The papaya is not only a tasty fruit to eat; it is also full of beneficial ingredients that help keep the human body healthy and strong. Not a long time ago, it was an exotic fruit that not everyone could buy, but now papayas can be found on the market easily throughout the whole year. The health benefits of papaya are important mostly because of the enzyme papain that is a great help for better digestion. When you read about all the useful effects of papaya on your health, you won’t wonder why it is called a power fruit. Christopher Columbus also had a great name for the papaya – “fruit of angels”. It’s a good thing that this fruit is available to all of us today so we can all enjoy the health benefits of papaya.
History of Papayas
The health benefits of papaya were highly appreciated by the Latin American Indians who had the fortune to leave on the land where papayas originate from (Central America). Oviedo, a chronicler from the Spanish expedition, left the first literary reference to this fruit in 1526. The explorers from Spain and Portugal spread this fruit to India, the Philippines, and some regions of Africa. American citizens were introduced to this fruit in the 20th century and today the USA is one of the biggest markets of papaya in the world. Hawaii is the biggest commercial producer of papaya today. People throughout history loved this fruit, not because of its exceptionally good taste, but also because they felt the health benefits of papaya and used it as a natural cure and beauty product.
Health benefits of Papaya
The papaya is an incredibly rich source of natural antioxidants. It contains a lot of carotenes; vitamin C, natural fiber; essential minerals such as potassium and magnesium; and also has a high concentration of natural enzymes: arginine and campaign. The health benefits of papaya are widely used as a prevention of atherosclerosis, heart disease, and diabetes. The three powerful vitamins that papaya contains (C, A, and E) are very effective antioxidants that protect the body from cholesterol oxidation and that way keep heart attacks and strokes away. The fiber that papaya contains is a necessary regulator of the cholesterol levels in the body. Medical researchers have proven that papaya is very useful in the prevention of colon cancer, because of the fiber, folate, and vitamins it contains. The anti-inflammatory health benefits of papaya are recognized for a very long time, and today they are medically confirmed. Consuming papaya regularly will improve your whole immune system and prevent many illnesses. This wonder fruit is also beneficial in the protection against rheumatoid arthritis and prostate cancer. Lately, papaya is an ingredient in many expensive face creams because it nourishes the skin making it radiant and clean. You can make a face pack from fresh papaya whenever you want to give your skin some healthy glow.
Selecting and storing
You’ll get the most of the health benefits of papaya if you choose one with reddish skin and a little soft to the touch. That is ripe papaya that has the most delicious taste. If you don’t intend to eat the fruit on the same day you buy it, choose papaya that is slightly more yellowish so it will be ready to eat in a few days and won’t become too soft. Avoid the totally green fruit because you won’t be able to get the most health benefits of papaya that way. If the papaya is not fully ripe, it should be kept at room temperature, and if you want to fasten the ripening process, put it in a paper bag together with a banana. If the papaya is ripe, keep it in the refrigerator and eat it within one to two days.
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