Health Benefits of Papaya
While the papaya is native to southern Mexico and Central America it can be grown in almost any tropical climate and is enjoyed the world over as part of salads, salsa, desserts, and chewing gum. Some people also use papaya to tenderise meat and as a digestive enzyme. No matter how you enjoy your papaya the fact remains there are plenty of health benefits of papaya. Here are some of the best.
Papayas contain compounds that help the body break down and use proteins. In particular the papain breaks amino acids apart. These amino acids are then used to create proteins. Papain is similar to the enzymes that the pancreas produces to digest meat, but with a key difference. Those enzymes require acid as a catalyst to work while papain can work just fine on its own. If you have low levels of stomach acid or you have trouble digesting certain meats then give papaya a go. Papayas also help with IBS, constipation, and other digestive problems.
Papayas have been shown to reduce inflammation in the body. These effects suggest that papaya can help with problems such as rheumatoid arthritis but the evidence isn’t completely conclusive just yet. There’s no harm in trying and seeing if it can work for you though. Papaya has been shown to help with other conditions such as asthma and can prevent the prostate from becoming inflamed however. Reducing inflammation levels has also been shown to help naturally fight aging and keep you looking and feeling younger for longer.
Many people are interested in using papaya as an agent to strengthen the blood and aid in a condition known as thrombocytopenia; a condition that causes someone to have low blood platelets. This is a serious medical condition that can leave people unable to properly form blood clots and makes them more susceptible to internal bleeding. Papaya has been shown to increase platelet and red blood cell count in mice and researchers believe that there will come a time when papaya is seen as a treatment for blood conditions such as thrombocytopenia.
The vitamin C found in papaya has been shown to benefit the heart by reducing the chance of heart attacks. It works to protect the arteries and reduce damage from free radicals, as well as preventing cholesterol from becoming oxidised and sticking to the walls of your arteries. This clogs up the arteries and causes high blood pressure, which inevitably leads to strokes and heart attacks. Papaya also contains folate. Folate protects the heart by turning the dangerous substance homocysteine into harmless amino acids and reducing your chances of a cardiovascular event.
The papain that we mentioned earlier can also protect you from cancer. It does this because it can break down the protective coating cancer cells have, which is made of protein. This stops the cancer cells from developing and there is still plenty of research that is being done to see how what you eat can prevent cancer as well as cause it. Both vitamin C and beta-carotene, found in plentiful amounts in papaya, also play a significant role in reducing your chances of developing cancer, as does the fiber found in all fruits.
Nutrition Facts Papaya (1)