Papaya: Chemistry, Health Benefits and Contraindications
Papaya is a tropical fruit which makes skin beautiful and keeps one fit.
First, papaya was available only in exotic countries, but now it is also sold in Russia. Papaya resembles melon in terms of outlook and taste, but it also has a hint of carrot, apricot, chocolate, coffee, zucchini or even flowers when it comes to its flavor. Papaya is especially valuable as it is very nutritious, low in calories and easily digested fruit. This exotic fruit makes skin healthy, normalizes weight and improves overall well-being.
Chemistry and Nutritional Value
100 grams of fresh papaya contain 39 kcal, therefore it is suitable for dietary nutrition. Being low in calories, tropical fruits are rich in useful substances as follows:
- Organic acids;
Papaya is rich in vitamins. It contains the most widespread antioxidants:
- Vitamin C cleanses body from toxic substances, strengthens immunity and heals inflammations.
- Vitamin A treats skin diseases, keeps vision in good shape and prevents formation of kidney stones as well as improves liver health.
- Vitamin E stimulates regeneration of tissues, helps bodybuilders to grow muscles and prevents formation of the scars after wounds have healed. It also improves metabolism.
- Lycopene stimulates digestion, lowers cholesterol level in blood and normalizes functioning of the immune system.
- Zeaxanthin and lutein protect eyes and skin from negative impact of computer on human body and some other unfavorable factors.
This tropical fruit is especially valuable because it contains papain. This is a vegetable enzyme which acts like a gastric juice. It actively breaks down fats, proteins and carbs ensuring treatment and prevention of some diseases. Therefore, it should be included to different medicines.
Health Benefits of Papaya
Indians were the first ones to note that papaya helps to prevent and event treat some diseases. This fruits provides body with energy and has a positive impact on outlook as well as improves overall wellbeing. All these properties are due to unique chemistry of this tropical fruit.
Papaya for Weight Loss
Papaya along with pineapple actively burns fat and promotes weight loss. It is low in calories and quickly satisfies hunger as it contains 88% of water. Papaya also provides body with vitamins and minerals, which people are lacking during strict diet. Thanks to its sweet taste, this fruit can substitute desserts, which are rich in calories.
Consumed with basic food, papaya feeds hunger and keeps one full for a longer period of time. This is how person can avoid overeating. You can have papaya before or after breakfast, lunch or dinner. The main condition is not to make any breaks between consumption of papaya and main meal. This is only when fats get burned.
Papaya promotes efficient cleansing of gut and entire body. It contains dietary fiber, which binds toxic substances to remove them from body in a natural way.
Nutritionists suggest two types of menu for weight loss, which is based on papaya:
- Papaya can be pureed and served along with lean meat. Proteins and carbs should be kept at the minimum.
- Vegetarian diet. Menu includes salads and puree made from papaya only. It can be complemented with mango, cucumbers, carrots, oranges and bananas. It should be completely salt and sugar free.
Papaya Improves Digestion
Regular consumption of papaya helps to solve many digestive issues such as:
Papain, which acts like a gastric juice, speeds ups breakdown of proteins and fats. It boosts metabolism and «heavy» dishes get digested in a quicker way. Papaya juice favorably affects GTI functioning. It prevents infections in colon cleaning it from pus and mucus, which settles in in presence of inflammatory processes.
Papaya Is Good for Heart, Vessels and Blood
As papaya is rich in vegetable fibers, it should be consumed in presence of atherosclerosis and osteoporosis. This fruit has several health benefits:
- It removes bad cholesterol;
- It cleanses walls of the blood vessels;
- It lowers risk of development of the blood clots.
Papaya contains carpaine, which favorably affects functioning of the cardiovascular system. It strengthens and keeps the walls of vessels in good shape.
Papaya is good for circulatory system. It replenishes iron deficiency in blood and normalizes blood sugar level thinning the blood so that it can freely flow along veins and arteries. It helps to prevent development of thrombosis.
Papaya Protects Teeth and Gums
Dentists state that people, who like papaya, have less troubles with gums and teeth. This fruit kills bacteria and prevents inflammation, therefore it speeds up healing of dental infections. It is enough to have papaya 2-3 times per week to forget about periodontitis and superficial caries once and for all.
Papaya Improves Skin Condition
Papaya contains certain substances which prevent development of inflammatory processes and stimulate regeneration of tissues. They help to treat psoriasis and acne. Skin becomes clean, soft and smooth.
Papaya Strengthens Immune System
Papaya helps to prevent common colds. It is very rich in vitamins, which boost immune system. This is why regular consumption of papaya increases body resistance towards viruses and infections. It contains salicylic acid, therefore papaya can lower fever in a natural way.
Papaya Improves Vision
Doctors have proven that papaya improves vision way better than carrot. It enriches body with substances, which protect eyes in the following ways:
- Papaya prevents worsening of vision;
- Papaya slows down ageing of retina;
- Papaya prevents destruction of retina.
Papaya Is Good for Men
Papaya contains arginine – the enzyme that improves and restores reproductive function of males. Papaya seeds have an opposite effect as they lower fertility. But this effect is temporary, but it should be considered when woman is trying to get pregnant.
Papaya Is Good for Women
Papaya is rich in folic acid. That makes it a very important product for pregnant women. Vitamin В9 stimulates blood supply to uterus and prevents anemia. Deficiency of folic acid during pregnancy can result in birth of child with unhealthy nervous system or congenital defects.
Papaya is good for females who do not plan to get pregnant. This fruit restores periods as well as lowers pain and discomfort during PMS.
Papaya Prevents Cancer
Papaya naturally prevents cancer of color and other organs. It contains papain, which can break down fibrin – the protein cancerous cells are made from. Thus, it stops development and metastasis of malignant tumors. It also contains very high amounts of the antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, E and beta-carotene.
Health Benefits of Dried Papaya
In 2002, International Journal of Nutrition included dried papaya in top 20 healthiest foods. Candied papaya is made from fresh fruits by removing liquid from them via blowing and heating. Such snacks have reduced weight, but their shelf life is significantly increased.
Dried papaya contains sugar that improves its taste and increases nutritional value. Therefore, such snacks should be consumed with care when being on diet. Savory papaya is hard to find in stores, but you can make it on your own.
Properly candied papaya contains all the same vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, which can be found in fresh papaya:
- Carbs. One serving of savory dried papaya contains 14 grams of carbs and that makes it a good snack to have. Dried papaya is good for muscles and cells and provides body with energy to proceed with important daily routines.
- Vitamin А is essential for synthesis of the red blood cells and maintaining the immune system in good state as well as for development of the rhodopsin. This is a retina pigment that ensures good vision in dim light.
- Beta-kryptoxanthin is a precursor of vitamin A. It strengthens the immune system and reduces risk of cataract development.
- Dietary fibers. One serving of candied papaya contains 3 grams of fiber, which is 10% of the daily intake for an adult. It normalizes bowel function, stimulates blood purification from excessive sugar and cholesterol.
Dried papaya can be added to yogurt, homemade cakes and ice cream. One serving (40 g) of unsweetened candied fruit contained 20 kcal, that is, 1% of the daily intake. Therefore, this product can be easily included into diet. However, one serving of candied dried papaya contains 140 kcal. So, candied papaya should not be consumed in large amounts to prevent weight gain.
Side Effects and Contraindications
Only ripe papaya is good for your body. Papaya skin should have yellow-orange color. The juice of unripe green papaya is poisonous. It contains alkaloids, which cause intoxication, abdominal pain, and malfunction of the digestive system. Pepsin, which can be found in the juice of unripe papaya, poses danger to pregnant women. It causes involuntary contractions of a uterus. The toxic substances disappear from juice only when it becomes watery and colorless.
Green papaya can be eaten upon thermal processing. It is pureed, fried and stewed with meat. Once baked, this tropical fruit tastes like bread, therefore it is also called a breadfruit.
Exotic fruits often cause allergies. Allergic people should eat papaya with caution.
You should not have a papaya on an empty stomach. It can cause heartburn and indigestion. Consumption of papaya in large amounts can cause temporary yellowing of the skin.