Papaya, otherwise known as the papaw and pawpaw, is a tropical fruit shaped like an elongated melon (as you can see above) with tasty edible flesh and small-ish black seeds inside. The papaya plant belongs to the family Caricaceae, originating in Mexico and Central America, and is cultivated in tropical regions across the globe.
Unfortunately, the papaya plant and fruits are prone to viral, bacterial and fungal diseases which significantly decrease the quality and quantity of what is available. Therefore papaya prices may be slightly higher than other similar fruits in markets and stores. Although not significantly higher enough to warrant not purchasing the tasty beneficial fruits, in my opinion they’re worth the extra few pence or cents!
The papaya is a wonderful tasting fruit, described by many as “sweet with musky undertones” alongside a soft and smooth consistency when biting into the fruit. Papaya’s are one of my favourite fruits, which I regularly enjoy incorporating them into my salads, smoothies and puddings for an extra added sweetness and taste!
Losing weight, whether it be a few small pounds or even stones can be helped with the use of papaya. Following these simple methods we have outlined within this article you can achieve your perfect goal weight! We’ve researched this particular fruit in depth and discovered how, why and all the ways it can be used for fat-busting. Although, before we begin here are some great papaya facts to help you get to know this wondrous fruit better:
Papaya fun facts
These facts are sourced from SoftSchools.com and The Wild Papaya and are thus incorporated into our fabulous list of papaya-related facts! Here goes:
- The papaya plant can reach anywhere from 16 to 33 feet in height.
- Papaya grows white flowers with five petals in total. These flowers can contain both male and female types of reproductive organs or just one gender type. The type of flower depends upon the variety of papaya and the surrounding environmental temperatures the plant grows in.
- The black seeds of a papaya taste similar to black pepper and are even used as a substitute in some countries.
- Papaya is usually consumed raw, although can be used in stews and curries.
- The fruit of a papaya plant is a yellowy green colour on the outside, whereas the flesh inside is orangey pink in colour.
- Hawaiian and Mexican papaya are the two main varieties available to purchase by consumers around the world. The hawaiian type are pear shaped and weigh around 1 lbs whereas the mexican variety weigh around 10 lbs, although does have a less potent taste.
- The papaya is rich in vitamin C and vitamins B, as well as containing beta-carotene which converts to vitamin A inside the human body.
- One serving of papaya is all the vitamin C you need for one whole day.
- A small papaya contains around 300% of your recommended daily amount of vitamin C.
- Young leaves from the papaya plant can be added to salads or cooked similarly to spinach.
- The leaves of papaya can also be used to treat malaria, while the fruit can be used in the treatment of digestive disorders.
- The stem and the bark of papaya are used in the production of ropes.
- The papaya is actually a type of berry.
- Papaya plants are not trees, they are actually giant herbs.
- Hawaii and Florida are the only states in the United States of America that grow papaya.
- Christopher Columbus once called the papaya the “fruit of angels”.
- Even though there is a slight seasonal peak in papaya produce in the early summer and fall, papaya trees actually produce fruit all year round.
Papaya health benefits (other than weight loss)
Protects against heart disease
As papayas are an excellent source of powerful the antioxidants vitamin A (once entered the body) and C, these nutrients help to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol. When cholesterol becomes oxidised only then does it begin to stick to the blood vessel walls and start to build up. When cholesterol builds up on the blood vessel walls, these masses can them form what is known as ‘plaques’ which may eventually lead to suffering cardiac arrests and / or strokes.
Likewise, papayas are also a great source of fibre which has been shown to lower cholesterol levels in the consumer.
Promotes digestive health
Nutrients in papaya have been displayed to be helpful in the prevention of colon cancer, as the fibre is able to bind cancer-causing toxins in the colon. Keeping them away from the healthy colon cells to avoid mutations.
Another benefit of the papaya, as previously mentioned, is that it is high in fibre which promotes a healthy digestive system. Thus allowing waste to move along easier and allow bowel movements to be more seamless / painless. Fibre is also a great thing to consume acting to avoid, or aid with existing, constipation as well as stop diarrhea from returning in the long run.
Due to papaya containing protein-digesting enzymes two of which include papain and chymopapain, which helps to lower inflammation and improve healing periods. When the body’s inflammation levels are reduced, this improves overall health and functioning while minimising the risk /pain of certain chronic illnesses.
Papaya may be an ideal food to consume if you are suffering from inflammation due to illness, injury or even a piercing as it can help to cure the issue from the inside out.
Immune system support
Vitamin C and A are both vital in the function of a healthy immune system. Therefore papaya is a brilliant healthy fruit choice for strengthening the immune system and preventing conditions which frequently recur such as colds, ear infections, flus and even tonsillitis. Strong immune systems allow the owner to fend off infections, injuries and diseases easier and faster, while preventing the development of them in the first place.
Protection against arthritis
One studies findings has indicated that foods rich in vitamin C can be useful in reducing the inflammation associated with a form of rheumatoid arthritis named polyarthritis, which is characterised by involving two or more joints.
Other studies however, have been shown to contradict these findings which implied there is more research to be done in this particular area.
May prevent prostate cancer
Choosing to eat lycopene rich fruits, such as papaya, regularly can reduce a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer. With even more significant results when also consuming green tea frequently, research shows.
It has been shown that men who frequently eat lycopene rich fruits such as pink grapefruits, watermelon, guava and papaya are around 82% less likely to develop prostate cancer in the long-term, compared to those who consumed the least amount of lycopene rich foods. This therefore shows that the papaya, alongside many of fruits rich in lycopene, are useful in staving off some forms of cancers in men and perhaps even women alike. Consuming one cup of papaya or any of the other listed lycopene rich fruits per day should decrease your risk of prostate cancer based on these findings.
Well, that’s enough about the other (perhaps less important for you as a reader of this specific article!) benefits of the papaya fruit, here’s how to lose weight with their help. As whether you’re male, female, old or young the chances are you want to lose a little weight or even just boost your overall health and are looking for ways to help. With the aid of papaya you can, in theory, lose weight and improve your looks as well as self-confidence in one fantastic swoop.
Losing weight with papaya.
Eating a whole cup of papaya (around 5.2 ounces) is only 62 calories! As well as only containing 0.4 grams of fat, 0.7 grams of protein and 15.7 grams of carbohydrates. Thus by trading in your usual dessert for a small bowlful of papaya you can save on both the calories and the fat contents! By doing this regularly you can still enjoy a sweet-treat dessert but also reach your weight loss goal faster.
Papaya seeds have many brilliant health properties which promote overall body health and weight loss. These seeds have the ability to prevent the body from absorbing fats or fats forming in excess acting as a regulator. Furthermore, papaya seeds care for the kidneys, eliminate toxins, ward off intestinal parasites, protect the liver as well as caring for the digestive system due to their anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
High energy density
Foods that have a high energy density allow the diner to stay fuller for longer after eating. Therefore this allows the individual to avoid snacking or overeating due to feeling as if they are still hungry after mealtimes or in between meals.
Another way to ensure you do not take pointless calories, stunting your weight loss efforts, is to drink a glass of water in between meals if you begin to feel hungry. This is because the body sometimes confuses thirst with hunger, as well as the water perhaps ‘filling the hole’, leaving you less hungry afterwards.
Replace, not add.
Simply adding papaya to your diet alone will not help you to lose weight. By replacing higher calories foods, treats and snacks with the fruit will you then begin to reap the benefits of the berry.
Choose the right kind!
Fresh papaya is great for those on a diet due to it’s low calorie and fat content alongside it’s many nutritional benefits. However, canned papaya loses most (if not all) of these micronutrients and nutrients through the canning process. Thus this fruit when canned would simply be a sweet treat with much less nutritional benefit than the fresh version of the fruit.
Contains fibre and pepsin
Both fibre and pepsin help to promote healthy digestion. The healthier your digestive system is the less likely you are to gain weight. By having good digestion your weight loss plan is more likely to take the desired effect and thus work well.
How to consume
Papaya can be consumed raw, simply just cut into slices or cubes to eat. It is advised to consume alongside fats to reduce their impact /absorption upon your body.
The seeds are edible as previously mentioned in the article, having many health benefits.
You can also bake or boil papaya also for varying tastes and textures.
Add into salads, smoothies, curries, stews or sauces for that added flavour boost.
Let us know your opinion of this recipe, if you liked it and any changes you may of made to make it taste even better -if that’s at all possible!
A tasty banana and papaya smoothie mix.
- ¾ cup of plain yoghurt (or kefir)
- 1 ½ cup of papaya
- 1 whole large banana, peeled
- 1 teaspoon of honey (or to taste)
- ¼ cup of ice cubes
- Lime zest
- 1 or 2 teaspoons of fresh lime juice
- Orange zest
- 1 or 2 teaspoons of fresh orange juice
How to make
Using a high-quality strong blender combine the papaya, banana, kefir and the ice cubes.
Blend until these ingredients are smooth and without lumps.
Then add either the orange variant or lime variant ingredients depending on your choice and blend to mix once again.
Lastly, taste the mixture and if necessary add one teaspoon of honey -or to your desired sweetness.
Blend one last time for 1 to 2 minutes ensuring the smoothie is completely blended.
This mix is best served chilled and fresh so consume immediately after creation for the best taste.
Alternatively you can refrigerate for a maximum of 24 hours after creating, consuming before the fruits begin to sour in taste and go ‘bad’.
Papaya risks and side effects.
These are the side effects of papaya according to webmd, listed for your wellbeing and health. If you think you are suffering from any of these side effects do not hesitate to consult your doctor in regards to help, advice and treatment.
Papaya is very likely safe when consumed by mouth. However, is possibly unsafe when consumed in large amounts as the fruit may cause some damage to the esophagus, the tube which food travels down when eaten.
During pregnancy and when breastfeeding papaya consumption is possibly unsafe, as there is some evidence that one of the chemicals found within the fruit can poison fetuses or cause birth defects. Little is known about the safety during breastfeeding so it is safer to avoid.
Papaya that has been fermented can lower blood sugars, so individuals with diabetes should monitor their blood sugar levels carefully when choosing to eat this fruit.
Papaya contains papain which some people have allergic reactions to, if you are allergic to papain it is best not to consume the fruit.
Likewise, if you suffer from a latex allergy there is a likely chance you will be equally allergic to papaya so avoid eating or using products which contain it.
If consumed in high quantities, beta carotene found in papaya may cause discolouration of the skin. This is medically known as carotenemia, symptoms include the whites of the eyes, soles of the feet and palms all turning yellow.
Due to the high contents of vitamin C in the papaya, if consume regularly in excess you could be poisoning your body. Perhaps even promoting the development of renal stones, causing diarrhea and nausea to name a few conditions.
Those who suffer from cardiac disorders should try to avoid using papaya. Papain is known to slow down the heartbeat which could trigger various cardiovascular conditions, worsening them for many consumers.
Lastly, as papaya affects the body’s blood sugar this may, in theory, affect the safeness of surgical procedures. Thus you should stop taking papaya roughly 2 weeks before any planned surgeries if possible to prevent any interferences.
Papaya is a wonderful tasting fruit, fantastic in fruit salads and health promoting smoothies. With endless health benefits and even working as a weight loss tool, this superfood is great for many purposes.
Always remember to consult your physician if you suffer any adverse reactions to the berry. Although it is generally safe for many allergies, pain, discomfort and low blood sugar are all possibilities when consuming papaya regularly or even as a one off snack/ treat.
We here at Balance Me Beautiful love hearing from our readers, so feel free to leave a comment below concerning your specific results and experiences using papaya as a weight loss aid! Or alternatively, if you have a question about the website or an article suggestion for future pieces visit our Contact page to submit.
Again, thanks for reading!