Health Benefits of Papaya
Papaya enjoys a rich history, and has been used since very long for medicinal uses in day to day life. The Mayans used to worship papaya trees and called it the ďTree of LifeĒ. It is said to be one of the favourite fruits of Christopher Columbus. The story goes that when his crew landed in America after a long sea voyage on meager meal, the native people welcomed them with extravagant feast, which caused digestive problems. The natives took the voyagers to the forest and offered them papaya and they got cured. The leaves, seeds and the milk of the papaya tree are used to cure intestinal problems and kill intestinal worms and parasites. Women from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh use them to prevent pregnancy and for abortion. Above all, papaya is a very delicious food that has been enjoyed lavishly by people as a part of cuisines and salads.
Nutritional Values of Papaya:
Papaya comes loaded with nutrients. Every part of a papaya tree, from the fruit to the leaves contains some medicinal properties. The nutritional values of papaya per 100 grams are:
Energy- 163 kJ
Calories- 39 kcal
Sugars- 5.90 gram
Carbohydrates- 9.81 gram
Dietary fiber- 1.8 gram
Fat- 0.14 gram
Protein- 0.61 gram
Vitamin A- 328 micrograms (41%)
Vitamin B1- 0.04 milligram (3%)
Vitamin B2- 0.05 milligram (4%)
Vitamin B3- 0.338 milligram (2%)
Vitamin B6- 0.1 milligram (8%)
Vitamin B9- 38 milligram (10%)
Vitamin C- 61.8 milligram (74%)
Calcium- 24 milligram (2%)
Iron- 0.10 milligram (1%)
Magnesium- 10 milligram (3%)
Phosphorus- 5 milligram (1%)
Potassium- 257 milligram (5%)
Sodium- 3 milligram (0%)
Health Benefits of Papaya:
1. Skin & Papaya- It is great for the skin and can be used as a face pack to get its benefits. It helps to get rid of acne and skin infections as it helps to open clogged pores. The fermented flesh of papaya also called as papain helps to dissolve the dead cells, giving fresh and glowing skin as a result. It is good to cure the skin infections and wounds that donít heal quickly.
2. Cholesterol & Papaya- As it is a fruit that is rich in fiber it lowers blood cholesterol levels. It contains enzymes that help prevent oxidization of cholesterol, which in return helps to prevent heart-attacks.
3. Anti-ageing & Papaya- The antioxidants in papaya help in controlling premature ageing. This quality of the papaya helps you to get a younger look.
4. Intestinal Worms & Papaya- The seeds of papaya too possess medicinal properties. They are very good in treating intestinal worms in the body.
5. Constipation & Papaya- Papaya helps in preventing constipation and aids in digestion. The enzyme papain is a digestive enzyme that helps in natural digestion.
6. Colon & Papaya- Its juice helps in curing infections of the colon by clearing the pus and mucus from it. You need to take it regularly to heal quickly.
7. Weight Loss & Papaya- It is low in calories and high in nutritional values. Hence, it is a good food for those who want to lose some weight.
8. Morning Sickness & Papaya- In pregnant ladies, regular consumption of a small slice of papaya helps to cure nausea and morning sickness.
9. Osteoporosis & Papaya- It contains anti-inflammatory enzymes that help in relieving pain for those who are suffering from arthritis, edema and osteoporosis, and it also possesses anti-cancerous properties that can help prevent cancer.
10. Immunity & Papaya- It is rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin C that help in boosting the bodyís immunity and hence is very good for those who are suffering from fever, cold or flu.
11. Shampoos & Papaya- Shampoos containing papaya are very good to control dandruff.
12. Menstrual Irregularities & Papaya- It helps in controlling the menstrual irregularities in women. Papaya helps to ease menstrual cramps and helps in promoting regular flow of menstruation.
13. Liver cancer & Papaya juice- As it has anti-proliferative effect on liver cancer cells it stops or slows down the growth of the cancer cells of liver and helps in its cure.
14. Contraception & Papaya- Research with adult male langur monkeys has shown that it has contraceptive capability and maybe it has similar effect in adult males too.
15. Kidney disorder & Papaya- In poison related kidney disorder it was found that the aqueous seed extract of the unripe mature fruits of papaya induces antioxidant and oxidative free radical scavenging and help kidney to recover.
16. Dengue Treatment and Papaya - Researchers have found that the juice obtained from the papaya leaves helps in the dengue fever treatment. The extract obtained from the papaya leaf increases the platelet count also known as thrombocytes in patients with dengue fever.
How does Papaya get Spoilt?
1. Usually they get overripe if not eaten in good time and they lose their taste.
2. Viral infection of the papaya ringspot virus (PRV) can cause premature molting and malformation of the leaves of the plant. In the 1990s, the virus threatened to wipe out Hawaii's papaya industry completely.
3. The papaya is also susceptible to the fruit fly, a small fly-like insect that lays its eggs in young fruit.
How to Buy & Shop for Papaya?
Step 1- Papayas are very delicious fruit. Asian, Hawaiian and Carribean variety are available.
They come in various sizes and shapes. Hawaiian are usually smaller and pear-shaped, while Asian and Carribean papayas are long and large.
Step 2- If you want to eat the papaya after 1 or 2 days, buy a green skinned papaya which is firm to feel. Normally as it will ripen after 1 to 3 days.
If you want to eat the papaya on the same day look for a ripe papaya in which the skin is turning from green to yellow or orange. If you gently press your finger into its flesh, it will yield but it will be not be too soft Ė otherwise it is overripe.
Papaya is a fruit worth considering in your daily or weekly grocery list. Consume them at least once in a week. Papaya can also be taken with fruit salads, or in other cuisines. If not eaten you can also apply it directly on the skin, it is bound to show some positive results and benefit your health.