Papaya fruit is another gift of Mexicans to things world. This exotic fruit, popularly known as pawpaw, is packed with numerous health benefiting nutrients. It is one of the favourites of fruit for its nutritional, digestive, and medicinal properties. It is probably thought to have originated in the Central Americas. Papaya plant is grown extensively all over the tropical regions under cultivated farms for its fruits as well as for latex, papain, and an enzyme that found wide applications in the food industry. Botanically, the plant belongs to Caricaceae family of flowering plants, in the genus; Carica. Scientific name: Carica papaya.
Papaya tree bears many spherical or pear- shaped fruits clumped near its top end of the trunk. They come in variety of sizes ranging for 6-20 inches in length and 4-12 inches in diameter. An average-sized papaya weighs about a pound. The fruit is said to ripen when it yields to gentle thumb pressure, and its skin turned amber to orange hue. Inside, the fruit features numerous back peppercorn like seeds, encased in a mucin coat, at its hollow central cavity as in melons. The flesh is orange in color with either yellow or pink hues, soft in consistency and has deliciously sweet, musky taste with rich flavour. Babaco fruit is closely related to papaya, and has similar appearance and flavour as papaya.
Papaya fruit health benefits
The papaya fruit is very low in calories (just 39 calories/100 g) and contains no cholesterol; however, it is a rich source of phyto-nutrients, minerals, and vitamins.
Papayas contain soft, easily digestible flesh with a good amount of soluble dietary fiber that help to have normal bowel movements; thereby reducing constipation problems.
Fresh, ripe papaya is one of the fruits with the highest vitamin-C content (provides 61.8 mg or about 103% of DRI, more than that of in oranges, or lemons). Research studies have shown that vitamin C has many important functions like free radicals scavenging, immune booster, and anti- inflammatory actions.
It is also an excellent source of Vitamin-A (provides 1094 IU/100 g) and flavonoids like ß- carotene, lutein, Zea-xanthin and cryptoxanthin. Vitamin A is required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is essential for healthy vision. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties; help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes. Consumption of natural fruits rich in carotenes has known to protect the body for lung and oral cavity cancers.
Papaya fruit is also rich in many essential B- complex vitamins such as Folic acid, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin, and thiamin (vitamin B-1). These vitamins are essential in the see that body requires them from external sources to replenish and play a vital role in metabolism.
Fresh papaya also contains a good amount of potassium (257 mg per 100 g) and calcium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids and helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure countering effects of sodium.
Papaya seeds have been proven natural really for many ailments in the traditional medicines. The seeds can be found application as anti- inflammatory, anti-parasitic, and analgesic, and used to treat stomachache, and ringworm infections
Health benefits of papayas (Pawpaw)
Christopher Columbus, an Italian voyager once referred to papayas as the fruit of the angels. The fruit which is extremely rich in Vitamin C has a wide range of health benefits making it a great fruit option to include in your diet. Here are some of the top health benefits of papaya.
Lowers cholesterol Papaya is rich in fibres, Vitamin C and antioxidants which prevent cholesterol build up in your arteries. Too much cholesterol build-up can lead to several heart diseases including heart attack and hypertension.
Helps in weight loss
Those looking to lose weight must include papaya in their diet as it is very low in calories. The fibres content in papaya leaves you feeling full and also clears your bowel movement making your weight loss regime easier.
Boosts your immunity Your immunity system acts as a shield against various infections that can make you really sick. A single papaya contains more than 200% of your daily requirement of Vitamin C, making it great for your immunity.
Good for diabetics Papaya is an excellent food option for diabetics as it has a low-sugar content even though it is sweet to taste. Also, people who don’t have diabetes can eat papaya to prevent it from happening.
Great for your eyes Papaya is rich in Vitamin A which helps protect your vision from degenerating. Nobody wants to lose their ability to see due to diseases like age-33 related macular degeneration, and eating papayas will ensure that you do not see a day where you cannot see.