Papaya: The Fruit Of The Angels
Papaya is a very sought after fruit and is available in market all around the year. This fruit is grown in the back yard of most Indian homes just like guava, neem and mango. it is eaten raw, with its skin peeled and seeds removed. It is a very delicious, soft and sweet fruit with butter like consistency. This fruit can be mashed and fed even to four month old infant. It is like a store house for good health. It has all the essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fibre. It is also a rich source of antioxidants such as carotenes, flavonoids, folate, potassium and magnesium. Together, these nutrients improve the health of the cardiovascular system and also provide protection against colon cancer. By including papaya in our daily breakfast, we can keep ourselves fit by consuming the level of vitamins and antioxidants which are needed for protection to our body.
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Health benefits of this fruit are as follows
► Pro vitamin A carotenoids, vitamin A, flavonoids, folates, fanthonic acids, fibre etc are found in vast quantities in Papaya.
► Beta Carotene present in this fruit helps to protect our eyes and also protects us from heart ailments and colon cancers.
► Vitamin C which is present abundantly in papaya protects teeth, gums and prevents other dental problem like mouth ulcers.
► Papaya when consumed as a vegetable helps in digestion. The papain, which is a digestive enzyme obtained from papaya, is used as medicine to cure digestive problems.
► Papaya contains low calories and absolutely no cholesterol. So everybody can have this fruit.
► This fruit also gives relief from asthma, joint pains and constipation.
► It also enhances appetite and activates taste buds.
► Papaya also controls eczema and regulates blood pressure.
► Papaya seeds have anti-inflammatory properties, due to which they can be used to treat stomach ache and fungal infections.
► The juice made of papaya leaves can be used as a medicine for certain heart ailments.
► The papain ointment, prepared by fermenting the flesh of papaya, is used as medicine on many injuries, allergies and abscesses.
► Papain ointment also acts as a good pain killer. It is injected to release the pressure on the nerves.
► Papaya seeds extract may also be nephro protective (protect the kidneys) in toxicity induced kidney and could be used to remove digestive problem.
► Tea, made from the leaves of papaya, is believed to keep Malaria at bay.
► Papaya seeds and leaves can be used to treat intestinal worms in the body,
► White spots and cracked lips can be cured with papaya pulp.
■ Papaya can also be used for beautifying our body. The pulp of papaya if applied to the face gives a glow to the skin and even removes pimples.
■ Papaya face pack is good for oily skin.
■ Papaya fruit is also used in the preparation of soaps and creams.
■ The latex, found in raw papayas, is used in tenderising the meat and also in the making of mattresses and clothes.
■ The bark of papaya tree is used to make ropes.
■ Papaya extracts is very good for hair and also helps in removing dandruff. In East Indian states unripe green papaya is cooked and eaten as a curry, salad or as stew.
Precautions for consuming papayas
■ Excessive intake of papaya causes carotenemia, the yellowing of palms and soles.
■ Latex fluid, present in raw papayas, causes itching and irritation to the skin. So proper care should be taken while cutting them.
■ It is widely believed that papaya causes abortion. The papain in it is believed destroy the proteins around the fetus, that being the reason pregnant women are advised to avoid eating papaya. In fact, Women are believed to consume papaya as a contraceptive to prevent pregnancy.
By Nibhanapudi Suguna