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The fruit that was once native to the tropical areas of Central America is now commonly found in almost every part of the world, brought by Portuguese and Spanish explorers. The Mayans worshiped papaya tree and called it, “Tree of Life”. Well, they must have known its health benefits! Christopher Columbus called it, “the fruit of the angels”.
The largest producers of this fruit are Mexico, Puerto Rico and the U.S. In the U.S. it is mainly produced in Hawaii. It is also known as Pawpaw, Papaw and Tree Melon.
From the seeds to the leaves, every part of the papaya tree holds some importance for the human body. The fruit is packed with powerful nutrients like proteins, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, carbohydrates, and all the essential vitamins.
Here are some of the top benefits of this fruit:
Improves Heart Health
The dietary fiber found in papaya is very helpful in lowering cholesterol levels. This fiber helps to convert homocysteine (a harmful substance that can damage the blood vessels and cause heart attack) into amino acids that the body can easily process. Also the papayas are loaded with some antioxidants that prevent the oxidization of cholesterol. If the cholesterol gets oxidized, it can build up plaque that can block the artery walls and eventually cause a stroke or heart attack.
Digestive disorders can be effectively treated with the help of papayas. Papayas contain two very important enzymes called and papain and chymopapain, both of these enzymes helps with the digestion process. As we age the production of digestive enzymes is reduced, which leads to many health problems. If proteins are not digested properly their excess can cause an increase in the growth of bad bacteria in the gastrointestinal system. For this purpose papaya can prove to be beneficial.
For individuals with pancreatic conditions or cystic fibrosis, chronic indigestion and bloating, papain can be very helpful. Intestinal worms can also be treated effectively with papaya seeds. It can also cure chronic constipation.
Effective for treating Colon Cancer
The antioxidants such as vitamin C, E and beta carotene, found in papayas help in the destruction of cancer-causing cells. It also gives relief to patients undergoing chemotherapy as it treats mouth sores, nausea and vomiting.
Papaya contains dietary fibers and antioxidants that help to flush out the harmful cancer- causing toxins present in the colon; as a result it prevents the body from developing colon cancer. For best results use quarter pint of papaya juice i.e. 150 ml and combine with green bean juice and cucumber juice in the same quantities, consume this mixture after every hour, during12 hours of the day. This mixture works as a natural cleanser for your colon.
Effective for Weight loss
The fruit is low in calories so it is ideal for people going on a diet. A 100gm of papaya fruit will give you 39 kcal. So by consuming papayas you can stuff your body with tremendous amount of nutrients and low amount of calories.
Regulates Menstrual Flow
For women having menstrual problems the fruit is an ideal remedy. It regulates the normal menstrual flow and brings relief in the pain and cramps. In countries like India and Bangladesh it is consumed for abortions and for the prevention of pregnancy.
Beneficial for Skin and Hair
To get a younger looking skin use papaya, the essential antioxidants contained in it helps in combating premature ageing. Use it as a face pack and get rid of clogged pores and acne. Papain is also helpful in exfoliation of the skin, as it removes dead cells by dissolving them. So you get fresh, glowing and younger looking skin. You can find many lotions and creams containing papaya extracts in them, especially in skin lightening creams.
It is also effective for treating wounds, burns and skin infections. Just place a papaya peel or papaya ointment and get cured.
Papaya also moisturizes your scalp and therefore keeps the dandruff away. You can easily find shampoos containing papaya at grocery stores.
Male Virility Booster
The enzyme called arginine found in papayas is known for boosting male virility, it increases the blood flow to the genital organs. It also effectively treats erectile dysfunction.
Boosts Immune System
The high contents of vitamin A and Vitamin C boost your immune system and strengthen your body to fight against common cold and cough.
Works as an Anti-inflammatory
Papayas are loaded with anti-inflammatory enzymes that act as a pain reliever for osteoporosis, edema and arthritis patients.
It is suggested to use this fruit at least once a week as it can save you from diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Though the ripe papaya tastes better, but it is the unripe (green) papaya that contains more enzymes. You can even juice the leaves and stems of papaya tree as it is an effective cancer killer.