Health Benefits of Papaya: Fruit, Seeds & Leaves
The papaya fruit or pawpaw as it is commonly known in Nigeria, is a very common and tasty fruit widely eaten nationwide. It almost grows wildly, dotting the streets and growing in front of everyone’s home. A little known fact is that the tree bears a very beneficial fruit with wonderful health benefits.
Papaya fruit is very high in antioxidants and Vitamin C. This makes the fruit good in boosting immunity and thereby preventing infections like, the common cold or flu. In addition, it reduces cholesterol buildup in the blood thereby reducing the risk of developing heart disease. The fruit is also rich in Vitamin A which is responsible for preserving vision and protecting against age related eye diseases. Papaya can help to fight and prevent cancer. The fruit is rich in lycopene and carotene which has been demonstrated to reduce cancer risk. Special antioxidants in papaya have also been shown to have anti-cancer activity as well as to reduce oxidative damage which is a precursor to the formation of cancer.
Another benefit of papaya is its ability to fight inflammation. Inflammation is the root of many diseases ranging from arthritis to cancer and papain, an enzyme found in papaya has exhibited very strong anti-inflammatory qualities. Papain reduces pain, muscle soreness and aids in digestion. Papain is also used in skin preparations to improve the texture of the skin and to promote wound healing.
Papaya leaves are not to be ignored; they are packed with superior medicinal qualities and have been used effectively in traditional medicine for a long time. Papaya leaves have been used to reduce fever and body pains associated with malaria. It works similar to conventional painkillers such as Ibuprofen without the side effects. The leaves also contain the enzyme papain which aid digestion and relieves menstrual pain. The leaves are also used to fight diabetes. It works by preventing excess sugar from staying in the blood which also helps to reduce the organ damage caused by diabetes. Papaya leaves also accelerates wound healing, making for a faster recovery. For people who have problems digesting gluten and wheat, the enzymes in papaya leaves help to break the proteins down in the body.
Papaya seeds are also very important to our health. Many of us think the seeds are inedible and we throw them away, not knowing we are discarding valuable medicine. Papaya seeds are great for detoxification. Consuming the seeds help to detoxify the liver and kidneys. The high fibre content also helps to cleanse and detoxify the colon. This can also aid in achieving weight loss for overweight people. Just like the fruit and the leaves, papaya seeds are also very valuable in reducing inflammation and lowering high blood pressure. The benefits go on and on.
In conclusion, papaya is a delicious fruit with many health advantages. We should strive to incorporate it into our diets regularly and this should include the seeds and the leaves.
A simple detox regimen is to try what we call ‘Pawpaw Therapy’. Cut a medium sized papaya into 3 equal parts, and divide the seeds in to 3 equal parts. In addition, boil the leaves in a small sized cooking pot with 6 cups of water. In the morning, eat one-third of the pawpaw, swallow one third of the seeds, and drink 2 cups of the papaya leaf tea. Do this also in the afternoon and evening making sure to drink at least 3 litres of water throughout the day. Resume your regular meals the following day. This will help to cleanse your system, lose weight and hydrate your skin.
I hope you try this wonderful tip soon and start reaping the health benefits!
By – Tobi Ayodele Keeney