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12 Astounding Health Benefits in This Tropical Fruit Will Surprise You
Papayas are one of the healthiest fruits around and are simply overflowing with health benefits, on top of being super delicious. This fruit is native to Central America and southern Mexico and is also grown in Hawaii.
There are two types of papayas grown: the smaller type, grown in Hawaii, are most common in the US, and the Mexican papaya, which can grow as big as 10 pounds and are similar in size to a small watermelon! Sometimes called tree melon, or in some locations, a pawpaw, papayas are rich and sweet with a very smooth texture. In some places, papaya juice is used a meat tenderizer.
They are bitter while they are still green, like many fruits, but when the skin is a butter yellow color they are ripe and ready to eat. Unripe papayas are used in some parts of the world as a substitute for vegetables, but for most of us, we know papayas from their use in fruit salads, salsas, chutneys, and, of course, by themselves as a juicy, sweet treat.
Did you know that in addition to that sweet taste there are a multitude of health benefits inside that delicious fruit? Keep reading to find out why you should be eating a bit more papaya every week.
1. Rich in Vitamins, Minerals, and Fiber
The best thing about papayas is their vitamin C content. Just one serving will give you 144 percent of your daily recommended amount. Vitamin C is what helps your body fight infections and is a terrific antioxidant. Papayas also contain about 31 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin A, which is necessary for healthy skin and eyes, 13 percent of your recommended intake of folates, and healthy amounts of potassium and fiber. Potassium helps control your blood pressure and heart rate, while fiber can help prevent colon and stomach cancers.
Papayas also contain many of the essential B vitamins, such as folic acid, B6, riboflavin, and B1. Your body does not make these vitamins, so you must consume them in your foods. This is why eating foods such as papayas are so important. This juicy fruit has 212 amino acids, along with several important enzymes, such as papain, which has an anti-inflammatory effect on your digestive system. Papain helps foods digest more quickly, which inhibits acid reflux, and has been shown to be effective in treating ulcers.
2. Cancer Prevention
Papaya is rich in phytonutirents, flavonoids, and antioxidants, all of which protect your cells from the damage that free radicals cause. The fiber in papayas has been linked to a reduced risk of prostate cancer, and cancers of the colon. Find out more fruits preventing cancer.
3. Kicks Stress to the Curb
The vitamin C rich papaya can help keep you free from stress. The University of Alabama performed a study which showed that just 200mg of vitamin C each day can help to regulate the flow of stress hormones in studies done with rats. So after a hard day at work, come home and munch on a snack of fresh papayas, perhaps the most delicious stress reliever on the planet!
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