The Italian voyager, Christopher Columbus, once referred to papayas as “the fruits of the angels”.…..and with good reason too! The fruit is not only rich in vitamin C, but has a wide range of health benefits – making it an essential part of your diet. Once considered quite exotic, papayas can now be found in markets throughout the year. The health advantages of papayas are:
• Lowers cholesterol – Papaya is rich in fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants which prevent cholesterol build up in your arteries.
•* Helps in weight loss* – Being low in caloric content, make papayas are ideal to include in your weight loss regime. The fiber content in papaya leaves you feeling full thus making it easier to shed some pounds.
• Boosts your immunity – A single papaya contains more than 200% of your daily requirement of vitamin C, making it great for your immunity.
•* Good for diabetics* – Papaya is an excellent food option for diabetics as it has low sugar content, despite its sweetness.
•* Great for your eyes* – Rich in vitamin A, papayas help protect your vision from degenerating.
• Protects against arthritis – Eating papayas are good for your bones as they have anti-inflammatory properties, along with the vitamin C which helps keep various forms of arthritis at bay. A study published in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases concluded that people who consumed foods high in vitamin C were three times less likely to have arthritis than those who did not.
• Improves digestion – Papain, a digestive enzyme abundant in papayas, helps improve your digestive health. This enzyme is especially concentrated in the fruit when it is unripe.
• Helps ease menstrual pain – The enzyme papain also helps in regulating and easing discomfort during menstrual periods.
• Prevents signs of ageing – Papaya is rich in vitamins C and E, and in antioxidants like beta-carotene which help prevent your skin from free radical damage. This keeps prevent wrinkles and other signs of ageing.
• Prevents cancer – Certain studies have linked the consumption of papaya to reduced risk of colon and prostate cancer.
• Helps reduce stress – After a hard day’s work, it is a good idea to come home to a plate of papayas. This wonder fruit is rich in several nutrients like vitamin C which can keep you free from stress. According to a study conducted by University of Alabama, 200 mg of vitamin C was shown to regulate the flow of stress hormones in rats.
(Source: Rtn. Er. C R Nambiar and The World’s Healthiest Foods)