Initially from South and Central America, papaya was distributed to other tropical regions through various colonizing vessels. This is how so many of us around the globe can have this delicious yellow fruit these days.
But it’s not just about the taste—multiple pieces of research tout the various benefits of papaya fruit. Rich in ascorbic acid, flavonoids, carotenes, vitamins B5 and B9, minerals, and other nutrients, papaya is a health-boosting fruit, especially for the elderly.
7 Incredible Health Benefits Of Papaya For Seniors And Elderly Parents
Papaya is a fruit that can be consumed throughout the year. It is jam-packed with nutrients and is used as an ingredient in many dishes. Low on calories, this fruit can be used in milkshakes, salads, smoothies, etc.
Main benefits of the papaya fruit
- Anti-inflammatory effects of the papaya phytochemicals
- Improves digestive function
- Protects heart health
- Anti-parasitic effects from benzyl isothiocyanate produced in the papaya seeds
Some proven Papaya Health benefits
The papaya fruit is rich in lycopene, a red-pigmented carotenoid. Lycopene is a renowned antioxidant that can lower the risk of contracting some types of cancers. Antioxidants are also beneficial for the hair and skin and can protect against sun damage.
Some other powerful health benefits of papaya are:
- Cardioprotective function from the antioxidants
The ascorbic acid (vitamin C), fiber, and antioxidants stop cholesterol from blocking blood vessels. Blocked arteries can lead to multiple disorders such as hypertension, heart attack, and so on. Papaya is rich in such chemicals; therefore, it should be a part of anyone’s diet.
- Improves digestion
Papain, an enzyme found in papaya, breaks down protein; hence, it is used for tenderizing meat, commercially. The fibers from papaya can also improve digestion. Eating a papaya salad with meals is often suggested to people suffering from indigestion.
- Get healthy skin and hair
Vitamins A and C are known for maintaining cell integrity and increase cellular turnover. Retinoic acid (vitamin A) can also increase the production of sebum, which moisturizes skin and hair. These vitamins also increase the build-up of collagen, making the skin more elastic.
There are many health benefits of papaya enzymes (both papain and chymopapain). Ointments and gels made out of these enzymes are used for healing sores and ulcers.
- Immunity booster
Papaya is rich in vitamin K, C, Niacin, retinoic acid, which induces cell growth and repair. These vitamins can improve immunity, which is included in the long list of proven papaya benefits. Medium-sized papaya is more than enough for fulfilling the daily requirement of these vitamins.
- Reduces the possibility of contracting age-related impairment of eye function
Antioxidants found in papaya, such as Zeaxanthin, have been proven to block harmful natural or artificially light rays (including Blue light). Researchers recommend the intake of papaya for preventing age-related macular degeneration and other eye-related diseases.
- Maintain bone density and improve kidney function
Papaya is abundant in vitamin K, which not only improves calcium deposition in the bones but can also clean out toxins and uric acid from the body, maintaining kidney function. Sustaining cellular metabolism and upkeep through flavonoids is also one of the papaya seeds benefits.
- A healthy snack for diabetics
Researchers are starting to elucidate the health benefits of papaya seeds, which are rich in antioxidants such as polyphenols and flavonoids. These chemicals can work as a shield against diseases such as diabetes. It is low in sweetness and extremely satiating, which is why it is an ideal snack for people with diabetes.
- Reduces inflammation
Papaya is rich in beta carotenes, which has been proven to have anti-inflammatory effects on the system. The risk of succumbing to some types of cancers (such as prostate cancer in younger men) and asthma is lower in people that consume a high quantity of beta-carotene.
- Alleviates stress and provides longevity
There are many benefits of unripe papaya, including being rich in antioxidants and polyphenols. These compounds protect cells against degeneration and oxidative stress.
Papaya fruit contains vitamins A, C, and E, which have been proven to reduce skin imperfections and wrinkles. One of the most sought-after papaya benefits is the age reversing effects of its juice. Papaya and honey paste can be applied to the skin for removing skin blemishes and repairing skin.
- Papaya nutrition facts:
A 100 g of papaya fruit contains:
|Nutrient||Amount (per 100g of serving)|
|Carbohydrates and sugars||19 g|
Some vitamins and minerals are also present in trace amounts. Amongst these vitamins, C (ascorbic acid), A, E, and folate are present in more than 100%, 30%, 5%, and 10% of the recommended value for daily intake. Minerals such as sodium, potassium, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, zinc, and so on are also there.
Called as the fruit of angels by Christopher Columbus himself, there are numerous benefits of this fruit. Despite the apparent benefits of papaya fruit, pregnant women and people allergic to latex should avoid eating raw papayas.
Latex, chitinases, and papain have been known to induce contractions and interfere with fetal membranes. The seeds of papaya, although safe to eat, should also be consumed up to the recommended limit.