By Davis Olajide
Pawpaw is generally refers to as papaya derived from its scientific name carica papaya.
Pawpaw belongs to the caricaceae family and it is belived to be a native of tropical America species. It is a round and plump fruit which comes in different sizes depending on its species.
The taste of pawpaw depends on whether it is taken unripe or ripe.
Pawpaw is very sweet and has taste that is compared to a watermelon.
NUTRITIONAL FACTS OF PAWPAW
One small pawpaw of about 157grams has about .68 calories, .286mg potassium .0.13mg zinc .95.6mg vitamin C .0.47mg vitamin E .33mg magnesium ;58 micrograms of folate .4.1 mcg vitamin k.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF PAPAYA
- Helps to keep eyes in good shape:
Papaya is very rich in lutein and xeaxanthin which are the two major antioxidants that protect the eyes against diseases, most especially age – related macular degeneration.
Vitamins c and e are also present in the pawpaw which keep the eyes in good and proper shape.
- Aids Digestion:
Pawpaw contains high water and fibre contents, this enhances digestion and regulate bowel movements activities. It helps to reduce the risk of colon cancer, bloating and constipation.
- Helps to fight inflammation:
Enzyme papain in papaya acts as pain killer. This enzyme also increases the chance of body’s production of cytokines. Cytokines are group of proteins that fight against inflammation in the body.
- Protects the heart
Papaya is very rich in antioxidants, fibre, vitamin c, potassium, all these work together to lower cholesterol and keep the arteries in good shape. This enhances free flow of blood in and out of the heart, this lowers the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.
- Helps to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease:
Alzheimer’s disease is gradual loss of intellectual abilities as a result of memory loss. It is a gradual neurodegerative disease that destroys the brain cells.
A study found that extracts of fermented papaya powder helps to improve the condition.
- Protects against certain types of cancer.
Oxidative stress and buildup of free radicals are closely related to different types of cancer.
Papaya contains lycopene, a carotenoid and natural pigment that give some vegetable and fruits then color . Lycopene helps to lowers the risks of certain types of cancer most especially prostrate and colon cancer.
- Enhances immune system performance:
Papaya is an excellent source of vitamins and antioxidants which boost your immune system, empowers and catalyse their performance.
- Lowers and regulate blood sugar:
People with type 2 diabetes can find solution in moderate consumption of papaya.
Some discoveries have found that papaya has hypoglycemic effect on the body, by helping to reduce and nourishing the body’s glycemic or sugar level.
- Helps in the reduction of excess weight:
Papaya inclusion in the daily diet is an excellent way to shed excess body weight and to bring the body mass index to normal. It is very slow in calories, and fiber. It helps you to stay full at a longer period during the day, and as a result end up consuming fewer calories daily.
- Helps the hair to grow better and longer: The antioxidants in papaya as well as the vitamins are excellent booster for hair health and growth. Crush the papaya flesh and add to plain yoghurt. The mixture is applied to the hair and allowed to stay for about 20 minutes before rinsing.
CAUTIONS ON EXCESS PAPAYA CONSUMPTION
It is a fact that papaya is a good source of fiber, excellent for digestive health, eating it in excess may have laxative effect which can cause diarrhea and stomach upset.
A research has also proved that papaya seeds may function as spermicidal and reduce sperm motility. Therefore men in their productive age should desist from eating papaya seeds.