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Fruits are a good source of nutrients which can deliver several health benefits. Eating a bowl full daily can keep your energy levels up and your immune system strong and protected. Well, when it comes to fruits, how can we miss papaya? Papaya is a fruit that is available throughout the year and is known for its luscious, juicy taste. Is your mouth getting watery? Ours too!
Being one of the most popular and healthy fruits; papaya or ‘papita’ as we call it India, is also known as the fruit of angels. And you would be surprised to know that the fleshy tropical fruit is a storehouse of vitamin C and A? That makes it a boon for your immunity.
Dr Aditi Mudaliyar, Consultant Nutritionist and Dietitian, Motherhood Hospital, Kharadi, Pune, says, “Papaya is a low calorie juicy fruit rich in vitamin C and A. Papaya has a range of health benefits including asthma prevention and even anti-cancer properties. It is thought to play a protective role in eye health, and it may ward off macular degeneration. The fruit as well as other parts of the plant (such as seeds) are edible and known to have medicinal properties. Papayas are also a good source of folate, vitamin A, magnesium, copper, pantothenic acid, and fibre.”
They also have B vitamins, alpha and beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamin E, calcium, potassium, vitamin K, and lycopene, the powerful antioxidant most commonly associated with tomatoes.
Even though eating papaya is highly beneficial for health and has several nutrients, it might not be safe for consumption for all. Surprised? But that’s true. When suffering from some particular conditions it is best to avoid this fruit to keep your symptoms in control.
Papaya (Carica papaya) is a tropical tree. Its ripe fruit is considered safe, but unripe papaya fruit contains papain. Unripe papaya contains a chemical called papain.
Unripe and semi-ripe papaya should be avoided during pregnancy because it can cause uterine contractions due to its laxative properties. It is better to avoid eating papaya during the early stages of pregnancy unless it is fully ripe. Women who have had a previous history of abortion and miscarriage are advised to avoid papaya completely. But eating the ripe fruit in moderation while pregnant is okay.
We praise papaya for being high in vitamin C. There are also claims that papaya help control blood creatinine levels and ease muscle cramping. But too much of a good thing can sometimes have unplanned results and too much vitamin C can lead to kidney stones.
Papain, chymopapain, caricaine, and class I chitinases are papaya’s most allergenic proteins. If you are allergic to latex, avoid eating papaya or eating food products that contain papaya. People with a latex allergy are likely also allergic to papaya.
It is believed that people with cardiac disorders should avoid using papaya. The papain present in the flesh is thought to slow down the rate of heartbeat in a precarious way, possibly triggering serious cardiovascular conditions. So if you already have any cardiovascular issues, do consult your doctor before consuming papaya.
Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the body doesn’t make enough thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones help control growth, cell repair and metabolism. Just like heart, papaya has the same effect on people with hypothyroidism. So people with hypothyroidism should avoid consuming papaya.
Bottom line? Avoid papaya if you’re having these issues or consume in moderation and don’t forget about other fruits!