Delicious, papaya fruit is another gift Uganda to this world. This exotic fruit is packed with numerous health benefiting nutrients. It is one of the favorites of fruit lovers for its nutritional, digestive, and medicinal properties Botanically, the plant belongs to Caricaceae family of flowering plants, in the genus; Carica. Scientific name: Carica papaya.
Papaya fruit health benefits
- The papaya fruit is very low in calories (just 43 calories/100 g) and contains no cholesterol; noneheless, it is a rich source of phytonutrients, minerals, and vitamins.
- Papayas contain soft, easily digestible flesh with a good amount of soluble dietary fiber that helps to have normal bowel movements; thereby reducing constipation problems.
- Fresh, ripe papaya is one of the fruits with the highest vitamin-C content (provides 60.9 mg or about 101% of DRI, more than that of in oranges, or lemons). Research studies have shown that vitamin-C plays many vital roles like free radicals scavenging, boosting immunity, and anti-inflammatory actions.
- It is also an excellent source of Vitamin-A (provides 950 IU/100 g) and flavonoids like β -carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin and cryptoxanthin. Vitamin-A required for maintaining healthy mucosa and skin and is essential for healthy vision. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties; help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes. Consumption of natural fruits rich in carotenes has known to protect the human body from lung and oral cavity cancers.
- Papaya fruit is also rich in many essential B-complex vitamins such as Folic acid, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin, and thiamin (vitamin B-1). These vitamins are essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish and play a vital role in metabolism.
- Fresh ripe papaya also contains a good amount of potassium (257 mg per 100 g) and calcium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids and helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure countering effects of sodium.
- In some traditional medicines, papaya seeds employed as a proven natural remedy for many ailments. The seeds can be found application as anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, and analgesic, and used to treat stomachache, and ringworm infections.