The papaya is also known as "Paw Paw", and it is a pear-shaped fruit with yellow-orange skin, an orange-pink flesh and black seeds in the center. It has a soft, buttery texture and is sweet-tasting. Its bitter seeds are also edible.
Papaya is an excellent source of Vitamin C, and also contains Vitamin A, potassium, folate and fiber. It is well-known for its protein digestive enzyme, papain, and contains the carotenoid cryptoxanthin, which has been found to reduce the risk of lung and colon cancer, and possibly benefit arthritis.
Papaya has been shown to be a cancer-preventing fruit. One research study showed that women who had an increased consumption of beta-cryptoxanthin and zeazanthin, as well as Vitamin C, all found in papaya, had lower rates of the cervical cancer virus, human papillomavirus (HPV). Therefore, the researchers concluded that consuming at least one papaya per week could lower the risk of contracting this viral infection.
Scientists have found that antioxidants and natural enzymes in papaya can accelerate the healing of burns and wounds. It has also shown to lower inflammation, which is why it can be useful for diseases like arthritis and asthma.
Tips for using papaya
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