6 Research-Driven Health Benefits of Papayas

July 7, 2019
The papaya is a tropical fruit that has lots of nutrients and antioxidants. We'll tell you some research-driven health benefits of papayas in this article.

Papayas are powerful fruits, and they have countless health benefits. Studies have demonstrated the effects of their nutrients and antioxidants in processes like cancer, inflammation, and aging. In this article, we’ll tell you the six best benefits of papayas according to research.

The Health Benefits of Papayas: Overall Properties

One of the health benefits of payapas is their high content of vitamins and fiber.

Vitamin C is one of the main health benefits of papayas. After all, they provide an amazing 144% of the recommended daily value per serving of vitamin C. This vitamin is a wonderful stimulant for the immune system, as well as an antioxidant that fights free radicals.

Other vitamins that they contain are vitamin A (31% of the recommended daily value) which is necessary for healthy skin, mucous membranes and vision. In addition, it’s especially effective for fighting macular degeneration.

Papayas provide 13% of the recommended daily value of folate and good amounts of fiber and potassium. These are essential components in the cells and body that help control heart rate and blood pressure.

Plus, papayas contain 212 amino acids and several enzymes, including papain. This enzyme has an anti-inflammatory effect in the stomach, which improves digestion and stomach discomfort.

The Nutritional Properties and Health Benefits of Papayas

  • A cup of papaya contains just 55 calories.
  • Papayas contain B group vitamins (B1, B2, and B3), lots of vitamin C, as well as vitamin A and vitamin D.
  • They also contain a lot of fiber.
  • Plus, papayas contain important minerals like sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc.

Also read: Papaya, Green Tea, and Aloe Vera: The Answer to Bloating

8 Health Benefits of Papayas

1. They Help Boost Your Immune System

Since they have vitamin C, one of the health benefits of papayas is that they help prevent certain cancers.

Papayas have a very high amount of vitamin C. Vitamin C in foods improves the function of the immune system, decreases oxidative stress, and reduces levels of inflammation. Foods with high amounts of vitamin C have been associated with a lower risk of cancer.

Additionally, some studies show that the lycopene in papayas has anticancer effects. In fact, they can help prevent several types of cancers and slow the growth of tumors.

2. They’re a Powerful Natural Antioxidant

Oxidative damage is a risk factor for diseases like cancer, heart disease, and aging.

However, papayas are also rich in different antioxidant compounds. These natural compounds act as antioxidants. Additionally, they’re a good source of provitamin A.

3. They Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation is a natural mechanism that your body uses to protect you from infections caused by bacteria, viruses or other pathogens. Generally, all foods rich in antioxidants have anti-inflammatory properties.

Essentially, papayas can help lower inflammation in the body.

4. They Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease

Some studies suggest that lycopene reduces oxidative stress since it fights free radicals. In fact, this also helps lower your risk of heart disease.

In addition, the vitamin C in papayas also acts as an antioxidant. Therefore, papayas may reduce your chance of developing heart and chronic diseases.

5. They Reduce Signs of Aging

Antioxidants are one of the benefits of papayas, and they help prevent premature aging.

Aging is a natural process that develops over time, but it gets worse with oxidation. Foods rich in antioxidants, like papayas, can reduce premature signs of agingFor example, they can reduce wrinkles and saggy skin by fighting oxidative stress.

In addition, studies show that both vitamin C and lycopene improve the appearance of skin and reduce premature signs of aging. Applying papaya to your skin can also help heal certain skin wounds and problems.

Also read: Papaya, Green Tea, and Aloe Vera: The Answer to Bloating

6. They Help Digestion

Another benefit of papayas is that they are digestive enzymes.

There is scientific evidence that shows that papayas could prevent digestion problems. In a study that used a papaya formula, researchers found that it improved symptoms like swelling or gas because of papain.

This is because papain, found in papayas, helps promote digestion.

Contraindications

Despite all of its benefits, we don’t recommend eating papayas if you:

Overall, eating papayas is a great and delicious way to fight diseases like cancer or heart disease. Add them to your diet however you’d like: fresh and natural, in juice or smoothies, or even in salads.

  • Hewitt H, Whittle S, Lopez S, Bailey E, Weaver S.  Topical use of papaya in chronic skin ulcer therapy in Jamaica. The West Indian Medical Journal [01 Mar 2000, 49(1):32-33] (PMID:10786448)
  • Stavroula K Osganian, Meir J Stampfer, Eric Rimm, Donna Spiegelman, Frank B Hu, JoAnn E Manson, Walter C Willett. Journal of the American College of Cardiology Jul 2003, 42 (2) 246-252; DOI: 10.1016/S0735-1097(03)00575-8
  • Meléndez-Martínez, Antonio J. & Vicario, Isabel M. & Heredia, Francisco J.. (2004). Nutritional importance of carotenoid pigments. Archivos latinoamericanos de nutrición. 54. 149-54.