Nutritional qualities and Benefits

Hippocrates said "Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food."

He could have been talking about the papaya, abundant in antioxidants Vitamins A, D and E, carotenes, flavonoids, the B vitamins, Vitamin K, folate and pantothenic acid, lycopene, potassium and magnesium, dietary fiber, and the enzyme papain. How could a fruit taste so good and yet be so good for you!

Are you a smoker? Do you suffer from second-hand and third-hand smoke? Cigarette smoke can cause Vitamin A deficiency, which in turn can result in emphysema, a debilitating disease that leaves you gasping for breath at the slightest effort or even permanently dependent on an oxygen tank. Fortunately, the frequent and regular intake of food loaded with Vitamin A-such as papaya or pawpaw-can help counteract that damage and prevent emphysema.

Do you have a problem with high cholesterol levels and are at risk for a heart attack? Studies have shown that dietary fiber (such as those found in papaya) can lower a person's cholesterol level. The antioxidants Vitamins C and E and beta-carotene (also found in papaya) can inhibit the build up of cholesterol and formation of plaques in your blood vessels that may in time trigger off heart attacks. The folic acid in papaya also helps prevent damage to the walls of blood vessels.

Are you at risk for colon cancer? Dietary fiber found in papaya and other vegetables and fruits keep cancer-causing toxins in the colon away from healthy colon cells. The consumption of food like papaya, rich in powerful antioxidants, Vitamins C, E and beta-carotene, also appear to protect the DNA of colon cells from damage caused by free radicals, thus reducing your risk of developing colon cancer.

Do you suffer from arthritis? It has been shown that an increase in the intake of antioxidants helps improve the condition of people who suffer from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. These antioxidants, especially Vitamins A and C, are also needed to strengthen the body's immune system or capacity to fight off infections. Subjects of a study who consumed the lowest amounts of vitamin C-rich foods were more than three times more likely to develop arthritis than those who consumed the highest amounts. An in-depth nutritional profile of papaya shows that papaya is an excellent source of Vitamin C and a good source of Vitamin A. Another study shows that fruit may be even better for preserving your eyesight than vegetables such as carrots. Three daily servings of fruit such as papaya can help reduce your chances of contracting macular degeneration, the leading reason for loss of vision among the middle-aged in the US. To make sure, however, that you get the greatest benefits from papaya, be sure to eat it when it is fully ripe. Researchers have discovered that the amount of antioxidants in the "fruit of the angels" rises steadily as it ripens.