Health Benefits of Papaya

Papaya is one of the fruits which can be eaten both ripe and unripe. It is best enjoyed when ripe due to its delicious sweetness and juiciness. Unripe papaya can be added to vegetables stews, made into salads and pickles and other food preparations. The ripe flesh can be added to fruit salads or eaten straight by scooping with a spoon.

Can you finish 1 cup of papaya? Good! Here's what it does to the body.

1.       Lowers cancer risk (Vitamin C - 144% DV)
Vitamin C is believed to help prevent and fight cancer. Papaya is teeming with vitamin C, an essential nutrient which works as a potent antioxidant and helps prevent cells from free radical damage.

2.       Promotes good eyesight (Vitamin A - 31%)
Enjoying a slice of papaya after meal ups your body’s natural supply of vitamin A, a nutrient best-known for its role to preserve and improve good eyesight.

3.        Ensures a healthy pregnancy and baby (Folate - 13%)
There’s this folk belief that papaya is a contraceptive. But there’s no scientific evidence to this claim. In fact, papaya is packed with folate, a B vitamin necessary for fertility in both men and women. It contributes spermatogenesis in men and oocyte maturation, implantation and placentation in women.

image by moemoechi via Flickr cc

4.       Regulates blood pressure levels (Potassium - 10%)
Have a natural supply of potassium with the help of papaya.  Some studies have associated low levels of potassium in the diet with hypertension.

5.       Aids in weight loss (Fiber - 10%)
The papaya’s rich fiber content aids in weight loss by assisting in digestion and adding to the feeling of fullness without having to worry about calories.

6.       Good for the skin (Vitamin E - 5%)
For a more radiant and glowing skin, let papaya add to your body’s supply of vitamin E, one of the antioxidants which helps promote flawless skin.

7.       Needed in normal blood clotting (Vitamin K)
Papaya is a good source of vitamin K, a nutrient best known for its role in healthy blood clotting.

8.       Prevents bone loss (Calcium - 3%)
It is one of the few fruits which contain calcium, a must-have mineral for healthy, strong bones.

9.       Guard against leg cramps (Magnesium - 3%)
It contains magnesium. Lack of magnesium in the body may show in the form of muscle weakness, tremor or spasm.

10.   Keep wrinkles at bay (Water - 124 mg)
In addition to its skin friendly nutrients such as vitamins A, C and E, papaya is also high in water. Water keeps you looking younger by keeping the skin well hydrated.

Nutrient data source: USDA

© K Kristie