Originally found in Central America, it was the Spanish and Portuguese explorers who introduced the fruit to many different sub-tropical countries around the world. It is now grown mainly in the US, Puerto Rico and Mexico and is enjoyed all over the globe. The pulp of papaya is used in many beauty products, such as face creams and shampoos and the fruit is known to be a rich source of anti-oxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Here are just twenty of the amazing uses and benefits that you can gain from papaya, for both health and beauty:
1. Papaya boosts your immune system
Papaya is a fantastic source of beta-carotene, more than most other fruits, which the body utilises to maintain a healthy immune system. Eating papaya regularly is believed to boost the immune system and help you to fight off infections and disease.
2. It tones the skin and removes dark spots
If you mash up the pulp of a papaya and rub it into your skin, it acts as a fantastic skin toner and it will help to reduce the appearance of dark spots and blemishes.
3. Eating papaya can help to reduce cholesterol
The high content of Vitamins A, E and C, all of which act as powerful antioxidants, help to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol in the body, which can be the cause of heart attacks and stroke. In addition to this, papaya is also a good source of dietary fiber, which can also help to reduce the amount of cholesterol in the bloodstream.
4. Papaya can help reduce high blood pressure
The high content of potassium found in papaya works to help control your blood pressure. Many people eat papayas as a way of reducing hypertension and the high potassium levels in the fruit are also believed to help keep you alert during the day.
5. Helps to protect eyesight
Results from published studies suggest that eating three servings of papaya a day will lower your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. Papayas contain carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which provide protection against high energy light that can damage your eyes.
6. You can use raw papaya as a skin moisturiser
For an extremely simple skin moisturiser, just mash up a skinned, ripe papaya and apply to your face. Leave it on for five or ten minutes, before washing off with warm water, and you’ll feel how much softer and smoother your skin feels.
7. It’s good for the digestion
As well as its high fiber content, papayas also contain and enzyme called papain, which helps to break down protein in the stomach and aid the natural digestive process.
8. It can ease the pain of arthritis
Amongst its many wonderful properties, papaya is also has anti-inflammatory properties. The papain and chymopapain found in the fruit are known to be effective in reducing the inflammation and pain caused by arthritis.
9. Papaya can help to prevent cancer
The flavonoids and antioxidants that are contained in papayas can also help to fight off the damage that can be caused by free radicals. It is free radicals that are also linked to the early onset of the signs of aging.
10. Make your own papaya body scrub
Papaya fruit has many benefits for your skin and you can make your own, homemade body scrub by mashing raw papaya with a tablespoon of honey, a tablespoon of sugar and a tablespoon of coconut oil. This will create a luxurious, exfoliating body scrub that will leave your skin feeling smooth and refreshed, all over.
11. They can be used as a part of a weight loss plan
Papaya is a great fruit to eat, if you are trying to lose weight. The high fiber content will fill you up, for very few calories and, even though it tastes sweet, it contains very little sugar.
12. Papayas can help reduce stress
Papayas are a great source of Vitamin C, and Vitamin C is an important vitamin in the battle against stress. In a University study, researchers found that Vitamin C regulates the flow of stress hormones in the body.
13. They are good for the respiratory system
Eating papayas can also help keep your respiratory system in good working order. The Vitamin A that is found in papayas combats the effects of emphysema and the Vitamin C fights of viral infections that can affect the chest.
14. Papaya can help your skin look younger
Whether eaten or applied topically, papayas can help to delay the onset of the signs of ageing on your skin. The Vitamins A and E, protect your skin from the effects of UV rays and the Vitamin C helps fight free radicals and will improve your skin tone.
15. Use it as a skin lightener
Papaya can be used as an effective skin lightener. Just rub a slice of papaya over your face and leave it on for five or ten minutes, before washing off. Repeat this regularly and, over a period of time, your skin will take on a lighter, fresher look to it.
16. Helps ease menstrual pain
There is an enzyme found in papaya, called papain, which regulates the menstrual flow and can ease menstrual pain. If you do experience menstrual pain, try eating some papaya and it should ease the discomfort.
17. Treat dry and cracked heels with papaya
Make a paste of a papaya fruit and mix in a tablespoon of sweet almond oil. Massage into your heels and leave on overnight and it will nourish and moisturise cracked and dry heels.
18. Use it as an acne treatment
A finely mashed papaya, mixed with a teaspoon of honey makes a great natural acne treatment. Apply to your face and leave on for about ten minutes and the antibiotic properties of the honey and the soothing, nourishing properties of the papaya will soon clear up your skin.
19. Use papaya as a natural hair conditioner
Papaya has many vitamins, minerals and enzymes that are beneficial for your hair. To make your own papaya hair conditioning mask: mix together half a papaya, one banana, a tablespoon of coconut oil, two tablespoons of sweet almond oil and half a cup of plain yoghurt. Massage the mixture into your hair and leave on for thirty minutes, before washing out with warm water.
20. Use papaya vinegar as a dandruff treatment
You can save a fortune on expensive dandruff treatments by using this simple recipe. Dilute some papaya vinegar with water and lemon juice and use this mixture as a final rinse for your hair, after shampooing. Repeat this regularly and your dandruff will soon disappear.
Do you know some other uses and benefits of papaya for beauty and health?
Feel free to share them in the comment section below.
Stay healthy and happy!