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Health Benefits of Papaya

Updated on November 17, 2017
lex123 profile image

Lakshmi Menon is a published author who writes both fiction and non-fiction, including health and travel articles.

Papaya cut into halves
Papaya cut into halves | Source

Health Benefits of Papaya

Papaya is a tropical fruit, grown and used in almost all continents because of its amazing health benefits. The papaya tree grows fast and abundantly. The ripe fruit is orangish golden colour and the raw ones (unripe) are green in colour. The Mayans used to worship Papaya tree as the 'Tree of Life' because of its many benefits. Low in calories and high in nutritive value, papaya is a great gift from Mother Nature, to heal several ailments. Knowing these benefits, many people include this delicious fruit in their diet.

papaya fruit
papaya fruit | Source

Papaya Uses

Papayas are used for culinary purposes, medicinal purposes, and manufacturing beauty products. The leaves, fruits and seeds are highly beneficial for various purposes. Papayas are also known as Papaw and Pawpaw in some countries. Papain enzyme is also highly useful.

The nutritional and healing properties of papaya are known for ages. Papaya is available year round unlike some other fruits which are seasonal. Moreover, papayas are cheaper when compared to many other healthy fruits.

12 Health Benefits of Papaya

  • Reduces acne and other skin problems and provides a glowing skin
  • The potassium content in papaya lowers blood pressure.
  • The beta carotene in papaya reduces the risk of asthma
  • The beta carotene in papaya reduces the risk of colon cancer
  • Vitamin A in papaya increases the growth of all bodily tissues, including skin and hair.
  • Eye Health - Decreases the risk and progression of age-related macular degeneration. The report of a study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology indicates that eating 3 or more servings of fruit per day may lower your risk of age-related macular degeneration.
  • Weight loss – Since Papaya is low in calories eating the fruit regularly helps in reducing weight.
  • Bones – Papaya contains Vitamin K which increases bone health and reduces damage to the bones.
  • Diabetes - Lowers the blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. One medium papaya provides about 4.7 grams of fibre. .
  • Papaya promotes good bowel movements and hence prevents constipation.
  • Protects from Rheumatoid Arthritis, as per the findings of a study published in .Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.
  • Unripe papaya is also used as meat tenderizer.

Papaya leaves - Health Benefits


Papaya leave juice for Dengue fever - How to prepare

Papaya Leaf Juice - Benefits

There are studies showing the Benefits of Papaya Leaves. Dr. Sanat Hettige, a general physician in Sri Lanka has published his findings on this study in Sri Lankan Journal of Family Physicians in 2008

Dengue fever - The deadly disease of Dengue Fever is known to have cured by consuming Papaya leaf juice. (See the video to know how the juice form papaya is extracted). The enzymes in Papa Leaf Juice normalizes the platelet count and improves the clotting factor, thus repairs the liver damage caused by Dengue fever.

Papaya salad
Papaya salad | Source
Papaya seeds
Papaya seeds | Source

Health Benefits of Papaya Seeds

Though Papaya seeds are not generally eaten they too contain medicinal properties.

  • Worms - Papaya seeds contain high levels of proteolytic enzymes like papain which can help rid of worms.
  • Bacterial infections - Papaya seeds are believed to have high antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect in treating against E coli, Salmonella, Staph and other dangerous bacterial infections.
  • Liver Cirrhosis - Because of the liver regenerating properties, Papaya Seeds are also useful in treating Liver Cirrhosis, a condition where the liver shrinks and becomes hard due to excessive use of alcohol over many years. Since the papaya enzyme may interfere with other medications you should consult your treating doctor before using this.

It is also reported that the seeds may contain immunomodulatory compounds that can slow down tumor growth. (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, April 2011 issue)

Nutritional Values of Papaya

Energy- 163 kJ
Calories- 39 kcal
Sugars- 5.90 gram
Carbohydrates- 9.81 gram
Dietary fiber- 1.8 gram
Fat- 0.14 gram
Protein- 0.61 gram
Vitamin A- 328 micrograms (41%)
Vitamin B1- 0.04 milligram (3%)
Vitamin B2- 0.05 milligram (4%)
Vitamin B3- 0.338 milligram (2%)
Vitamin B6- 0.1 milligram (8%)
Vitamin B9- 38 milligram (10%)
Vitamin C- 61.8 milligram (74%)
Calcium- 24 milligram (2%)
Iron- 0.10 milligram (1%)
Magnesium- 10 milligram (3%)
Phosphorus- 5 milligram (1%)
Potassium- 257 milligram (5%)
Sodium- 3 milligram (0%)

Raw Papaya

There are several health benefits for raw (unripe) papaya. Delicious dishes can be made using unripe papaya.

It is also said that green papayas have more nutritional value. Green papayas, which are not turned into orange color outside, but are ripe inside, are useful for more ailments.

Caution - Papaya Enzyme Side Effects

Though there are several health benefits for Papaya we cannot ignore its few side effects. Because of papaya enzyme side effects, those who have allergic reaction to latex, should stay away from using papaya. This delicious fruit has chitanases, often causing the cross-reaction between latex and the foods that contain them.

Pregnant women are not allowed to eat raw papayas, to avoid miscarriage. Papaya has pepsins in their latex that induces contractions in the uterus and lead to miscarriage. It is also suggested that even ripe papayas should also be avoided during the early stage of pregnancy.

Christopher Columbus and Papaya

Papaya is said to be one of the favorite fruits of Christopher Columbus, the Italian Explorer (1451-1506). After a long voyage, he was landed in America, the natives welcomed him and his crew with lavish feast, which resulted them being sick with digestive problems. The natives immediately gave them papayas and cured them surprisingly.


The information provided in this hub is for informational and educational purposes only, and not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies.



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    • lex123 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago

      Thank you Chitra for stopping by. I'm glad you found it useful and informative. Until we take time to study about it we won't realize its various benefits of this common fruit.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Very useful and informative hub about Papaya and its health benefits. It is indeed very useful and it is almost a regular fruit in my home.

      Voted up as useful! Thanks for sharing!

    • lex123 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago

      Thank you Thelma for your feedback. Though I had heard about papaya leave juice is the cure for dengue fever I wanted to add some study reports about it. When I found them on the internet I added the source there.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      4 years ago from Germany and Philippines

      Wonderful and useful hub. I didn't know that it is good against dengue too. This reminded me of the papayas in my garden.

    • lex123 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago

      Thank you Radhika. Glad to know your encouraging comments.

    • radhikasree profile image

      Radhika Sreekanth 

      4 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Nice hub on all about papaya. Reminded me of the papaya tree of my native home.

      Voted up, useful, beautiful and interesting. Sharing in Hubpages also.


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