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15 Reasons To Eat More Of This Delicious Tropical Fruit, And Don’t Forget The Seeds!
This tropical fruit is popular the world over, not only for its terrific taste, but for its incredible health benefits. Loaded with important nutrients such as vitamins K, C, and A, along with fiber, magnesium, potassium, carotene, and protein, every single part of the papaya has some medicinal and health compounds.
The fruit of the papaya is the best known part of the plant, of course, but did you know that the seeds are not only edible, but that they have powerful medicinal compounds? Papaya seeds are rich in flavonoids, phenolic acids, and important minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium, and have slightly peppery taste to them. Perhaps the only drawback to papaya seeds is that they are high in fat, so you should always consume them in moderation.
Please note that pregnant women or people with allergies to latex or papain should not consume this fruit or its seeds.
Want to know more about this amazing fruit and its seeds? Keep reading! You won’t believe what this one little fruit can do!
1. Terrific Anti-Inflammatory
Papayas are high in a compound called choline. Choline helps to send nerve impulses, helps the body to absorb fat properly as well as reduce inflammation. Choline is very, very important and most of us do not get enough of it. Choline aids the body in so many areas, including muscle movement, learning and memory skills, along with sleep and proper brain function. Less inflammation means lowering your risk of Alzheimer’s, arthritis, and many other types of chronic diseases which get their start in low level, chronic inflammation. You can get all this protection every time you enjoy papaya.
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2. Protection from Heart Disease
Papayas are rich in vitamins E, C, and A, all of which are powerful antioxidants in the body. Eating papaya on a regular basis can help prevent diabetic heart disease and atherosclerosis. The important vitamins in papaya help to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol in the body, which is one of the underlying causes of most strokes and heart attacks. The high fiber in papaya is also an excellent way to reduce high cholesterol, which will further reduce your risk of heart disease and an untimely heart attack or stroke.
3. Supports Healthy Bones
Although most of us think of calcium when it comes to our bones, without vitamin K, our bodies would not be able to use the calcium we consume to keep our bones healthy. People who are low on vitamin K have been linked in studies to having a higher risk of developing bone fractures. Eating plenty of foods that are rich in vitamin K, such as papaya, is important if you want to have strong, healthy bones all of your life.
4. Improves Your Digestion
Papayas contain an important digestive enzyme called papain, which breaks down the tougher fibers that are in protein, which will greatly improve the overall digestion process. Papaya is high in both soluble and insoluble fiber, which also improves digestion and feeds the important good bacteria in the digestive tract. This fruit also contains beta-carotene, folates, vitamin E and vitamin C, which has been shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer. Eating papaya seeds can help to remove internal parasites and worms due to their high levels of carpaine, an anthelmintic alkaloid, and proteolytic enzymes.
5. Prevents Asthma
Studies have shown that people who consume diets high in beta-carotene, which is found in foods such as carrots, apricots, pumpkins, cantaloupe, and, of course, papaya, have a lower risk of developing asthma. That makes papaya the perfect fruit to feed your young children, as they are at the highest risk of developing respiratory problems such as asthma.
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6. Protects Your Vision
The Archives of Ophthalmology published a study which found that eating at least 3 servings of papaya each day can lower the risk of developing a terrible eye problem called age-related macular degeneration. This is because this tropical fruit is rich in eye-protecting antioxidants E, C, and A. It also has two other important carotenoids which are found in the eyes, zeaxanthin and lutein. These provide your eyes with protection from the high energy blue light that can damage your retina.
7. Naturally Treats Arthritis
This fruit is loaded with several types of anti-inflammatory enzymes, which can go a long way towards relieving the pain of arthritis. Papaya contains two protein digesting enzymes, chymopapain and papain, which are powerful anti-inflammatory agents. The beta-carotene, vitamins E, C, and A are also good for reducing inflammation in the body. The Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases have published studies which show that those who do not consume sufficient amounts of vitamin C rich foods are much more likely to develop arthritis than those who enjoy plenty of foods high in vitamin C, such as papaya.
8. Protects the Kidneys
Several studies have shown that consuming papaya seeds can help improve kidney function as well as prevent bacteria from attaching itself to the kidneys, causing infection or disease. This is due to the high level of flavonoids found in the seeds of this fruit.
9. Greatly Improves the Skin
If you want a truly beautiful, clear complexion, then this is the fruit for you. Papaya can be consumed and used as a facial, which will give you double the skin benefits that this fruit has to offer. Using papaya as a face mask can help open clogged pores, treat acne, and kill the bacteria that lead to pimples and cysts. Eating papaya will fill your body with vitamin C, which fights the free radicals that cause premature aging of the skin.
10. Terrific Detoxifier
Papaya can naturally help your body to improve its own detoxification process. The high fiber content of papaya will help to move things along, so to speak, preventing you from becoming constipated. Your body naturally removes waste and toxins through the large intestine. When you consume high fiber foods, you help your body keep waste moving out of the body.
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11. Beautifully Nourished Hair
Super rich in several important minerals, vitamins, and enzymes, papaya can stimulate both hair growth and hair strength. By feeding the hair shaft, you can increase your overall hair volume and thickness. You should eat papaya regularly for best results, to ensure that your hair is getting all the nutrients it needs to be thick and glossy. There are also numerous products on the market that contain papaya, such as conditioners and shampoos. You can use these products also or add about 8 drops of papaya essential oil to every 8 ounces of shampoo or conditioner to improve your hair’s texture. Papaya can change your hair from dull and lifeless to glossy, thick and shiny in just a few months.
12. Improves Immune System Function
Vitamin C supports a healthy immune system. This important vitamin can increase wbc count and protect us from the damage that free radicals cause. The vitamin A and E found in papaya are also important for normal immune system function. If you find that you frequently get the flu, colds, sore throats or coughs, you might want to consider eating more papaya each day.
13. Prevents Cancer
Papaya contains several important compounds which can greatly lower your risk of developing certain types of cancer. This fruit contains beta-carotene, lycopene, and a unique type of carotenoid called beta-cryptoxanthin, which is known to be super beneficial when it comes to reducing the risk of cancer. The isothiocyanates in this delicious fruit also stop cancer by removing carcinogens from the body. Isothiocyanates also suppress the action of tumor causing proteins and inhibit the overall mutation of cells, which often turn cancerous. The meat of this fruit is not alone in its ability to fight cancer. Papaya seeds also slow the growth of cancerous cells due to their immunomodulator properties.
14. Helps Those with High Blood Pressure
One type of mineral, potassium, counteracts the effects of sodium in the body. Lower sodium levels naturally mean lower blood pressure levels. Papaya is an excellent source of potassium. This is why you will find many doctors and health experts suggest to their patients with hypertension that they include more papaya in their diets to counteract sodium levels.
WATCH ALSO: 5 Papaya Benefits Video
15. Helps to Maintain Healthy Weight
The natural enzyme, papain, which is found in papaya, improves digestion and encourages the faster movement of food through the body. Calories are absorbed in the digestive tract, so the more quickly things get moving, the less time your body has to absorb calories. Papaya is fat free, cholesterol free, and super low in calories, but high in fiber, which helps you feel full for a longer period of time. Add papaya to your yogurt or salads to help maintain that healthy weight you worked so hard to attain.
What more could you ask for from one fruit?! Now you have 15 terrific reasons to add more papaya to your diet starting today!