Papaya is a world superfood. It contains a rich source of nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and enzymes that hold powerful health benefits for the human body. From improving skin, digestion problems, protecting your eyes and heart, and even decreasing the risk of cancer, a papaya a day will surely keep the doctor away.
Papaya has a rich source of antioxidant vitamin C, vitamin E, and carotenoids like beta-carotene and lycopene. Together, these high levels of nutrients help protect the skin against free radicals that cause damage to the skin. These free radicals lead to wrinkles and other visible signs of aging.
In addition, the enzyme papain found in papaya breaks down dead skin cells and promotes skin renewal when used topically. Papaya facial & body treatments are a great way to improve the skin's texture, elasticity and appearance.
In combination with their powerful antioxidant properties, papayas contain carotenoids like beta-cartoene that can be converted into vitamin A which is important for healthy eyes and vision.
Papaya also contains two special compounds called lutein and zeaxanthin. These phytonutrients are concentrated in the macular region of the eyes where they provide protection against UV damaging light.
Research suggests that a good intake of these phytonutrients can significantly reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, the most common cause of blindness. High levels of lutein and zeaxanthin help protect against developing diseases like cataracts and glaucoma. In addition, they help to improve visual activity and color perception.
Papaya has a rich source of proteolytic enzymes, such as papain, chymopapain, caricain and glycyl endopeptidase that all greatly aid in the digestive process. These proteolytic enzymes found in papaya improve digestion by breaking down proteins into individual amino acids. Undigested proteins can lead to gastrointestinal problems and an overgrowth of flatulence which can cause bacteria in the colon.
This proteolytic enzyme is so powerful at breaking down proteins that it is commonly used at a meat tenderizer.
Heart Disease Prevention
Along with their powerful antioxidants like lycopene and beta- carotene, papaya contains high levels of vitamin C & E that together help reduce the oxidation of cholesterol in the arteries. The fiber found in papaya can also lower undesirable LDL levels in the blood by inhibiting its absorption during digestion. Cholesterol oxidation leads to plaque blocked arteries that can result in heart attacks.
Increasing intake of powerful antioxidants and vitamins found in papaya can improve blood flow and reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Papaya is also a great source of folate, which helps control homocysteine levels in the bloodstream. High levels of homocysteine in the blood damage blood vessels and can cause cardiovascular disease. Papaya can help protect against heart disease and stroke.
Nutritious foods support the body's natural defenses in fighting cancer and papaya specifically contains certain nutrients that are relevant in lowering the risk of cancer.
The rich antioxidants found in papaya, particularly, lycopene, beta-carotene and the lesser known carotenoid, beta-cryptoxanthin, are beneficial in reducing the risk of cancer.
Proteolytic enzymes in papaya can digest the fibrin protein layer of cancer cells that usually surrounds and protects them. This can leave the cancerous cells more susceptible to the body's immune response and hinder growth, inhibiting the cancer from spreading.
Information taken from superfoodprofiles.com.