Papaya or pawpaw is prized as much for its delectable taste as for its medicinal properties. This tropical fruit, which was once referred to as ‘fruit of angels’, contains a host of powerful health promoting nutrients. Some of the stupendous health benefits of papaya include its ability to promote digestion, reduce stress levels and control premature aging of skin.
Here are 5 Surprising Health Benefits of Papaya
Aids in Digestion
Consuming a small piece of ripe papaya after having a heavy meal, promotes healthy digestion while preventing bloating and constipation. Papaya has several potent digestive enzymes i.e. papain, chymopapain and carica papaya lipase. Papain and chymopapain, are proteolytic enzymes ,which break down the peptide bonds in proteins into smaller peptides and amino acids. Carica papaya lipase is a powerful fat digesting enzyme which is found in ripe papaya fruit.
Controls Premature Ageing of Skin
Papaya has a host of potent antioxidants which can retard premature aging of skin. Ripe papaya is a veritable storehouse of skin friendly vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E. Vitamin A protects the skin against the damaging effects of free radicals. Vitamin C another potent antioxidant boosts the body’s production of collagen. Vitamin E prevents premature aging of skin by supporting new cell growth, boosting collagen production and by hastening cell regeneration.
Helps Reduce Stress Levels
Papaya is an excellent source of vitamin C – a potent antioxidant. Medical studies have indicated that consuming foods rich in vitamin C can help to reduce stress levels – as vitamin C regulates the flow of stress hormones like cortisol in the blood stream. Consuming papayas regularly can also relieve stress induced symptoms.
Protects Against Arthritis
The potent proteolytic enzymes which are present in ripe papaya i.e. papain and chymopapain help to lower inflammation levels in the body. Papaya also contains several powerful nutrients including beta carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E which help to ease arthritis inflammation. The high amount of vitamin C which is present in ripe papaya also provides extensive protection against inflammatory polyarthritis.
For Healthy Vision
A one hundred gram serving of ripe papaya yields nearly 950IU of vitamin A. Pro vitamin A plays a pivotal role in decreasing the risk of age related macular degeneration. Eating vitamin A rich foods like papaya can also reduce the risk of night blindness and progressive vision loss.