The Many Health Benefits of Hawaiian Papaya

Papaya is ranked in the top five of the healthiest fruits. Papaya is a succulent tropical fruit that offers a sweet taste and soft texture. When looking for ways to boost overall health Hawaiian papaya is a great choice as it provides many nutrients and health benefits.

Papaya nutrition profile

The Center for Science in the Public Interest ranks papaya as a top five fantastic fruit, alongside watermelon, guava, kiwi, and grapefruit. Due to its high level of important nutrients papaya is also ranked higher than more common fruits like oranges, apples, and bananas. CSPI scores each fruit by adding its percentage of daily value for 6 key nutrients including, folate, vitamin C, calcium, iron, potassium, and fiber.

When comparing papaya with apples and oranges, the sweet fruit continues ranking higher in vitamin A, beta-carotene, and vitamin C. Along with the many nutrients’ papaya provides, it is a healthy treat due to its low-fat content.

Improves digestion

Hawaiian papaya is rich in proteolytic enzymes like caricain, chymopapain, papain and glycyl endopeptidase all of which help aid in the digestion process. These enzymes break down proteins into amino acids. When proteins go undigested, they may lead to gastrointestinal problems that can cause bacteria to grow in the colon.

The proteolytic enzymes found in papaya are so powerful in breaking down proteins they are often found in meat tenderizers.

Aids the eyes

Papaya contains high levels of beta-carotene the body converts into vitamin A during the digestion process. Vitamin A is a beneficial nutrient for those who suffer from vision loss or impairment.

Two compounds, zeaxanthin and lutein are also present in papaya. The macular region of the eyes contains these phytonutrients where they help protect against ultra-violet light given off by the sun.

Research shows that digesting these phytonutrients may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in older adults. The intake of high levels of zeaxanthin and lutein helps protect against cataracts and glaucoma. These phytonutrients also help improve visual activity and color perception.

Protects the skin

Vitamin C, beta carotene, lycopene, and vitamin E, found in papaya may help protect the skin against ultra-violet light from the sun. Over exposure to sun light can lead to signs of aging such as wrinkling and sunspots.

Papayas are also high in papain. This nutrient helps break down dead skin cells and promotes skin rejuvenation when applied topically. Papaya face and body treatments are a healthy way to improve the skin’s appearance and elasticity.

Possible cancer prevention

Papaya is rich in nutrients and antioxidants such as beta-cryptoxanthin, beta-carotene, and lycopene that may help reduce the risk of cancer in some individuals.

A study from the University of Florida suggests an extract made from papaya leaves can have a positive effect on cancer cells. Research from the study showed papaya leaf extracts boosting the production of Th1-type cytokines. These cytokines, along with papaya’s tumor reduction abilities on some cancers suggest therapeutic strategies that can help the immune system fight off the growth of cancer cells.

Reduces risk of heart disease

The high level of vitamin C and E combined with the many antioxidants found in papaya helps reduce the oxidation of cholesterol in the arteries. Fiber found in papaya can lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels in the blood by reducing absorption during digestion. Cholesterol oxidation leads to plaque building up in the arteries that can cause a heart attack or stroke.

Increasing the intake of antioxidants and vitamins in papaya improves blood flow reducing the risk of developing heart disease. Papaya is also high in folate which helps control homocysteine levels. High levels of homocysteine in blood vessels can lead to cardiovascular disease over time. Adding papaya to your diet may help protect against stroke and heart disease.

Hawaiian papaya contains a rich source of fiber, vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants, and enzymes that hold many health benefits for the entire body. From protecting your heart and eyes, to improving digestion, and potentially decreasing several health risks, introducing papaya to your daily diet can help you feel like a better you.


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