By Blessing Amadi
Pawpaw, also known as Carica Papaya, is popular for its high nutritive and medicinal value. It is a cerise-orange coloured juicy fruit, which is not only fragrant and delicious but also very healthy.
Believed to be a native of Central America, growing along the Caribbean coast, the tree was considered sacred by the Mayans for its various medicinal properties. The fruits are not the only segment of the tree that was considered valuable, the leaves, seeds, and flowers too possess healing powers.
Protection against skin damage
In addition to keeping your body healthy, carica papaya can also help your skin look more toned and youthful. Excessive free radical activity is believed to be responsible for much of the wrinkling sagging and other skin damage that occurs with age. The Vitamin C and lycopene in paw paw protect your skin and may help reduce these sign of aging.
Research suggests that the lycopene in paw paw can reduce cancer risk. It may also be beneficial for people who are being treated for cancer. Papaya cancer-fighting ability appears to be due to its ability to reduce free radicals that contribute to cancer development and progression.
Papaya is also great for the hair because it contain Vitamin A, a nutrient required for sebum production, which keeps hair moisturised. Vitamin A is also necessary for the growth of all bodily tissues, including skin and hair. Adequate intake of Vitamin C, which papaya can provide, is needed for the building and maintenance of collagen, which provides structure to skin.
Good for diabetics
Despite being sweet in nature, papayas is low in sugar content. This makes it an excellent fruit for diabetics. The vitamins and phyto-nutrients present in them prevent developments of heart disease in diabetes. Also, people who do not have diabetes can eat papaya to prevent it from happening.
The fiber potassium, and vitamin content in papaya help to ward off heart disease. An increase in sodium intake is the most important dietary change that a person can make to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease. Therefore, adding more papaya to your diet may be beneficial for your heart.
Papaya may improve digestion
The papain enzyme in the fruit can make protein easier to digest. People in the tropics consider papaya a remedy for constipation and other symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In one study, people who take papaya based on formula for 40 days had significant improvement in constipation and bloating. The seed, leaves and root have also been shown to be effective for treating ulcer in animals and human studies.
Chronic inflammation is at the roots of many disease and unhealthy foods and lifestyle choices can drive the inflammatory process. Inflammation can be measured by testing several blood makers including C-reactive protein (CRP), tumors necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin -6(IL-6).