The papaya is a wonderful tropical fruit with a very characteristic shape and appearance, and of great size, originally from Mexico. Although today it is cultivated in a wide variety of regions of the world. In the Canary Islands, for example, it is also cultivated, although here it is popularly known as papaya. Papaya seeds are also often used for their qualities.
In other regions of the world, it is known by other names, for example, in Venezuela where it is known as chose, in Paraguay and Argentina it is called mamón, and in other areas, it is called olocoton or papayón.
Be that as it may, we are faced with a wonderful fruit with properties and benefits recognized throughout history. The medicinal effect of the papaya was discovered by the Mayas, and since then it stands out clearly for being a fruit with a series of very important benefits and properties.
For example, the presence of papain, an enzyme with digestive benefits, helps in the process of digestion, especially when we consume foods of animal origin such as meat.
Benefits of the papaya
The papaya is extremely rich in antioxidants, among which the lycopene content stands out, a natural carotenoid that contributes to the particular coloring of this fruit, and that is precisely the one that provides these antioxidant qualities.
For this reason, the papaya is especially useful when it comes to reducing the negative action of free radicals, which are oxidizing agents resulting from the course of the body’s natural metabolism, so that if our body produces them in excess they cause damage to DNA and connective tissue, as well as causing cellular deterioration.
Free radicals are considered to be primarily responsible for the premature aging of cells, hence the importance of following a diet rich in natural antioxidants.
Helps prevent cardiovascular disease
In the papaya, we also find flavonoids, which like lycopene, act as natural antioxidants against free radicals. In this way, papaya becomes an excellent fruit in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
In particular, flavonoids are especially useful in protecting our bodies from the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.
Ideal for the health of our skin
The papaya can cover a good part of the recommended daily amount of vitamin A, a fundamental nutrient for the health of our skin. Therefore, papaya is especially useful when it comes to improving the skin, thanks to the fact that beta carotene is the main precursor of this vitamin.
And what are the benefits? Very simple: it helps protect us from solar radiation by assisting in the synthesis of melanin, a natural pigment that also helps us to get a better tan.
Increases our defenses
When it comes to increasing our defenses, there is no doubt that papaya becomes one of those fruits that could not be missing from our fruit bowl. Why? Very simple: papaya is especially rich in vitamin C, a vitamin that helps us to maintain our body’s natural defenses.
In addition, it is another essential nutrient with antioxidant action, so it helps us again also when protecting against the action of free radicals.
The papaya in turn favors and helps in digestion since it contains some protease enzymes that are similar to those found in the stomach.
As you probably know, it contains papain, an enzyme that helps us maintain a healthy digestive system that can digest the proteins in the food we eat.
Nutritional information about papaya
It is a fruit that stands out for containing a large number of vitamins (among which we find vitamins of the B, C, A, and D group), minerals (such as calcium, potassium, or sodium), and dietary fiber.
Not in vain is the papaya considered as one of the richest fruits in antioxidants, since only half of the fruit provides about 38 milligrams of carotenoids, which can protect us against cancer or cardiovascular diseases.
On the other hand, its contribution of both protein and fat is relatively low, as is the case with most fruits.
Nutritional contribution of the papaya for every 100 grams:
Properties of the papaya
Here is a summary of the main properties of the papaya. Any excuse not to enjoy it right now?
- It has a large number of vitamins and minerals, as well as dietary fiber.
- Thanks to its fiber content, it is a fruit with great detoxifying power, helping to detoxify our body and facilitate the expulsion of toxins that have been accumulating over time.
- Great antioxidant power, thanks to the presence of carotene, vitamin C and flavonoids.
- It is a purifying fruit, which helps to cleanse both the colon and the intestines.
- It is protective against cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
- Anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to the joint action of vitamin C, E, beta-carotene, and enzymes.
- Protects against rheumatoid arthritis (and other inflammations).
- It is a mild diuretic and therefore helps against fluid retention and to purify our organism: ideal in this case for children.
- It helps to make good digestion, thus avoiding heavy digestion.
How to make dehydrated papaya?
Dehydrated papaya becomes one more option to enjoy the different qualities that this wonderful and exquisite fruit offers us. However, we must bear in mind something very important: its sugar content is much higher, so its consumption in this form is not so advisable for people with diabetes.
Be that as it may, the dried papaya is the result of drying the fresh papaya, thus achieving a clear reduction of its water content. Therefore, dried papaya tends to look smaller and brighter, and its sweet taste increases a lot.
If you want to learn how to make dehydrated papaya at home, it’s very simple. If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can choose the oven to get one.
To do this you just have to peel the papaya and cut it into very small pieces. Put aluminum foil on the oven tray and heat it to low temperature. Put the papaya in the oven, turning it over from time to time to prevent it from burning. You should leave it in the oven for 3 to 6 hours.
Ready! After this time, remove from the oven, let it cool and store the dried papaya in a glass jar.
This article is published for information purposes only. It cannot and should not substitute for consultation with a Nutritionist. We advise you to consult your trusted Nutritionist.