Health Benefits of Pawpaw
Ever wondered if besides the sweetness of the pawpaw fruit there are other benefits associated with it? The papaya fruit or widely known as pawpaw is one of the twenty-two accepted species in the genus Carica in the Caricaceae family. It originated in the Americas tropics, Southern Mexico, and neighboring Central America. Surprisingly, apart from the delicious taste of this fruit, there are many health benefits linked to this sugar-tasty fruit that will leave you asking for more.
This fruit is no doubt the largest edible fruit that is indigenous to about twenty-six states in the United States; extending from Southern Ontario to Northern Florida and beyond Eastern Nebraska. Most lovers of this fruit agree that the best way to enjoy it is to eat them picked from the tree when they are perfectly ripe, outdoor, or even raw.
Pawpaw due to its sweetness is enjoyed across the world as only an edible fruit but a steady study has proven that the tasty property of the fruit is less important when compared to its health benefits. Although not a popular knowledge, the use of pawpaw and its products for medicinal purposes is on a rise on a daily basis.
When the pawpaw fruit is fully ripe, it can be gauged by squeezing it gently as you would normally gauge a peach. It advised to consume it immediately when ripe as it is known to only last a few days at room temperature and up to a week in the refrigerator.
The fruit notwithstanding is stuffed with many nutritional values, however, other parts from the seeds, peels, leaves, and many more are also recognized to be very advantageous to our health.
Pawpaw is high in vitamin C, copper, manganese, iron, and magnesium. When compared with orange, banana, and apple; it has a higher protein and fat content. It is also a good source of potassium and several other essential amino acids and contains a considerable amount of niacin, zinc, calcium, riboflavin, and phosphorus. Pawpaw contains these nutrients in quantities that are commonly about the same as or even greater than those found in oranges, bananas, and apples.
Christopher Columbus, an Italian explorer, and navigator in 1400s called Pawpaw; the fruit of the Angels. He also devised, although unverified, an approach to using the pawpaw fruit in killing cancerous cells.
Nutritional Content of Pawpaw
Amino Acids and Fats
An exciting fact about the pawpaw fruit is its protein content. The protein in pawpaw contains all of the indispensable amino acids necessary for the body. Pawpaw surpasses apple in all of the essential amino acids and sometimes equals banana and orange in most of them. The report of fatty acids in pawpaw is preferable to that in banana. Studies have it that pawpaw has about twenty-eight percent polyunsaturated, thirty percent saturated, and forty percent monounsaturated fatty acids.
We have learned in times past that fruits such orange, banana, lemon, and apple are good sources of vitamin C. However, studies have it that pawpaw has two times as much vitamin C as banana, three times as much vitamin C as apple, and one third as much as an orange. Another nutrient seen abundantly in pawpaw fruit is riboflavin and it is six times as much as that seen in apple, and twice as much as that of orange. Niacin content of pawpaw is fourteen times as high as that of apple, twice as high as banana, and four times as high as orange.
The mineral content of the pawpaw fruit is quite interesting and surprising as it is known to contain lots of potassium, having about three times as much as apple and two times as much as an orange. The calcium content in pawpaw is also about one and a half times as much as orange, and about ten times as much as apple. Pawpaw contains about sixteen to one hundred times as much manganese, four to twenty times as much magnesium, twenty to seventy times as much iron, two to seven times as much phosphorus, five to twenty times as much zinc, and five to twelve times as much copper, as seen in orange, apple, and banana.
10 Health Benefits of Pawpaw
Lessens Cholesterol in the Body
Pawpaw is a fruit richly stuffed with fiber, Vitamin C, and antioxidants which put off cholesterol build up in the human arteries. Since an excess build-up of cholesterol in the body can lead to several heart diseases such as heart attack and hypertension, pawpaw is notably good in the prevention of such illnesses.
Excellent for Diabetics and its Prevention
Not minding the sweetness in Papaya, it is an excellent food option for diabetics as it has been recorded to have a low-sugar content. Research has it also that people who are trying to prevent diabetics should be encouraged to regularly have this fruit which would considerably lower the chances of becoming diabetic.
Helps in Weight Loss
The fiber content in the leaves of papaya gives an exciting feeling of being full and also helps in clearing the bowel movement which in turn makes the ability to lose weight easier and faster. A diet including papaya is very much encouraged as it is very low in calories.
Vitamin C found more than sufficiently in the fruit helps in keeping the body far from stress after a long day’s hard work. According to a survey carried out by the University of Alabama, 200 mg of Vitamin C can help normalize the flow of stress hormones in pests.
Immune System Boost
The immunity system acts as a safeguard against different infections that can weaken the body and make it sick. Studies have it that single papaya contains more than two hundred percent of Vitamin C needed daily in the body; this, in turn, boosts the immune system.
Prevents Vision Degeneration
Pawpaw is very rich in Vitamin A necessary for the protection of the degeneration of one’s vision. As one age, age-related degenerated diseases begin to manifest causing so much discomfort in one’s old age and most times blindness. A balanced intake of pawpaw ensures that age-related macular degeneration is prevented in old age.
In recent times and in this technology advanced system routine regime it is almost impossible to eat food rich in good live bacteria that helps in proper digestion of food. It is near impossible to avoid eating junk food that is most time bad for the digestive system and prepared in excessive quantities of oil. However, daily intake of papaya helps in correcting such health mistakes since it is said to contain a digestive enzyme known as papain along with fiber which helps improve the human digestive system.
Protects Against Arthritis
Due to Vitamin C and anti-inflammatory properties found in Pawpaw, studies have it that eating papaya is good for bone development and hence keeps arthritis at bay. Arthritis can be a weakening disease when encountered and people who have it have difficulties living as normal people and thus the quality of life significantly reduced for them. Published research on Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases showed that people who consumed foods low in Vitamin C were three times more likely to have arthritis than those who didn’t.
Research has revealed that Papaya is a good source of antioxidants, phytonutrients, and flavonoids; elements that prevent human cells from undergoing free radical damage. Other studies have also claimed that consumption pawpaw has effectively reduced the risk of prostate and colon cancer.
Helps Ease Menstrual Pain
The digestive enzyme, papain, found in pawpaw helps in controlling and easing the pain encountered during menstrual periods. Women who are experiencing menstrual pain are encouraged to eat a lot of papaya fruit to ease the pain.
The papaya fruit is very sweet when ripe but slightly sweet when unripe, with a delightful musky savor. The taste, however, is more prominent in some climates than in others with a reason not very clear. It is enjoyed in many countries and used as a popular breakfast fruit and is also in confections, salads, juices, pies, and sherbets.
The unripe fruit can be cooked like squash and used sometimes as herbs in some countries and in others, a delicacy. The milky juice found most times in the unripe pawpaw fruit contains a protein-digesting enzyme known as papain which aids the digestive action of the human’s digestive system. Pawpaw juice is used in the manufacture of meat tenderizers and also in the preparation of various remedies for indigestion.