Nutrition and DietPapaya: benefits and properties

Papaya: benefits and properties

Benefits of papaya, a fruit that has important properties for our health. We will discover its most outstanding qualities and virtues, as well as the nutritional values ​​per 100 grams of papaya.

The papaya is a wonderful tropical fruit very characteristic shape and appearance, and large, coming originally from Mexico. Although today it is cultivated in a wide variety of regions of the world. In the Canary Islands, for example, it is also cultivated, although in this place it is popularly known by the name of papaya. In fact, papaya seeds are also often used for their qualities.

In other regions of the world it is known by other names, such as in Venezuela where it is known by the name of milky, in Paraguay and Argentina it receives the name of mamón, and in other areas the name of olocoton or papayón.

Be that as it may, we are facing a wonderful fruit with properties and benefits recognized throughout history. In fact, the medicinal effect of papaya was discovered by the Mayans, and since then it stands out clearly for being a fruit with a series of very important benefits and properties.

For example, the presence of  papain stands out, an enzyme with digestive benefits, which helps in the digestion process, especially when we consume foods of animal origin such as meat.

Benefits of papaya

Antioxidant properties

Papaya is extremely rich in antioxidants, among which the lycopene content stands out, a natural carotenoid that contributes to the particular coloring of this fruit, and which is precisely what provides these antioxidant qualities.

For this reason, papaya is especially useful in reducing the negative action of free radicals, which are oxidizing agents resulting from the course of the body’s natural metabolism, so that if our body produces them in excess, they cause DNA damage. And in the connective tissue, in addition to causing cellular deterioration.

In fact, free radicals are considered the main responsible for premature aging of cells, hence the importance of following a diet rich in natural antioxidants.

Helps prevent cardiovascular disease

In papaya we also find flavonoids, which, like lycopene, act as natural antioxidants against free radicals. In this way, papaya becomes an excellent fruit in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.

In particular, flavonoids are especially useful when it comes to protecting our body from the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.

Ideal for the health of our skin

Papaya is capable of covering a good part of the recommended daily amount of vitamin A, a fundamental nutrient for the health of our skin. For this reason, papaya is especially useful when it comes to improving the skin, thanks to the fact that beta carotene is the main precursor of this vitamin.

And what benefits does it bring? Very simple: it helps us protect ourselves from solar radiation by helping in the synthesis of melanin, a natural pigment that also helps us tan better.

Increase our defenses

When it comes to increasing defenses, there is no doubt that papaya becomes one of those fruits that could not be missing in our fruit bowl. Why? Very simple: papaya is especially rich in vitamin C, a vitamin that helps us to maintain our body’s natural defenses.

In addition, it is another essential nutrient with antioxidant action, so it also helps us again when it comes to protecting ourselves against the action of free radicals.

Digestive qualities

Papaya, in turn, favors and helps digestion, as it contains protease enzymes that are similar to those found in the stomach.

As you surely know, its papain content stands out, an enzyme that precisely helps us maintain a healthy digestive system that has the ability to digest the proteins in the food we eat.

Nutritional information of papaya

It is an outstanding fruit for containing a large amount of vitamins (among which we find vitamins of group B, C, A and D), minerals (such as calcium, potassium or sodium), and dietary fiber.

Not surprisingly, papaya is considered one of the fruits richest in antioxidants, since only half of the fruit provides about 38 milligrams of carotenoids, which is capable of protecting us against cancer or cardiovascular diseases.

On the other hand, its contribution of both protein and fat is relatively low, as in fact occurs with most fruits.

Nutritional contribution of papaya per 100 grams:

Nutrient Content / Contribution
Calories (kcal.) 43
Carbohydrates 10.82 g
Protein 0.5 g
Fats 0.25 g
Fiber 1.90 g
Vitamin A 152.50 IU
Vitamin C 80 mg
Vitamin B1 0.02 mg
Vitamin E 0.3 mg
Calcium 20 mg
Magnesium 21 mg
Match 10 mg
Potassium 182 mg
Sodium 8 mg

Properties of papaya

Here we summarize the main properties of papaya. Any excuse not to enjoy it right now?

  • It has a large amount of vitamins and minerals, as well as dietary fiber.
  • Thanks to its fiber content, it is a fruit with great detoxifying power, helping in turn to detoxify our body, and facilitate the expulsion of toxins that have accumulated over time.
  • Great antioxidant power, thanks to the presence of carotene, vitamin C and flavonoids.
  • It is a cleansing fruit, which helps to cleanse both the colon and the intestines.
  • It is protective against cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
  • Anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to the joint action of vitamin C, E, beta-carotene and enzymes.
  • Protects against rheumatoid arthritis (and other inflammations).
  • It is a mild diuretic so it helps against fluid retention and to purify our body: ideal in this case for children.
  • It helps to make digestion well, thus avoiding heavy digestions.

How to make dehydrated papaya?

The dried papaya becomes an option to enjoy the various qualities offered us this wonderful and exquisite fruit. Of course, we must bear in mind something very important: its sugar content is much higher, so its consumption in this form is not so advisable for people with diabetes.

Be that as it may, dehydrated papaya is the result of drying fresh papaya, thus achieving an obvious reduction in its water content. For this reason, dehydrated papaya tends to look smaller and brighter, and its sweet flavor increases a lot.

If you want to learn how to make dehydrated papaya at home, it is actually very simple. If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can opt for the oven to get it.

To do this, you just have to peel the papaya and cut it into very small pieces. Put aluminum foil on the baking sheet and heat it to a low temperature. Put the papaya in the oven, turning it occasionally to prevent it from burning. You should leave it in the oven for 3 to 6 hours.

Ready! After this time, remove from the oven, let it cool and store the dehydrated papaya in a glass jar.

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