The Many Health Benefits of the “Fruit of the Angels,” aka Papaya

written by Anjula July 24, 2018

papaya

Referred to as “the fruit of the angels” by Christopher Columbus, papaya is chock-full of essential nutrients and minerals. Rich in vitamin C,  one cup of papaya provides almost 400% of the recommended daily value. This high antioxidant fruit also contains a good deal of vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene. Why this is important? Beta-carotene has been shown to help prevent mouth and lung cancer. Papaya also provides a good amount of folate and other B vitamins such as B6 and pantothenic acid, along with potassium. Papaya is also a good source of fiber and minerals such as magnesium. Together, these nutrients help improve cardiovascular health, as well as protecting against colon cancer. 

If that weren’t enough…

Here’s a Shortlist of Papaya’s Health Benefits According to Ayurveda:

  • Aids in digestion. Papaya contains the protein called papain which is a digestive enzyme that helps in the digestion process. Papaya cleans the stomach. Studies have shown that papaya eaten alone for 3 to 4 days has a highly beneficial tonic effect upon the stomach and intestines.
  • Has been shown to aid in regulating menstruation. Raw papaya helps in reducing menstrual irregularities for women. Papaya helps to ease the condition by promoting natural flow of menstruation.
  • Promotes weight loss. Papaya is low in calories and high in nutritive value, thus it is an excellent food for those on a diet.
  • Provides relief from inflamed tonsils. The milk of raw papaya has anti-infective and anti-toxic properties. In cases of tonsillitis, the milk of raw papaya can be placed onto inflamed tonsils for relief. (Same goes for relief from mouth and tongue ulcers).
  • Has anticancer properties. Consuming the antioxidant beta-carotene, found in papayas, may reduce cancer risk.
  • Helps in skin care. The skin of papaya is excellent for treating skin wounds and places that do not heal quickly. The vitamin C and lycopene present in papaya has also been shown to protect skin and may help reduce the signs of aging. To eliminate blemishes, make a paste of raw papaya and apply it to the face, wait for 20 minutes and rinse off. It will leave your skin glowing, as well as eliminate those unwanted blemishes.
  • Helps with hair health. Papaya is great for hair because it contains vitamin A, a nutrient required for sebum production, which keeps hair moisturized. Vitamin A is also necessary for the growth of all bodily tissues, including skin and hair.
  • Improves heart health. The fiber, potassium, and rich vitamin content present in papaya can help to ward off heart disease. 
  • Has anti-inflammatory effects. The anti-inflammatory properties present in papaya can help reduce pain for those suffering from arthritis, edema and osteoporosis.
  • Good for fighting macular degeneration
  • Improves overall immunity. The high concentration of vitamin C and vitamin A contained in papaya is very beneficial in strengthening the immune system.

To jazz up your papaya, try sprinkling a 1/4 teaspoon of powdered ginger to this colorful fruit and a squeeze of lime.

Papaya Fun Fact: Papain from papaya is used as one of the ingredients found in some chewing gum.


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