Benefits of Papaya Fruit for Digestive Health
The benefits of papaya were likely not on the mind of Christopher Columbus who, upon finding the fruit referred to it as “the fruit of the angels”. Perhaps the angels have digestive troubles just like the rest of us from time to time and, like civilizations have done for years, used the papaya to combat them. The papaya is a large fruit that shaped somewhat like a fat pear, green to yellow and orange-pink in color. The inside is bright orange with a large and elongated cluster of black seeds lining the middle of the fruit. It is thought to have originated somewhere in Central America, possibly Mexico, although today it is also abundantly grown in the State of Hawaii. Packed with vitamins and nutrients, affording well over 100% of the daily value of vitamin C, the benefits of papaya also include its role in promoting digestive health.
Like many fruits high in fiber, the papaya, which boasts over 20% of the daily recommended value according to whfoods.org can help the body digest food more easily. The fiber content of foods helps move stool through the digestive tract by adding bulk and increasing water, which can make them easier to pass. This digestive help can also serve as one of many useful stomach bloating remedies by reducing the feelings of indigestion and fullness that can accompany overeating or consuming foods that promote gassiness. Slow moving digestion can also contribute to feelings of bloat and therefore the fiber content of papaya can also assist in this manner as well. Papaya’s role as a suitable source of dietary fiber is also useful in promoting healthy regularity of the bowels and for staving off recurring bouts of constipation and slow stools.
But, likely the most astounding health benefits of papaya have to do with its amazing enzymes. Papain is the name of the papaya enzyme that is thought to play a beneficial role in digestive health according to WebMD. This particular chemical compound has many uses in commercial applications and is a common component in toothpaste, meat tenderizers, soft contact lens cleansers and in some cosmetics. And, typically for the same reasons that the enzyme is touted for its role in digestive aid. Papain breaks down difficult to digest protein effectively which can lead to easier digestion. The papaya enzyme benefits have also been used in alternative medicine to eliminate protein based intestinal parasites, which are thought to succumb to the Papain digestive enzymes found in the peppery fruit. The health benefits of papaya are abundant, but smoothing out sometimes rocky road to digestion is one of the most pronounced.
Aside from its multiple roles as a digestive delight, papaya also has many other uses as well. It is actually considered possibly useful in combating cases of shingles and its inflammation battling properties make it potentially effective for fighting the symptoms of a sore throat, according to WebMD. These additional benefits are also attributed to the fruit’s containment of the papain enzyme, and prove that the health benefits of papaya are as plentiful as the variety of culinary applications in which the fruit can be tastefully enjoyed.
Papaya is full of essential nutrients like vitamins A and C and contains lycopene and beta carotene, the body’s own ingestible arsenal of free radical fighters according to Natural News. Its unique flavor combined with this unique blend of essentials make it a super food in its own right. Its added role as a digestion aid is the icing on the cake, providing smoother and gentler digestion, reducing bloating and abdominal discomfort, providing fiber for increased regularity and an enzyme that makes digesting difficult to break down proteins child’s play. When Christopher Columbus made his now famous statement regarding the heavenly status of this super fruit, he probably was referring to the flavor alone. Little did he likely know about all the amazing health benefits of papaya, a fruit that it is worth much more than its weight in beneficial goodness.