By Sarah Romero
Age-related macular degeneration
Papayas grow in tropical climates. They are characterized by their sweet taste, vibrant colors and a wide variety of health benefits. Among them, zeaxanthin, an antioxidant found in papaya, filters out harmful blue light rays that are believed to play a protective role in eye health and hence age-related macular degeneration.
The fiber, potassium, and vitamin content of papayas also help prevent heart disease. An increase in potassium intake along with a decrease in sodium intake make up the key strategy for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
The consumption of beta-carotenes, a very important group of pigments with antioxidant function found in papayas, has been shown to have an inverse relationship with the development of colon cancer in the Japanese population. In addition, according to a study conducted by the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health (USA), diets rich in beta-carotene can play a protective role against prostate cancer, among younger men.
Papaya -thanks to the choline- also helps us in sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory. Choline in turn helps to maintain the structure of cell membranes, in the absorption of fat and in the reduction of chronic inflammation, which if left untreated, can cause DNA damage and lead to cancer.
Research has shown that type 1 diabetics who follow a high fiber diet (a medium papaya provides about 4.7 grams of fiber) have lower blood glucose levels; in people with type 2 diabetes, it also regulates blood sugar, lipids, and insulin levels.
Papaya puree, when used topically, is beneficial for wound healing and preventing infection of burned areas. This exotic and prodigious fruit is also ideal for hair, as it contains vitamin A, a nutrient necessary for the production of sebum that keeps our hair hydrated; a vitamin that is also essential for the growth of all body tissues, including skin and hair. Likewise, an adequate intake of vitamin C (present in papaya) is necessary for the construction and maintenance of collagen, which provides structure to the skin and hair.
Low vitamin K intake has been associated with an increased risk of bone fracture. Adequate intake of vitamin K is important because it acts as a protein modifier of the bone matrix, improving calcium absorption and reducing urinary calcium excretion. Therefore, papaya is a good option.
The risks of developing asthma are lower in people who consume a large amount of beta-carotene present in foods such as papaya, apricots, broccoli, cantaloupe, squash, and carrots.
Papayas contain an enzyme called papain that aids in digestion. It is one of the best fruits for the digestive system. Thanks to the fact that it is also high in fiber and water, it has laxative and detoxifying properties to help us purify the toxins and waste that accumulate in the intestine. Ideal for digesting red meat, heavy or very fatty foods. Thus, it prevents constipation and promotes the regularity and health of the digestive tract.
We have already seen that increasing the consumption of plant-based foods such as papayas reduces the risk of obesity and general mortality, diabetes, heart disease, promotes healthy skin, increases energy ... however, if we have a latex allergy We can also be allergic to papayas, since they have chitinase, whose enzymes cause a cross reaction between latex and foods that contain this biopolymer.