For a complete breakfast, fruits are essential for the first meal of the day to be tasty, and of course, very healthy. Therefore, it is always important to prioritize fruits where frequent consumption can reduce the risk of disease and which are also rich in nutrients, such as, for example, the papaya.
With a sweet flavor and vibrant colors, the papaya, when ripe, the pulp is orange with many edible but bitter black seeds, and can be eaten raw. However, if it’s still green, it can be consumed, too. However, it should always be cooked beforehand, especially during pregnancy, as the unripe fruit is rich in latex, which can stimulate contractions.
Therefore, to better understand how this fruit is good for your health, with the help of nutritionist Adriana Stavro, we list 9 benefits of papaya for well-being:
1- Improves skin quality
Want healthier skin? Bet on papaya! Few people know, but the fruit is rich in vitamins A, C, K, E and B complex, calcium, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus. In addition, according to Stavro, it helps fight free radicals, delay the signs of aging, reduce wrinkles and expression lines, and reduce acne, especially in teenagers.
2- Prevents asthma
The risk of developing asthma is lower in people who consume a lot of certain nutrients. According to Stavro, one of them is beta-carotene, present in foods such as papaya, apricot, broccoli, melon, pumpkin and carrots.
3- Anticancer properties
Few people know, but papaya can act to reduce free radicals, which contribute to some diseases, including cancer. Also, food can have some extra benefits. According to the expert, among 14 fruits and vegetables evaluated with antioxidant properties, only papaya showed anti-cancer activity in breast cancer cells.
4- Bone health
Low vitamin K intake has been linked to an increased risk of bone fracture. Adequate consumption of this mineral is important as it improves calcium absorption and may also reduce urinary calcium excretion, meaning you will have more circulating calcium to strengthen your bones.
5- Glycemic control
According to Stavro, studies have shown that individuals with type 1 and type 2 diabetes who consume fiber-rich diets have lower levels of blood glucose and blood lipids. In other words, 100g of papaya, which is equivalent to a small slice, provides an average of 3 grams of fiber.
6- Prevents trapped bowel
I bet you already knew about this benefit! As mentioned before, papaya is rich in fiber and water, which helps prevent constipation and promote regularity and a healthy digestive system. Thus, many people consider papaya a remedy for constipation.
7- Improves digestion
It’s not talked about much, but papayas contain an enzyme called papain, which can make the protein easier to digest.
8- Prevention of heart disease (CVD)
According to the expert, an increase in potassium intake, with a decrease in sodium intake, is the most important dietary change a person can make to reduce the risk of CVD.
9- Decreases inflammation
Chronic inflammation is at the root of many illnesses. But according to Stavro, studies show that antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, such as papaya, help reduce inflammatory markers.
In addition, papaya helps improve sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory. It also strengthens the structure of cell membranes, aids in the transmission of nerve impulses and reduces fat absorption.
Source: Adriana Stavro, functional nutritionist, herbalist and master from Birth to Adolescence at Centro Universitário São Camilo.