Know the Benefits and Uses of Papaya
Papaya is a fruit, which is seen in the markets throughout the year. It is known for its unique taste and is consumed in both raw or cooked forms. The sweeter and tastier the ripe papaya is to eat, the more it is full of health. It also has many health benefits. Therefore, eating papaya keeps the body healthy.
The seeds, peel and pulp of papaya are used in Ayurveda. Being rich in medicinal properties, it is also used as a treatment for many diseases. Papaya belongs to the Caricaceae family.
Benefits of Papaya
Papaya is beneficial for people of all ages. It works to give strength to the body and increase immunity which helps in protecting the body from many diseases. Let us discuss some of the major benefits of papaya-
As a powerful antioxidant-
According to scientific research published by NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information), polyphenols are found in papaya extract or all its parts. It is a type of powerful antioxidant that helps in maintaining health and preventing diseases. Apart from this, this property of papaya is helpful in reducing the risk of oxidative stress and its related diseases. Along with this, it also works to eliminate free radicals present in the body.
Helpful in maintaining heart health-
Papaya is very beneficial in keeping the heart-healthy. Many types of phytonutrients are found in it of which potassium and vitamin-C are able to protect the cardiovascular system. They prevent heart diseases before they progress by preventing the damage caused by oxidation on the heart. Apart from this, the polyunsaturated fatty acids present in it work to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol which is very important for a healthy heart.
According to a research report done on papaya, it has antioxidant and immunostimulant properties which help in increasing the immunity of the body and remove physical weakness.
Poor digestion power of the body is the cause of many problems but according to a report, the consumption of papaya improves the digestive power of the body because it contains two important compounds called chymopapain and papain which are known to cure digestive disorders. The papain found in it helps in the rapid digestion of proteins in the body which reduces the acid reflex. Apart from this, the dietary fibre present in it keeps the bowel movement normal.
Beneficial in reducing weight-
Papaya contains a high amount of fibre which works to control abdominal obesity. Actually, due to being high in fibre, it increases metabolism due to which the body burns calories. As a result, it helps in reducing weight.
Consumption of papaya is good for diabetes due to its being rich in fibre because consuming a diet rich in fibre slows down the digestion power due to which less amount of sugar is absorbed in the blood. Because of this, the pancreas gets a lot of time to make insulin which helps in controlling diabetes. In fact, insulin is a hormone that converts sugar molecules into energy.
Many nutrients are present in papaya. Vitamin-A is also one of these elements which are very important for the eyes. Since the lack of vitamin-A affects eyesight. Therefore, the defects of the eyes can be removed by the consumption of papaya.
Helpful in preventing cancer-
Oxidative stress and free radicals lead to many physical problems including cancer. Since papaya has antioxidant properties, it helps to reduce the problem of oxidative stress and free radicals. Apart from this, a compound called pectin is found in papaya which has anti-cancer properties which help prevent cancer from growing in the body.
For the prevention of wounds, inflammation-
Papaya extract has healing properties that reduce bacteria which are helpful in healing wounds, reducing inflammation and removing scars. The research found that dressing of papaya fruit on the edges of surgical wounds can make the wound heal faster. Apart from this, the anti-inflammatory effect present in papaya also helps in reducing and preventing inflammation.
Beneficial for arthritis-
Eating papaya strengthens bones because it is rich in calcium and potassium. Therefore, patients with arthritis must consume papaya daily.
In menstrual problems-
Consumption of papaya is considered a good remedy for women to get relief from pain during menstruation. Papaya contains an enzyme called papain which helps in reducing the pain or discomfort in the body at that time.
Helpful in skincare-
Apart from health, papaya is also beneficial for the skin. According to the research done on this, a good amount of bioflavonoids and antioxidants are found in papaya. It moisturizes the skin and helps clear pigmentation and reduce wrinkles. Apart from this, it is helpful in curing dark circles under the eyes, eczema and psoriasis. Also, both lycopene and vitamin C present in papaya prove to be helpful in reducing the signs of ageing.
Beneficial for hair-
Consumption of papaya is very beneficial for hair as many types of minerals and vitamins are found in papaya. For this, apply the juice of papaya leaves as a conditioner in the hair. By doing this the hair becomes thick, long and strong.
Uses of Papaya
- Papaya peel is taken out and eaten.
- Papaya is used to make juices, jellies and jams.
- It is also consumed by making fruit salad.
- Papaya pudding is made and consumed.
- Raw papaya is consumed as a vegetable.
- It is also eaten in the form of a pickle.
- In many places, ripe papaya is also used for making sweets.
Side effects of Papaya
- Due to the presence of latex, papaya can cause uterine contractions. This can lead to problems like miscarriage, premature delivery, etc. Therefore, do not consume papaya during pregnancy.
- Lactating women should consume papaya only on the advice of a doctor.
- Gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting, abdominal pain, belching, etc. can arise due to excessive consumption.
- Due to the excess of beta carotene, excessive consumption of papaya can cause discolouration of the skin which is called carotenemia in medical language. In this, the colour of the hands and the soles of the feet turn yellow.
- Papaya consumption is not suitable for infants (under 1-year-old).
- Consuming it in excess can cause thyroid problems.
Where is Papaya found?
Papaya is believed to be native to South America but now it is more or less seen in homes or gardens all over India. It is believed that papaya was brought to the Indian state of Kerala by the Portuguese before 400 BC. The people of Kerala call it Kappakaya which in a literal sense means the fruit that came from the ship that is why it is still produced more in Kerala. Apart from this, Mumbai, Bangalore, Poona, Chennai and Ranchi are also leaders in papaya production.