in the pulp. This vitamin is known to help improve the body’s defences.
10. Treat skin problems
Finally, ripe papaya pulp can also be applied directly to the skin. It is widely used to treat the region’s injuries, inflammation, and dryness.
This fruit is considered many times more effective than conventional treatments, mainly due to its anti-inflammatory and bactericidal action of the fruit. Because of this, ripe papaya pulp is also used as a natural acne mask and sunscreen.
In addition, it also has to lighten properties, reduce oiliness, and remove excess dead skin. It can be applied directly to the skin as a face mask.
Nutrition and Properties of Papaya
Papaya is a fruit rich in antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, and E. These antioxidants may help to lower the risk of heart disease by preventing the oxidation of cholesterol. Cholesterol oxidation is known to cause blockages in arteries that can lead to heart disease. Therefore, including papaya in your diet can be beneficial for maintaining heart health.
Ripe fruits contain protein, fat, and fibre that help the gastrointestinal tract function. In addition, papaya is also rich in carbohydrates, antioxidants, and health-beneficial amino acids.
A 100-gram serving of papaya contains, on average, just 43 calories with high amounts of vitamins C, A, E, and K, and some that belong to the B complex.
The same serving delivers nearly 10% of the daily dietary fibre intake and contains about 90 grams of water. Finally, ripe fruit is also rich in minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and copper.
Papaya is a fruit appreciated in all American states. It is most often consumed naturally or as sweets or jellies. However, it is possible to use the fruit differently and vary the menu slightly. At the same time, I am enjoying all the benefits of papaya.
With that in mind, the Homemade Remedy has separated some simple and practical recipes with papaya, which you can make at home and spend little money on. Check it out and enjoy.
One of the most traditional ways to consume ripe papaya is by making the famous vitamins. This one takes fruit as its main ingredient and is rich in vitamins, minerals, and fibre. Furthermore, there is no need to add sugar, as papaya already fills the need for sweets.
- Half ripe papaya
- 200 ml of milk of your choice. It can be whole, skimmed, or vegetable
- One tablespoon of rolled oats
The preparation is simple: blend all the ingredients in a blender until smooth. It should be consumed right after practice, as papaya spoils quickly.
Green Papaya Salad
It’s not just the ripe fruit that can be eaten, as the unripe fruit also contains nutrients and can be used in tasty recipes. Most commonly, they are the main ingredients of jellies, but it is possible to prepare a refreshing and healthy salad utilizing the component. Check it out.
- Four cups of peeled and grated green papaya
- Two cups of diced chopped tomatoes
- A cup of diced chopped onion
- Two tablespoons of fresh mint leaves
- A cup of finely flaked oatmeal
- juice of a lemon
- Two tablespoons of olive oil
- Salt to taste for seasoning
First, let the grated papaya drain for a few minutes. After all the water in the fruit is removed, place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Finally, season with oil, lemon and salt and serve immediately afterward.
Cold Papaya Soup
In addition to salads, papaya also goes well with other savoury dishes. This recipe is for a cold soup called gazpacho, which is very refreshing and can be consumed during the summer.
- 400 grams of ripe papaya
- two medium tomatoes
- a small cucumber
- Coriander or parsley to taste
- a quarter of a lemon juice
Coarsely chop the papaya, tomatoes, and cilantro and blend them in a blender. When everything is a homogeneous mixture, place it on a plate to serve and finish with small cucumber cubes, which add an extra crunch to the recipe.
Finally, a recipe for those who can’t do without something sweet like a dessert, which in addition to being delicious, is quite simple and will please everyone. Check out how to prepare baked papaya candy.
- A medium-ripe but firm papaya
- third cup of sugar
- a cup and a half of water
- two stick shanks
- Lemon peel and juice
First, take the peel off the papaya and cut the fruit into medium pieces. Then place it in a pan with water, sugar, cinnamon sticks, and lemon juice.
Cook everything over medium heat until it comes to a boil, but don’t over-simmer. Once that’s done, please remove it from the heat, add the lemon peel, and it’s ready to serve hot or cold. In addition, it can be kept in the refrigerator with syrup.
What are the main types of papaya?
According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), all the trees known as papaya belong to a single species that would have originated between Central and South America, the Carica papaya.
However, within this group, several varieties of fruit have their characteristics. In America, one of the world’s largest producers, nine papaya varieties are grown, divided into the soil and Formosa groups.
The Sunrise unaccompanied varieties in the solo group, popularly known as Hawaii papaya or papaya. It has a darker pulp, and the part where the seeds are has a star shape.
Another variety is golden, which has a salmon tone. The improved sunrise solo line has the same characteristics as the Hawaiian papaya but is more resistant, and the short one from Santa Amelia. The latter usually has smaller, softer fruit and a reddish-orange tone.
Other common varieties are Taiwan, Kapoho Solo, Waimanalo, and Higgins. They all tend to bear medium-weight fruits and are the most common in the world.
The hybrid species Tainung nº one is included in the Formosa group, popularly known as papaya formosa. This variety is usually wider, tasty, and transport-resistant than the others.
How to choose the best fruit?
As with any fruit or vegetable, you must be careful when choosing papaya. Through an excellent superficial evaluation, it is possible to verify the quality of the fruit.
For example, according to Embrapa, the fruit must be firm, with a yellowish-green skin, and no harm caused by transport or poor storage. This is because the papaya finishes ripening after harvesting. If it is bought when very mature, it can spoil quickly if not consumed on the day of purchase.
Fruits with many bruises on the skin may be too soft or already spoiled. Therefore, they must be avoided at all costs.
Furthermore, even when stored in the refrigerator, papaya has a short shelf life, as it is delicate and spoils quickly. Therefore, it should be consumed shortly after purchase.
Uses for papaya seeds
As already mentioned, it is not only the papaya pulp that is edible and has health benefits. Papaya is also widely used in some regions mainly because they are rich in protein, fibre, papaya oil, and some suitable enzymes for the body.
Also, when toasted and ground, they can be used as a seasoning, as they have a spicy taste and are often used as a substitute for black pepper.
The seeds are also used in folk medicine in some countries as a home treatment for lesions on the skin or internal organs and as a natural male contraceptive.
A study published in 2014 in the International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences indicated that the consumption of fruit seed extract decreases sperm count in adult rats.
Finally, the seeds also contain large amounts of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory and bactericidal effects, being used as a tonic to give energy and boost the body’s immunity.
Care and contraindications
The consumption of ripe papaya pulp is safe. Thus, it can be introduced into the diet of children, pregnant women, and the elderly without harming the body except in cases of any fruit allergy.
However, the consumption of unripe fruit and seeds should be avoided by pregnant women. This is because, in this state, the papaya is abortive, as it stimulates uterine contraction due to the action of papain, which induces the production of hormones released only during childbirth.
My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .
I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.