Papaya, or papaya, by its scientific name Carica papaya , is the fruit of the papaya or papaya tree, originating in southern Mexico and neighboring countries.
It is a fruit with an orange pulp and a sweet taste, which has a thousand and one uses.
It can be consumed in its natural form, or as an accompaniment to salads, cakes, jellies, juices, sweets or sophisticated dishes, among others.
But, in addition to cooking, papaya, like other fruits, is composed of minerals and nutrients that make it a powerful health ally.
Next, we’ll clarify what these benefits are. By the end of this article, fruit lovers will have more reasons to love it; and those who aren’t fans might consider consuming it more often.
Nutritional value of papaya
Papaya has a good amount of vitamins such as A, C and B complex; as well as iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and carbohydrates.
In terms of calories, it’s also not lacking. Each 100 grams of papaya has an average of 50 calories ; making it a great choice for breakfast.
In addition, 100 grams of papaya, for example, have an average of 100% of the daily vitamin C recommendation for women and 90% for men.
However, the listing of components does not stop there. Papaya still has enzymes like papain and fibrin, which we’ll talk about later; as well as fibers and carotenoids.
But how can all these chemical components of papaya interfere with our body and benefit us? Next, we will answer this question.
Medicinal properties of papaya
Before listing all the amazing medicinal properties of this fruit, it is worth emphasizing a little more the properties of some of its main components.
Each part of papaya can be used, according to its properties, for different medicinal purposes. This includes its flowers, seeds, roots, leaves and even the latex produced by the plant.
Each vitamin present in papaya plays a key role in some specific sector of our health. Let’s see:
– Vitamin A:
It acts as a powerful antioxidant, which means that it plays an important role in fighting free radicals associated with accelerating aging.
It aids the immune system as well as is essential in a child ‘s growth and development phase.
Furthermore, it is responsible for the proper functioning of the eyes, after all the corneas are protected nothing more, nothing less than by vitamin A.
This vitamin is not produced by the human body, which means that our need must be suppressed through the consumption of foods that contain it, such as papaya.
– Vitamin C:
Papaya has more vitamin C than oranges. And the potential of this vitamin is nothing new.
Its main activity is to aid in the synthesis of collagen, which is why vitamin C deficiency in our body can cause scurvy; disease related to collagen synthesis problems and which presents as symptoms:
- Bleeding of the skin and gums;
- Difficulty in healing wounds;
- Loss of appetite;
- Tooth deformity and falls;
- Among others.
Like vitamin A, vitamin C also has antioxidant properties and is beneficial to the immune system.
And finally, this vitamin is fundamental in the process of functioning of white blood cells; in addition to ensuring the absorption of iron by the body, which makes it essential in cases of anemia.
– Complex B vitamins:
Like the previous ones, this set of vitamins helps the immune system. And not just that. Please pay attention to the following information.
A deficiency in vitamin B1, for example, is linked to diseases such as furunculosis, seborrhea, eczema and increase of fungi in the body.
Vitamin B2 acts on the health of the eyes, skin, mouth and hair; that’s why ripe papaya, when rubbed on the skin, helps to eliminate blemishes, smoothes rough skin and prevents wrinkles.
Want better cosmetic than papaya juice?
Papain is one of the most important components of papaya. An enzyme of many uses and more powerful than pepsin.
Its main benefit is related to digestive processes. Therefore, papaya is an ideal food for breakfast, contributing to the satisfaction of our body’s nutritional requirements in the morning.
In addition, it cleans the digestive tract and prepares it to receive new foods.
A curiosity is that this enzyme has been used by the pharmaceutical industry associated with a dressing that accelerates the healing process. It is also widely used in the treatment of ulcers.
In culinary terms, papain is used as a meat tenderizer.
Fiber is known to help regulate the bowel. These increase peristalsis, which is the contraction movement of the digestive tract, and absorb water; which softens the stool and facilitates evacuation.
In this way, they help prevent bowel cancer and even heart disease.
Fibers have no nutritional or energy value, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t important. They are associated with the feeling of satiety, that is, they help to eat less when we are on a diet.
By combining all these compounds, papaya is effective in the treatment and prevention of numerous diseases.
And finally, we can cite some examples of its uses:
– Assist the digestive system ( pulp or leaves )
– Assist in the balance of the body’s alkaline acid;
– Improve chronic constipation;
– Fight hoarseness, cough, bronchitis and laryngitis. In this case, male papaya flowers and honey are used to prepare an infusion. Afterwards, 1 tablespoon is taken every hour.
– Reduce the risk of cancers;
– Fight worms ( seeds and latex );
– Assist in the treatment of renal hemorrhages ( roots ), among others.
Papaya has chemical substances that suppress the effects of progesterone in women. Therefore, it is not advisable for pregnant women and people sensitive to latex not to exaggerate the consumption of the fruit and its derivatives.