Native to southern Mexico and Central America, papayas are a sweet and juicy tropical fruit with plenty of health benefits. Papayas contain Vitamin C, Vitamin A, folate, magnesium, potassium and copper. They also contain a digestive enzyme called papain, which naturally benefits the digestive system. Papaya health benefits include the ability to help the body detox, reduce inflammation, prevent magnesium deficiency, protect against arthritis and more.
Papaya Health Benefits
1. Aids in Digestion
Papaya health benefits include improved digestion, thanks to the papain it contains. Papain helps break apart amino acids, which benefits those who struggle with low stomach acid and trouble absorbing protein. Papain fights digestive disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome, leaky gut and constipation.
2. Reduces Inflammation
Papaya health benefits include the ability to lower inflammation levels in the body. Studies have shown that eating papaya on a regular basis may help fight inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. (1)
3. Strengthens the Blood
Papaya health benefits include the ability to strengthen the blood. Studies have shown that papaya leaf extract may work as a natural treatment for people who suffer from blood disorders, thanks to its ability to increase low blood platelets. (2)
4. Benefits Cardiovascular Health
Papaya provides the body with a healthy dose of Vitamin C, which benefits cardiovascular health. Vitamin C can help protect the arteries by preventing damage caused by free radicals. Diets low in Vitamin C have been linked to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
5. Helps Prevent Cancer
Thanks to the papain it contains, papaya health benefits include cancer prevention. Papain has the ability to prevent cancer cell growth by attacking the protective coating on cancer cells. The Vitamin C and beta-carotene in papayas are also linked to a decreased risk of cancer.
6. Prevents Macular Degeneration
Papaya health benefits include the ability to protect eye health by preventing macular degeneration. It contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which help filter out blue light to protect the retina.
7. Protects Against Arthritis
The Vitamin C in papayas helps strengthen the immune system to prevent the common cold, along with other illnesses. Vitamin C also helps reduce inflammation to prevent arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. (3)
8. Prevents Asthma
9. Prevents Premature Aging
Papayas contain high levels of Vitamin A, Vitamin C and other flavonoids. Thanks to these nutrients, papaya health benefits include the ability to slow aging. They work as antioxidants to help prevent free radical damage and keep the skin healthy and wrinkle-free.
10. Protects Against Viruses
Papaya health benefits include the ability to protect the body from viruses. The powerful antioxidants that the fruit contains work to strengthen the immune system, reduce inflammation and protect the body from disease.