It is no secret to say that nutrition is decisive in our state of health and a key measure in the prevention of diseases. Based on this, one of the most fundamental recommendations is Increase consumption of fruits and vegetables, betting more and more on following a plant-based diet. Nature is so wonderful that it puts at our disposal all kinds of variants that are associated with a unique nutritional composition, without a doubt papaya is one of the fruits with the greatest potential. Integrating it as part of the daily diet is associated with great benefits: lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer; It is a great ally in digestion, improves blood glucose control in people with diabetes, reduces high blood pressure and improves wound healing. Just to mention some of its qualities.
Carica papaya is the scientific name given to this large colorful tropical fruit. Papayas are native to Central America, they occur more easily in tropical regions where there is abundant rainfall. It is a fruit that is characterized by its sweet flavor and a smooth texture, without a doubt they are two of its greatest attractions. The seeds are also edible, although they carry a more bitter taste than the fruit itself.
The truth is that the medicinal use of papaya is not new, it is known that indigenous people in various communities in Central America used to eat papaya to remedy various ills. For the same reason for many years it is one of the most consumed fruits in Mexico (where it is said to be native), Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. In the world it is known by different names, for example in South Asia it is sometimes called kepaya, lapaya or tapaya and there are varieties among the most popular are: Kapaho solo, Waimanolo, Higgins, Wilder, Hortus gold, Honey gold, Bettina, Improved Peterson, Sunnybank, Guinea gold, Coorg honeydew, and Washington.
There are many good things to say about papaya, based on that we set about the task of compiling its most outstanding healing benefits. The simple fact of integrating one serving a day is one of the greatest dietary additions to promote health, strengthen the immune system, lose weight and prevent various diseases.
The medicinal benefits of eating papaya:
1. Protection against heart disease
The nutritional composition of papaya is very relevant, they stand out for their content in powerful antioxidants, vitamins A, C and E. While these substances are associated with a number of health benefits, following a diet rich in antioxidants has been shown to be one of the best allies in reducing the risk of heart disease. Antioxidants prevent the oxidation of cholesterol, when cholesterol is oxidized, it is more likely to accumulate in the arteries and thus greatly increases the risk of various heart diseases. In addition, the high fiber content of papaya can add positively to the reduction of cardiovascular conditions. Another aspect worth mentioning is that papaya is rich in folic acid, which is essential for convert the amino acid homocysteine into less harmful amino acids. High levels of homocysteine, an amino acid found mainly in meat products, are a risk factor for heart disease. Therefore, consuming papaya daily can reduce homocysteine levels and is therefore a great ally to follow a more balanced diet.
2. Improves digestion and reduces inflammation
Probably one of the most famous properties of papaya consumption is its properties to improve the digestive process and intestinal health. One of the main reasons is its content in two enzymes: papain and chymopapain, both have the virtue of digesting proteins and that is why they benefit digestion and reduce inflammation. That is why eating papaya is a great ally to accelerate intestinal transit and is also related to laxative properties, which promote healthy cleansing of the body. Not surprisingly, papain is a staple ingredient in some over-the-counter digestive supplements to help with minor upset stomachs and constipation. Thanks to its antioxidant benefits and its content in these two enzymes, shines for its anti-inflammatory properties which are a great ally to treat inflammatory bowel diseases. And other inflammatory processes that lead to chronic diseases.
3. Strengthens the immune system
Papaya is one of the fruits with the highest content of vitamin C, it is well known that it is a nutrient that acts as a powerful antioxidant that protects and stimulates the immune system. Its recurrent consumption is a good ally to keep the defense system strong and makes it easier for the body fight bacterial and viral diseases. It is also important to add the rest of its antioxidant properties that enhance its benefits, specifically it is a good source of vitamin A, which is essential for a healthy and functional immune system.
4. Potentially protects against prostate cancer
Lycopene is a natural pigment found in red or orange foods, and for obvious reasons it is abundant in papaya and together with beta carotenes, it provides great anticancer properties. According to a study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Biomarkers, diets rich in beta-carotene and lycopenes they have a protective function against prostate cancer. An extraordinary recommendation is to have a cup of papaya for breakfast and accompany it with green tea, the lycopene content of both is a wonderful ally against prostate cancer.
5. Benefits and strengthens bone health
One of the great nutritional qualities of papaya is that it is rich in vitamin K, taking into account that low consumption is associated with a higher risk of bone fracture. Papaya is a great ally! Adequate intake of vitamin K is important for good health, as improves calcium absorption and can reduce calcium excretion through urine, which means there is more calcium in the body to strengthen and rebuild bones. It is a great ally for people with osteoporosis, pregnant women and menopause.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.