Thursday 1 October, 2020

Botanical Roots: Why you should eat paw paw

Whole and half of ripe papaya fruit. (Photo: istock)

Whole and half of ripe papaya fruit. (Photo: istock)

The papaya - also known as papaw - is a soft, fleshy fruit that is very healthy to consume. It can be used in a wide variety of culinary ways including in smoothies or as a side dish.

The health benefits of consuming papaya include aiding in digestion, improving blood glucose control in people with diabetes, lowering blood pressure, and improving wound healing.

Zeaxanthin, an antioxidant found in papaya, filters out harmful blue light rays. It is thought to play a protective role in eye health, and it may ward off blindness.

The risk of developing asthma is said to be lower in people who consume a high amount of the antioxidant beta-carotene, found in papayas. It may also reduce cancer risk. Among younger men, diets rich in beta-carotene may play a protective role against prostate cancer, according to a study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Biomarkers.

Papayas contain an enzyme called papain that aids digestion; in fact, it can be used as a meat tenderizer. Papaya is also high in fibre and water content, both of which help to prevent constipation and promote regularity and a healthy digestive tract.

The fibre, potassium, and vitamin content in papaya all help to ward off heart disease. 

Choline is a very important and versatile nutrient found in papayas that aids our bodies in sleep, muscle movement, learning, and memory. Choline also helps to maintain the structure of cellular membranes, aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, assists in the absorption of fat, and reduces chronic inflammation.

What's more is that papaya leaves are said to contain many healing properties including anti-malarial, making it an effective home remedy to fight against dengue fever and other illnesses.

Some of this content was taken from

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