Papayas can help improve digestion, relieve constipation, support your immunity, and even contribute to glowing skin.
But this delicious fruit is often overshadowed by big-name tropical fruits like mango and pineapple or up-and-comers like soursop and mangosteen. (I think it’s fair to say that papayas suffer from a touch of middle-child syndrome.)
Read on to learn five important papaya benefits. You’ll also want to save the bonus papaya smoothie recipe that helps relieve bloating and constipation.
5 Health and skin Benefits of Papaya
Here are five health benefits of eating papaya:
1. It Can Help rElieve bloating
First, papaya is a helpful ingredient to ease bloating.
That’s because papayas contain papain, aka the de-bloating digestive enzyme. Papain helps you break down fiber and protein so that it’s easier to digest. (Particularly helpful the day after those yummy but bloat-inducing sodium-heavy meals.)
Fun fact: HUM’s Flatter Me supplement uses a blend of papain and other digestive enzymes designed to ease belly bloat and soothe digestion on days you don’t have a papaya on-hand.
2. it’s Rich in Vitamin C
Papayas are a rich source of vitamin C. In fact, they’re almost as concentrated in the immunity-boosting vitamin as oranges. A single cup of papaya contains 88 mg of vitamin C. That’s 98% of your daily value! (By contrast, the same amount of orange slices contains about 95 mg of vitamin C, or 106% of your daily value.)
As you probably know, vitamin C is a huge support to your immune system. It stimulates the production of antibodies, which gives your immune system a boost and helps fight infection. Vitamin C also supports the body’s natural collagen production and fights off damaging free radicals.
3. It Helps you Poop
Yes, we went there. Why does papaya make you poop? Actually, there are many reasons why papaya is a popular natural remedy for constipation.
First, papayas are an excellent source of fiber. While our bodies do not actually digest fiber it does help feed the good bacteria in our microbiomes for better digestion and well-being. It also helps bulk up our stools for healthy elimination of toxins.
Then, remember all that vitamin C we were just talking about? In addition to boosting your immune system, it can also help soften your stool.
Finally, the papain in papayas also helps move things along.
4. It’s a good source of Beta-Carotene
Beta-carotene is a super powerful antioxidant that keeps your skin and eyes healthy. While carrots and tomatoes are popular produce selections when it comes to beta-carotene, you shouldn’t discount papayas as a source.
In a study published in the British Journal of of Nutrition, researchers report that the carotenoids in papaya are actually more bio-available to humans than those found in carrots and tomatoes.
For even better bio-availability and absorption of beta-carotenes, try pairing papaya with a healthy fat.
5. it can exfoliate skin
In addition to its many digestive benefits, papaya also has benefits for skin when applied topically. Consider a helpful tool in the quest for glowing skin.
As it turns out, the combination of papain and other fruit enzymes make it a natural exfoliator. Using papaya in a DIY mask will help remove dead skin cells for more radiant skin and clear pores. The fruit also contains citric and malic acids which are proven ingredients for treating hyperpigmentation.
To try it a papaya mask at home, simply mash up a quarter cup of papaya. Apply it to your face and neck and let it sit for 15-20 minutes, then rinse. Use once a week for best results.