Top 5 Papaya Health Benefits


Papaya health benefitsThere are many papaya benefits for your health and this beautiful tropical fruit is proof that nutritious food can also have an amazing taste.

Papaya, also known as papaw and pawpaw around the world, is a rich source of antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and special digestive enzymes that have a remarkable effect both internally and externally.

If you’d like to improve your skin, relieve digestion problems, protect your eyes and heart and possibly lower your risk of many diseases like cancer, then consider the many health benefits of eating papaya.

Skin Protection

Ripe papaya is a beneficial source of antioxidant vitamin C, vitamin E and carotenoids like beta-carotene and lycopene. The high levels of these valuable nutrients can help protect your skin against free radicals known to cause damage that leads to wrinkles and other visible signs of aging.

The enzyme papain in the flesh and skin of papaya fruit actually breaks down dead skin cells and helps promote skin renewal when used topically on the face or body. Papaya facial treatments are a popular way to improve your skin’s texture, elasticity and appearance. They may also help with wound healing and burns and even assist in the treatment of skin problems like acne, blemishes and age spots.

Papaya is Good for Your Eyes

Alongside their antioxidant properties, carotenoids like the beta-carotene found in papaya can be converted into vitamin A, particularly important for healthy eyes and vision.

Papaya also contains good levels of two special compounds called lutein and zeaxanthin. Known as xanthophylls, these phytonutrients are concentrated by your body in the macular region of your eyes. Here they provide protection against both UV and high energy blue light that can damage our eye’s retinas and are involved in fine detail perception.

Research suggests a good intake of both zeaxanthin and lutein can significantly reduce your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), the most common cause of blindness in America. The high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin in foods like papaya may also protect against developing cataracts, glaucoma, and other chronic eye diseases. Other good sources of lutein and zeaxanthin are pumpkins, spinach, broccoli and the yolks from free range eggs.

Many people also report an improvement in visual acuity and color perception with high doses of lutein and zeaxanthin in supplements derived from natural sources. If you rely heavily on your eyes for long periods, particularly for detecting fine details like reading the words on a computer screen all day long, then an extra daily intake of lutein and particularly zeaxanthin may help significantly.

While I eat a lot of xanthophyll rich foods, I’ve still personally noticed much less eye strain when working for long periods on my laptop since I started taking these high strength zeaxanthin, lutein and astaxanthin capsules made from marigold flowers. Ideally, they should be taken with a meal containing healthy fats to enhance their absorption as well.

Papaya for Preventing Heart Disease

Health Benefits of Pawpaw The vitamin C and vitamin E in papaya, along with antioxidants like beta-carotene and lycopene, can help reduce the oxidation of cholesterol in your arteries and contribute to the fruit’s many health benefits.

Cholesterol oxidation is considered a dangerous process, potentially leading to arteries blocked with plaque that can result in heart attacks. Increasing your intake of these antioxidants from health foods like papaya may help improve blood flow to the heart and reduce your risk of developing heart disease.

Papaya is also good source of folate which helps control homocysteine levels in the bloodstream. High levels of homocysteine in the blood is known to damage blood vessels and is considered another potential cause of cardiovascular disease.

Additionally, the beneficial fiber in papaya can help lower undesirable LDL cholesterol levels in the blood by inhibiting its absorption during digestion. This is yet another way eating this amazing superfood can help protect us from heart disease and stroke.

Improves Digestion

The enzymes in papaya, and especially the green fruit, can improve digestion by breaking down proteins into their individual amino acids. Undigested proteins can lead to many health issues, such as gastrointestinal problems and an overgrowth of flatulence causing bacteria in the colon.

The proteolytic enzyme papain found in papaya is actually so good at breaking down proteins, it is used as a meat tenderizer commercially. If you can’t find it fresh, green papaya enzyme capsules are convenient to take with a protein meal. Papaya does make for a great dessert whenever you can get it though.

There is much more on how the papain in papaya can benefit your health in the page on how papain enzymes improve digestion.

Papaya and Cancer Prevention

The health benefits of papaya can also be relevant for reducing your risk of developing certain types of cancers. Obviously seek the advice of a knowledgeable health care professional when dealing with any serious disease. But also know that nutritious foods can support the body’s natural defenses and, in the case of papaya, they may have certain nutrients of particular relevance for lowering cancer risk.

Once again, the rich antioxidant content of papaya, particularly lycopene, beta-carotene and another less well known carotenoid called beta-cryptoxanthin, are particularly beneficial in reducing your risk of developing cancer.

Papaw healthy Proteolytic enzymes in papaya can digest the fibrin protein layer of cancer cells that usually surrounds and protects them. This may leave the cancerous cells more susceptible to the body’s immune response. It is also believed to hinder its growth and inhibit the cancer from spreading.

The fruit also contains compounds called isothiocyanates that may help prevent cancer by eliminating potential carcinogens from our bodies and enhancing the action of tumor suppressing proteins. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli are an even richer source of isothiocyanates, but papaya is still a good source.

Recent research has studied the powerful cancer cell killing effects of compounds found in papaya leaves. See the page on could papaya leaf be a cancer treatment for more details.

Eating Papaya

Hopefully these 5 papaya health benefits are inspiring enough to have you wanting to eat it more often. If so, the next page on eating papaya to improve your health has many ways to include more of this great tasting and very healthy fruit in your daily meals.

Do you enjoy eating papaya and how do you like to have it? I personally find it to be both a great breakfast to start the day with and good for dessert after a big protein meal. I’d be interested to hear how you like to have it and any questions you might have on the benefits of adding papaya fruit to your diet.

Photo 1 credit: Reeding / Photo 2 credit: norwichnuts / Photo 3 credit: SantaRosa OLD SKOOL

32 Responses to “Top 5 Papaya Health Benefits”

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  1. Omotayo Ojo says:

    Wonderful discovery of potentials for a fruit so Common and so undervalued, and wasting in our backyards! But among the various species, which is the best?

    • Jim says:

      Hi Omotayo. Thanks for your comment.

      There doesn’t appear to be significant nutritional difference between the different varieties from my research. The smaller Hawaiian varieties tend to be sweeter than the larger Mexican papayas though. Brighter colored pulp may also be an indication of more antioxidants.

      If you intend using the seeds for their anti-parasitic and protein digesting properties, the larger seeds in the Mexican varieties do seem to be more potent. See http://superfoodprofiles.com/surprising-health-benefits-papaya-seeds for more details.

  2. Vivianne titus says:

    Dats great but i love d unripe on and strong. I mean not too soft and not over yellow. Pls wil it still be work as the ripe one?

    • Jim says:

      Hi Vivianne. The greener the papaya the more papain enzymes it has in it, which is very good for clearing out the intestines of undigested waste. The ripe papaya are said to have more antioxidants. Some of both would be ideal.

      • Myriam says:

        Papaya also ideal for lose weight?

        • Jim says:

          Hi Myriam,

          The more healthy, antioxidant and nutrient rich foods like papaya you eat the less hungry most people tend to be, so yes I would think papaya could be beneficial for weight loss.

  3. abanti says:

    if a cube of ripe papaya could be rubbed on face, along with honey provides instant glow n can also helps undo the tiredness all over the day. papaya is too good for skin.

  4. S. says:

    It was a young Indian therapist that suggested I take papaya for my incredibly sluggish bowel. Works like a charm. One day after eating, no problem, every time. But does anyone know if it will only work when I take it. Or is there any evidence to suggest that it could actually improve this chronic condition I’ve had as long as I can remember. What would be the best way to take it. And are there any other foods equally effective. Because eating just the one thing all the time is really boring!

    • Jim says:

      Hi there,

      This beneficial effect is likely due to the combination of digestive enzymes and natural fiber. Pineapple would be another good choice with similar properties and avocados, bananas and other tropical fruit are all likely to be helpful for improving bowel movements.

  5. Nadine brown says:

    Papaya was one of those fruits that i wouldn’t even taste. Having heard about its health benefits, I am now eating and I have acquired the taste, something I thought I couldn’t do. Its nicer and more refreshing
    when chilled.

    • Jim says:

      Hi Nadine,

      I’ve always enjoyed papaya, even before I knew how good it was for me. Different tastes I guess but it’s good to hear you’re having it now.

  6. freda says:

    Wow.., all dis is amazing! But I wanna know wat proportion or amount is appropriate to be eaten on a daily basis.

    • Jim says:

      Hi Freda,

      You won’t ‘overdose’ on papaya so whatever you are comfortable eating is good. If you have easy access to this wonderful fruit then half a papaya in the morning makes a very healthy breakfast.

  7. jondel says:

    papaya is always a miracle fruit for me,,it does wonder for my digestion and skin as well.

    • Jim says:

      Thanks for your comments Jondel.

      Papaya is one of my favorite fruits as well. With all of it’s beneficial effects on health I’d really like to see it become a more common fruit in the supermarket.

  8. althea says:

    i have a gastro esophageal reflux disease and my common problem with my stomach is that i always feel bloated even i eat only plenty of food…would it helps alot eating papaya ??now i start eating papaya….and also i want to loose weight

    • Jim says:

      Hi Althea,

      Papaya is considered excellent for gastroesophageal reflux. Having it for breakfast rather than cereal would be a good step towards loosing weight. In fact, anywhere in your diet you can cut back on grain based foods, particular bread and pasta, would be beneficial.

      Hope this helps.

  9. althea says:

    papaya also rich in vit.C and since i am acidic i have a Gastro Esophageal Reflux,is it ok for me to eat papaya??because citrus fruits not advisable for me..Vit.C same ascorbic acidic not advisable for people with stomach problem such as Hyper acidity..and papaya rich in vit.C…

    • Jim says:

      Hi Althea,

      Papaya’s are not acidic and are one of the most strongly recommended for this condition so I think it would be fine. You could try a small amount the first time and see how you tolerate it. As I mentioned, for breakfast would be a great time to have papaya.

  10. Godsgrace says:

    this is good health informaton, thanks. pls how do I apply papaya for facial treatment and the fruits for worm

  11. ciano says:

    Hi jim, have been following your program. But I don’t knw if this can work for me, cos I have something like worm work round my body and in the gut

    • Jim says:

      Hi Ciano,

      Everyone is different and will respond differently. If you feel you are not getting the results you are looking for after trying the treatment for a while I’d suggest investigating other alternatives. Curezone can be a good resource, though there is a lot to wade through and it’s best to only listen to experienced posters or confirm from multiple sources on there before considering anything. Also have a look through the comments at http://superfoodprofiles.com/papaya-seeds-parasites There are other options discussed there (as well as some very good results that people have been having). Alternatively, my recent article on Black Walnut, Wormwood and Cloves might be more appropriate for you – http://superfoodprofiles.com/black-walnut-parasites-intestinal-worms

      Hope this helps.

  12. Remi o says:

    thanks but is papaya seeds able to cure hyppertitis B , if yes how will u take doe.

    • Jim says:

      Hi Remi,

      I don’t know if you would consider papaya seeds a hepatitis cure, but the papain in them has been used to treat health problems from hepatitis like liver damage. I’d recommend discussing using them with a knowledgeable healthcare professional if you are suffering from the disease.

      All the best.

  13. Emmanuel says:

    I enjoy pawpaw together wIth pInapple anytime as a snack. They test nice. I want to try a piece of pawpaw and honey for facial skin. Ask me after three weeks.

  14. thabang says:

    hi. Do green papaya enzyme capsules/pills work naturally in your body like papaya fruit.can you also use them for your skin,and can you use them and eat the fruit at the same time?

  15. Williama says:

    Hi Vivianne. The eco-friendly the pawpaw the more papain minerals it has in it, which is very excellent for cleaning out the digestive system of spend waste. The fresh pawpaw are said to have more anti-oxidants. Some of both would be perfect.

  16. Georgina says:

    I’ve actually never been aware of these amazing benefits of Papaya! Can’t wait to get some now, thank you.

  17. Troy Smith says:

    For a very simple, quick and healthy dessert you can cube papaya and marinate it with a bit of honey, lime and thinly sliced mint. Serve it over queso fresco (fresh cheese) and sprinkle with roasted sunflower and / or pumpkin seeds. So good!

Trackbacks

  1. […] Fruit Mask Mash a small amount (3 tablespoons will do) of raw papaya, and add 2 tablespoons of pineapple juice. The Benefits: The two fruits contain enzymes that […]



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