Christopher Columbus dubbed papaya as “the fruit of the angels” after discovering its luscious taste, soft butter-like consistency, and rich fragrance.
The origins of this cerise-orange fruit can be traced back to Central America and Southern Mexico, from where its good name has traveled far and wide to reach every corner of the world.
Once considered to be a rare and exotic find, papaya is presently grown in a number of tropical regions-including the Caribbean, Florida, and India-and is available all year round.
Even a brief glimpse of the nutrient-dense profile of papaya will let you know that its global acclaim is not for nothing. The fruit’s juicy tenderness is brimming with vitamin A, C, E, and K, and possesses antioxidant properties.
It also contains magnesium, potassium, niacin, carotene, protein, fiber, and an enzyme called ‘papain‘ that accounts for a number of papaya’s treasured health benefits.
Not just the fruit pulp, but even papaya leaves, flowers, seeds, and skin are credited with some potent medicinal goodness.
This, along with the fact that papaya is delectable to consume fresh and can be put to good use in a variety of culinary preparations, just goes to show that all this papaya-gushing within health circles is quite well founded.
Some might consider papaya’s slightly bitter aftertaste to be its sole drawback, but a peek into its nutritional wealth can force them to reconsider.
Freshly cubed papaya makes for the perfect addition to your mixed-fruit bowl, Greek yogurt, and salads and can just as easily be incorporated into your smoothies, milkshakes, or cereal mix.
Additionally, the latex derived from raw papaya is often used to tenderize meat due to its capability to break down the tough protein chains found in muscle meat. It is also used in the manufacturing of several cosmetic, skin, and hair care products. Papaya-flavored chewing gums are no surprise to anyone either.
Here are some beauty benefits of papaya.
One of the most effective beauty benefits rendered by papaya is increasing cell turn over. This revitalizing property can be attributed to the papain enzyme and alpha hydroxy acids present in the fruit.
These two skin-regenerative agents gently remove dead skin cells to bring new layers that are devoid of any sun damage to the surface and thereby help you get rid of those pestilent dark spots.
Enriched with vitamin A, C, and E along with several antioxidants, this skin-friendly fruit is the antidote to a wide array of skin problems, including black spots, acne spots, brown spots as well as dark elbows and knees. Papaya also helps tone your skin and improve your complexion as it contains natural hypopigmentation properties.
The active enzymes in this fruit also work as cleansing agents that help clear the skin of impurities. This is further compounded by the healing and revitalizing effect of vitamin C present in papayas, which helps protect skin cells from sun damage.
Whether it be papaya juice, pulp, peel, or seeds, each one possesses impressive skin-healing potential that can be tapped in a number of ways.
Owing to its rich water content, papaya supplies and seals moisture into dry rough skin patches and keeps your skin looking soft, smooth, and moisturized.
When blended properly, it can be used as an excellent face mask to hydrate your skin.
The vitamin A in papaya helps remove dead skin cells and keeps the skin soft and supple. The alpha hydroxy acids in it help dissolve dead skin cells to prevent signs of aging such as wrinkles and fine lines. The vitamin C and E in papaya rejuvenate your skin to help you enjoy young-looking skin.
Also, eat papaya daily to nip premature aging in its bud.
The papain enzyme in papaya has skin-cleansing properties that help get rid of clogged pores. This, in turn, prevents the occurrence of acne and pimples. Papaya also aids in reducing skin inflammation. In addition, the exfoliating effect of papaya removes dead skin cells to help unclog pores and reveal fresh, undamaged layers of skin.
To prevent acne, pimples, and blemishes, include raw and ripe papaya in your diet.
You can also use papaya to diminish the appearance of wrinkles and crow’s feet. Papaya has antioxidant properties that help reduce the appearance of crow’s feet around the outer corners of the eyes and wrinkles around the mouth or forehead.
In addition, the vitamin C and A in papaya help fight off free radicals that damage the skin’s collagen and elastin.
Cracked heels cause red or flaky patches, peeling skin, itchiness, bleeding from the cracks, and pain. Ripe papaya can treat cracked and dry heels, mainly due to its moisturizing properties.
To get rid of unsightly facial hair, you can use raw papaya. When used regularly, the papain enzyme derived from raw papaya can weaken the hair follicles on your face to prevent regrowth. While papain is found in ripe papayas as well, it is particularly abundant when the fruit is still unripe.
In addition to the skin, your hair can also benefit from papaya. This fruit is rich in several minerals, vitamins, and enzymes that can boost hair growth and strength.
It can even help add thickness, volume, and shine to your hair as well as control baldness. Papaya also contains protein that helps reduce split ends.
Papaya is very useful in treating and controlling dandruff. Several enzymes in papaya help prevent the buildup of oil and impurities on the scalp, which is one of the causes of dandruff.
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