Christopher Columbus once said that the papaya was the ‘fruit of angels‘, and while I’m more of a mango fan, I get what he meant. One medium papaya has approximately 120 calories, 30 grams of carbohydrate (including 5 grams of fibre and 18 grams of sugar) and 2 grams of protein. But more than that, the sweet, fleshy orange fruit is rich in folate, vitamin A, magnesium, copper, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) and fibre.
It is also rich in B vitamins, alpha and beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamin E, calcium, potassium, vitamin K, and lycopene, the powerful antioxidant most commonly associated with tomatoes, and healthy plant compounds that boost immunity. Which is why we suggest you eat a slice of chilled papaya drizzled with lime or lemon juice, for an antioxidant-rich start to your day!
But that’s not all, here are a few more nutritional reasons why you should start your day with a slice of papaya:
Papaya’s Can Boost Your immunity
Papaya contains more than 200 % of your daily dose of Vitamin C. Apart from this, the fruit is also rich in vitamins A, B, and K which also boost immunity. A study by Pennsylvania State University found that the lycopene and Vitamin C in the fruit may help prevent heart disease.
Papaya’s Are Full Of Anticancer properties
The lycopene in papaya can help reduce cancer risk. Scientists have also found that papaya showed anticancer activity in breast cancer cells.
Papaya Is Rich In Antioxidants
Papayas contain carotenoids that can neutralise free radicals and reduce oxidative stress, especially in older adults. Oxidative stress has been found to lead to chronic inflammation which is bad for the immune system.
Papaya is a storehouse of carotenoids, and a number of studies have shown that papaya helps reduce inflammatory markers in the human body which are considered to be the main cause of many diseases.
Papaya Is Great For Digestion
The enzyme papain which is found in papaya can help make protein easier to digest. In fact, it has been found to aid in the maintenance of the digestive tract and keeps the immune system healthy.
Papaya Is Great For Your Skin And Hair Too
This super fruit can also give you glowing radiant skin. Not just the fruit, the seeds, leaves and the roots of the papaya are also known to be beneficial.
Papaya is also great for hair because it contains vitamin A, a nutrient required for sebum production, which keeps hair moisturized. Vitamin A is also necessary for the growth of all bodily tissues, including skin and hair. Adequate intake of vitamin C, which papaya can provide, is needed for the building and maintenance of collagen, which provides structure to skin.
While Papaya has numerous health benefits, people who suffer from latex allergies might be allergic to the fruit, because papayas contain enzymes called chitinases. This can cause a cross-reaction between latex and the foods that contain them, so speak to your doctor before consuming the fruit.