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Proven Health Benefits

Proven Health Benefits of Papaya

A staple of Central American cuisine, the papaya is a sweet fruit known for its high amount of seeds and unique color variation. Papaya can be eaten on its own as a good snack, though it is often prepared with many other foods, and even the seeds are used in place of pepper on occasion. It might not be among the most popular fruits out there in terms of ones that are eaten on their own, but the papaya is very versatile.

Eating more papaya in your daily diet will not only bring a lot of good flavor, but also a lot of great health benefits. The high nutritional value of papaya should be enough to get you eating more, but there are more benefits on top of that. Let’s take a closer look at what is inside each papaya, and what that means for your overall health.

Papaya Nutrition

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If you are looking for a food that is high in fiber and vitamins without all of the calories, papaya is certainly a good option. In one cup of cubed papaya, you will be getting 10 percent of your daily recommendation for fiber. Vitamin C is the most abundant vitamin to be found, with 144 percent of your daily value. Vitamin A also clocks in at more than 30 percent, with folate coming in at 13 percent. Other significant vitamins in papaya include vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin and riboflavin.

There aren’t too many minerals in papaya, but potassium is the most significant with 10 percent of your daily recommended value. There is a small amount of calcium and magnesium, with trace amounts of iron, phosphorus, zinc, copper and more. Overall, papaya is well-rounded in nutrition, and even throws in some omega-3 fatty acids.

Weight Loss

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If you are looking for a food that can fill you up without bringing a lot of calories while still satisfying your craving for sweets, the papaya is a good place to turn to. With only around 50 calories in each cup of papaya, that’s less than a lot of other fruits. It also has a high fiber content, which will allow you to feel more full. It’s a nice change of pace from the leafy green vegetables that don’t have the sweet taste, but still have the fiber.

That fiber is going to help your digestive system, as well as the vitamins such as vitamin C and folate. Not only is that going to boost your metabolism by having a more improved digestive system, but you are less likely to experience cramps, bloating, constipation and the other nagging problems that can occur in the digestive tract. Most foods that sweet aren’t nearly as kind to your stomach.

Cancer Prevention

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Many people die from cancer each year, and awareness has made it so that we are actively looking for ways to prevent getting the diseases. Eating more papaya is a good way to prevent cancer, as it contains lycopene and other antioxidants that will help to fight free radicals. This can help stop cancer cells from forming in the first place, as well as prevent them from growing for those that already have cancer.

Certain studies have even shown that papaya has a unique antioxidant feature that is not found in any other fruit. These studies claim that papaya might be able to fight breast cancer cells, even reversing the effects. Though these studies are still in the early stages, the evidence that has come out so far is very encouraging.

Heart Healthy

Antioxidants, vitamins and fiber are all nutrients found in papaya that are going to be very good for your heart. As you know, you have to be good for your heart, or it’s not going to be good to you. Eating more papaya has been shown to lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, and early studies have even shown that it can help lower triglycerides, as well. Having a healthy cholesterol level drastically reduces your chances of suffering a heart attack or stroke.

Papaya extract has been shown to lower the LDL amounts, just as well as any fruit, and even better than most. The antioxidants will also increase your blood flow, preventing other major heart diseases and neurological problems. In fact, papaya has been shown to reduce the chances of Alzheimer’s disease by more than 30 percent.

Bone Booster

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Inflammation is a big problem that a lot of people experience, and can cause a lot of pain. This is especially true in the joints and bones, which can become worse with age. You can reduce the pain with more papaya as it has anti-inflammatory properties, mainly thanks to the carotenoids found in each fruit.

If you want to prevent bone disorders such as arthritis and osteoporosis away altogether, you should certainly be eating more fruits like papaya. Since papaya is high in vitamin C and even contains some calcium and magnesium, you will be strengthening your bones by eating more.

Looking Good

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Papaya helps your interior, and also gives your exterior a big boost. The antioxidants of papaya help to heal damaged skin that might have been ravaged by the sun or other burns. Papaya is used in a wide variety of products to help clear blotches or even get rid of dead skin cells to give you a smoother look that will also help prevent wrinkles. Papaya is also good for your hair, as it increases scalp health to give you fuller and thicker hair that grows faster.

Papayas are also very good for your eyes with an incredibly high vitamin A content. This is the vitamin you want to be taking to prevent age-related eye diseases such as cataracts. Carrots usually get all of the love when it comes to eye health, but papayas are just as efficient in helping your vision.

Summing it Up

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While you should certainly be eating more fruit (including papaya) in your diet, you don’t want to go overboard. Since fruits like papaya contain such a high amount of vitamin A, it can lead to side effects if you are eating too much. An overdose of vitamin A can cause skin discoloration (such as jaundice), while the high vitamin A content could cause kidney stones. Papaya also contains papain, which can cause respiratory and intestinal problems when the body has too much.

The good news is, you would have to eat more papaya than you can stomach to experience any of this issues, and they are extremely rare. It’s not a big concern, so you should feel free to eat fruits on a daily basis. If you are looking for something sweet, filling and will give you a boost, then the papaya might be the right fruit for you.

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