The Health Benefits of Papaya

By on April 1, 2008
papaya The papaya originates in South and Central America, and it was the Spanish and Portuguese explorers who took papayas to other subtropical lands. The papaya was so revered by the explorers that Christopher Columbus called it “the fruit of the angels.”

Hawaii is the major U.S. producer where genetically modified papayas have contaminated organically grown papayas.

Today Brazil is the world’s leading producer of papayas, and other large commercial producers include the United States, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.

Health Benefits of Papaya

Nutrients in Papaya

Papayas are a good source of antioxidants such as carotenes, vitamin C, and flavonoids. They are also a good source of folic acid, vitamins E and A, potassium, and dietary fiber.

Reduce High Blood Pressure

Preliminary studies have concluded that papaya juice contains agents that reduce high blood pressure. Further studies are needed to substantiate this research.

Anti Parasite

Papaya and its seeds have proven anti-parasitic and anti-amoebic activities, and their consumption offers a cheap, natural, harmless, readily available preventive strategy against intestinal parasites.

Cardiovascular Health

The leaves of the papaya contain a component called carpaine, and preliminary studies have suggested it to be beneficial to cardiovascular health.

Digestive Aid

Papaya, especially when green or unripe, contains papain, an enzyme that aids digestion. This protein-digesting enzyme is used as an ingredient in many meat tenderizers, and is also found in digestive enzyme dietary supplements. Papain is used to treat indigestion, chronic diarrhea and constipation, hay fever, sports injuries and allergies.

Glycemic Index of Papaya

In a study to determine the glycemic index of various fruits, it was concluded that papaya has an intermediate GI, neither high nor low.

Carpaine can be dangerous in high doses

References:
1. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno.
2. Benders’ Dictionary of Nutrition and Food Technology.
3. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.
4. Hornick CA, Sanders LI, Lin YC. Effect of carpaine, a papaya alkaloid, on the circulatory function in the rat. Res Commun Chem Pathol Pharmacol. 1978 Nov;22(2):277-89. PMID: 734216.
5. Robert SD, Ismail AA, Winn T, Wolever TM. Glycemic index of common Malaysian fruits. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2008;17(1):35-9. PMID: 18364324.
6. Okeniyi JA, Ogunlesi TA, Oyelami OA, Adeyemi LA. Effectiveness of dried Carica papaya seeds against human intestinal parasitosis: a pilot study. J Med Food. 2007 Mar;10(1):194-6. PMID: 17472487.
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2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Papaya – Health Benefits, of this Lucious Tropical Fruit « Restaurant-Dining Critiques

  2. organic meat winnipeg

    September 13, 2011 at 8:05 am

    great info, I hope we don’t get to many papayas complimented with the g.m crops. ether way papaya is a great fruit that should be included in a healthy diet.

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