Papaya is also known as “pawpaw” or “papaw.”
The Yellow, Ripe Papaya. Note that there is very little green on it. Image Courtesy: http://www.buyfruit.com.au
Here are 10 Reasons to Choose Papaya for Immunonutrition:
- Anti-bacterial: For example, Carica papaya extract was found to exert anti-bacterial effects on Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Shigella flexneri.
- Anti-fungal: Some found papaya could be used to help treat Dengue fever; others thought more research is needed and it could be an important option in the future.
- Anti-oxidant, anti-stress, anti-inflammation, immune-boosting and therefore, anti-aging: The biolologically active metabolites chymopapain and papain enzymes have anti-oxidant properties, as well as the compounds, Vitamins A, C and E.
- Anti-parasitic: Carica payapa seed extract was shown to decrease the number of the protozoa, Trypanosoma cruzi, parasites.
- Anti-thrombyolytic: prevents blood clots. This is due to lycopene enzyme that comes from red pigment plant cells found in: tomatoes, watermelon, guava and papaya.
- Enzyme-cleansing: Rich in fiber and full of enzymes that break down leftover gut protein, papaya is beneficial for the digestive tract and liver.
- Liver-detoxification: protein breakdown of the gut alleviates the liver’s need to sieve toxins, freeing it up to perform at a more optimal capacity for the whole body. Papaya has been used to help treat a multitude of diseases.
- Source of Carotene, Vitamins, Minerals and Phytogens: As with all produce rich in the color orange, papaya is rich in the carotenoids beta-carotene and lycopene. It is also rich in Vitams A, B, C, folate, panthotenic acid, and also in the electrolytes potassium and magnesium. Vitamin A is crucial in aging, to benefit the eyes and vision.
- Good for Aging Eyes: Papaya has a high concentration of lutin and zeaxanthin, phytonutrient xanthophylls. The macular region of the eyes has particularly high levels of these, hence papaya is good for the macula.
- Disease Prevention: Papaya may prevent eye disease associated with aging, macular degeneration (AMD), offer cardiovascular and colon cancer prevention.
Note of Caution: The seeds, particularly those in unripe green papapya, have potent enzymes like papain and carpaine that can affect your body. For this reason, these people should avoid green papaya (higher levels of papain) and papaya seeds: pregnant women, breastfeeding women, children with undeveloped gastrointestinal systems.
Otherwise, if you live in South Mexico, Central America or the north part of South America, you have indigenous papaya! Other Asian countries like the Philippines, Malaysia, the West Indies and Africa also produce papaya. So…
Nest, let’s learn How to Pick a Good Papaya at the Market! (Hint: Be Picky)
The Papaya Tree. The unripe papaya is green. Image Courtesy: yograjherbal.com
The Series: “Immunonutrition of the Papaya”