Papaya – “Fruit of the Angels”
- Papaya can be eaten as a healthy snack as it is a low-calorie fruit.
- Papayas are rich in natural fibres and aids in digestion.
- The presence of ‘papain’ in papaya makes it ideal for detoxification.
- 30ml quantity of fresh papaya leaf juice helps in increasing the platelet count and used in the treatment of dengue.
Papaya has its origin in the tropics of the Americas, perhaps from southern Mexico and neighbouring Central America. Papaya has become a naturalized tree throughout the Caribbean Islands, Florida, Texas, California, Hawaii, and other tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Papaya was once a rare and exotic fruit, but now can be found at all 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 or pawpaw is a cerise-orange coloured juicy fruit, which is not only fragrant but also delicious. It has been popular throughout the world and explorer Christopher Columbus referred it as the “fruit of the angels”.
Grown in India: Cultivated in the States of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Orissa, West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. India exports papaya mainly to the Gulf Nations
|Nutrient||Value per 100g|
|Total lipid (fat)||0.26 g|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||10.82 g|
|Fiber, total dietary||1.7 g|
|Sugars, total||7.82 g|
|Calcium, Ca||20 mg|
|Iron, Fe||0.25 mg|
|Magnesium, Mg||21 mg|
|Phosphorus, P||10 mg|
|Potassium, K||182 mg|
|Sodium, Na||8 mg|
|Zinc, Zn||0.08 mg|
|Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid||60.9 mg|
|Vitamin B-6||0.04 mg|
|Folate, DFE||37 µg|
|Vitamin B-12||0 µg|
|Vitamin A, RAE||47 µg|
|Vitamin A, IU||950 IU|
|Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)||0.3 mg|
|Vitamin D (D2 + D3)||0 µg|
|Vitamin D||0 IU|
|Vitamin K (phylloquinone)||2.6 µg|
|Fatty acids, total saturated||0.08 g|
|Fatty acids, total monounsaturated||0.07 g|
|Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated||0.06 g|
|Fatty acids, total trans||0 g|
INCREDIBLE BENEFITS OF PAPAYA
1. Lowers cholesterol
Papaya contains fibre, Vitamin C and antioxidants that help prevent cholesterol which builds up in your arteries.
2. Weight loss
Being very low in calories and high in fibre content, leaves you feeling full and also clears your bowl movement, making your weight loss regime easier.
3. Boosts Immunity
A single Papaya contains large amount of Vitamin C and Vitamin A, which helps boosting the body’s immunity and hence is very good for those who are suffering from fever, cold or flu.
4. Good for diabetes
Sugar content is low in papaya but still sweet in taste, hence popular among diabetic people.
5. Cure menstrual pain
‘Papain’ is an enzyme found in papaya which helps in regulating and easing flow during menstrual period.
The antioxidants content in Papaya help in controlling premature ageing and helps you to prevent in ageing.
7. Good for the Skin
Papaya can also be applied directly on the skin and can be used as a face pack. It helps to get rid of acne and skin infections as it helps to open clogged pores. It is also good to cure skin infections and wounds that don’t heal quickly.
8. Good for Eye Health
‘Lutein’ and ‘zeaxanthin’ are carotenoids which are phytochemicals found in papaya that help maintain good eyesight in human. A clinical study found that the intake of lutein and zeaxanthin helped in the prevention macular degeneration.
9. Helps Prevent Cancer
Papayas are a good source of ‘lycopene’, which has been found to help reduce prostate, lung, pancreas, colon and rectum, oesophagus, oral cavity, breast, cervix and stomach cancers. Dried papaya leaf extract was found to have a very successful anticancer effect against lab-grown tumours (cancers of the breast, liver, lung cervix and pancreas). The results were stronger when the cancer cells received larger doses of the tea.
IMPORTANT TIPS & FACTS
1. Pieces of papaya, when soaked with a bit of lemon juice and honey, are an absolute treat for the taste buds.
2. Blend papayas, strawberries, and yogurt for a cold soup treat.
3. Add a slice of papaya to a fresh fruit salad and have it as a snack.
4. Have a bowl of fresh, ripe papaya along with your breakfast to add calories that you require for the day.
SIDE EFFECTS OF PAPAYA
Consumption of papaya in normal amounts is recognized safe by The Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, there are some side effects of consuming papaya.
1. Pregnant Women: Papaya is classified as being harmful during pregnancy. Latex are high in concentrations in raw and semi-ripe papayas, which may cause uterine contractions which might lead to abortions. Avoid eating raw papaya if you are pregnant.
2. Gastrointestinal Irritation: Consuming too many papayas can cause a powerful laxative effect in the intestines. Avoid eating large amount of papaya, especially if it is in its raw form. Unripe or raw papaya can cause pain in the intestines or stomach and can sometimes cause oesophageal perforations.
3. Seeds: The black seeds of the papaya contain traces of an enzyme called ‘carpine’, which is a potentially toxic substance. This enzyme can make the nerve centres numb, which might lead to paralysis or cardiac depression. In some cases, carpine can cause the narrowing of blood vessels.