Papaya (Carica papaya) aka:lechoza, mamão, penpe, papol, fruta bomba, and pawpaw (though not to be confused with the american pawpaw) is a fibrous orange fruit with a green to yellow leather-like skin, and a center full of fibers and little black seeds.
Health Benefits of Papaya
Increased Protection from Bacterial and Viral Infections
Increased Immune Function
Reduced Cancer Risk
Protection Against Heart Disease
DNA Repair and Protection
Alleviation of Cardiovascular Disease
Alleviation of Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
Papaya contains papain which is a pain killer and known to aid in digestion. Papaya is often used to treat stomach ache. *Some of these health benefits are due to the nutrients highly
concentrated in Papaya, and may not necessarily be related to Papaya.
Look for brightly colored papayas that yield softly to the touch. Avoid papayas that are mushy, or have discolorations.
Climate and origin
Papayas originated in Central and South America but have spread to most any place with a tropical climate.
A papaya's taste and texture will vary widely based on when it was picked and how ripe it is when you eat it. Properly ripened, a papaya will be very sweet and almost mushy. Most people discard papaya seeds, though dried seeds have been used as a substitute for black pepper.
Due to papain, papaya has long been used as a meat tenderizer in South America. The papain is also made into a gel like paste and used to treat cuts or skin irritation. Papayas are used in Asia as a contraceptive and in South America they are renowned for being an aphrodisiac.
Doshi SN, McDowell IF, Moat SJ, Payne N, Durrant HJ, Lewis MJ, Goodfellos J. Folic acid improves endothelial function in coronary artery disease via mechanisms largely independent of homocysteine. Circulation. 2002;105:22-6.
Doshi SN, McDowell IFW, Moat SJ, Lang D, Newcombe RG, Kredean MB, Lewis MJ, Goodfellow J. Folate improves endothelial function in coronary artery disease. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2001;21:1196-1202.
Wald DS, Bishop L, Wald NJ, Law M, Hennessy E, Weir D, McPartlin J, Scott J. Randomized trial of folic acid supplementation and serum homocysteine levels. Arch Intern Med 2001;161:695-700.
Jennings E. Folic acid as a cancer preventing agent. Med Hypothesis 1995;45:297-303.
Freudenheim JL, Grahm S, Marshall JR, Haughey BP, Cholewinski S, Wilkinson G. Folate intake and carcinogenesis of the colon and rectum. Int J Epidemiol 1991;20:368-74.
Giovannucci E, Stampfer MJ, Colditz GA, Hunter DJ, Fuchs C, Rosner BA, Speizer FE, Willett WC. Multivitamin use, folate, and colon cancer in women in the Nurses' Health Study. Ann Intern Med 1998;129:517-24.
A Paoloni-Giacobino, R Grimble, C Pichard. Genetics and nutrition. Clinical Nutrition Volume 22, Issue 5, Pages 429-435 (October 2003)
Corradaa MM, Kawasab CH, Hallfrischc J, Mullerd D, Brookmeyere R. Reduced risk of Alzheimer?s disease with high folate intake: The Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. Alzheimer's and Dementia Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages 11-18 (July 2005).
Wang HX, Wahlin Å, Basun H, Fastbom J, Winblad B, Fratiglioni L. Vitamin B12 and folate in relation to the development of Alzheimer?s disease. Neurology May 8, 2001 vol. 56 no. 9 1188-1194.
New SA, Bolton-Smith C, Grubb DA, Reid DM. Nutritional influences on bone mineral density: a cross-sectional study in premenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr. 1997;65(6):1831-1839.
New SA, Robins SP, Campbell MK, et al. Dietary influences on bone mass and bone metabolism: further evidence of a positive link between fruit and vegetable consumption and bone health? Am J Clin Nutr. 2000;71(1):142-151.
Tucker KL, Hannan MT, Chen H, Cupples LA, Wilson PW, Kiel DP. Potassium, magnesium, and fruit and vegetable intakes are associated with greater bone mineral density in elderly men and women. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999;69(4):727-736.
Ascherio A, Rimm EB, Hernan MA, et al. Intake of potassium, magnesium, calcium, and fiber and risk of stroke among US men. Circulation. 1998;98(12):1198-1204.
Iso H, Stampfer MJ, Manson JE, et al. Prospective study of calcium, potassium, and magnesium intake and risk of stroke in women. Stroke. 1999;30(9):1772-1779.
Bazzano LA, He J, Ogden LG, et al. Dietary potassium intake and risk of stroke in US men and women: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey I epidemiologic follow-up study. Stroke. 2001;32(7):1473-1480.
Green DM, Ropper AH, Kronmal RA, Psaty BM, Burke GL. Serum potassium level and dietary potassium intake as risk factors for stroke. Neurology. 2002;59(3):314-320.
Barri YM, Wingo CS. The effects of potassium depletion and supplementation on blood pressure: a clinical review. Am J Med Sci. 1997;314(1):37-40.
Hajjar IM, Grim CE, George V, Kotchen TA. Impact of diet on blood pressure and age-related changes in blood pressure in the US population: analysis of NHANES III. Arch Intern Med. 2001;161(4):589-593.
Appel LJ, Moore TJ, Obarzanek E, et al. A clinical trial of the effects of dietary patterns on blood pressure. DASH Collaborative Research Group. N Engl J Med. 1997;336(16):1117-1124.
Gennari FJ. Hypokalemia. N Engl J Med. 1998;339(7):451-458.
Semba RD. The role of vitamin A and related retinoids in immune function. Nutr Rev 1998;56:S38-48.
Ross DA. Vitamin A and public health: Challenges for the next decade. Proc Nutr Soc 1998;57:159-65.
Harbige LS. Nutrition and immunity with emphasis on infection and autoimmune disease. Nutr Health 1996;10:285-312.
de Pee S, West CE. Dietary carotenoids and their role in combating vitamin A deficiency: A review of the literature. Eur J Clin Nutr 1996;50 Suppl 3:S38-53.
Institute of Medicine. Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc. National Academy Press, Washington, DC, 2001.
Ross AC. Vitamin A and retinoids. In: Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease. 9th Edition (edited by Shils ME, Olson J, Shike M, Ross AC). Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, New York, 1999, pp. 305-27.
Ross AC, Stephensen CB. Vitamin A and retinoids in antiviral responses. FASEB J 1996;10:979-85.
Fontham ETH. Protective dietary factors and lung cancer. Int J Epidemiol 1990;19:S32-S42.
Albanes D, Heinonen OP, Taylor PR, Virtamo J, Edwards BK, Rautalahti M, Hartman AM, Palmgren J, Freedman LS, Haapakoski J, Barrett MJ, Pietinen P, Malila N, Tala E, Lippo K, Salomaa ER, Tangrea JA, Teppo L, Askin FB, Taskinen E, Erozan Y, Greenwald P, Huttunen JK. Alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene supplement and lung cancer incidence in the alpha-tocopherol, beta-carotene cancer prevention study: Effects of base-line characteristics and study compliance. J Natl Cancer Inst 1996;88:1560-70.
Redlich CA, Blaner WS, Van Bennekum AM, Chung JS, Clever SL, Holm CT, Cullen MR. Effect of supplementation with beta-carotene and vitamin A on lung nutrient levels. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 1998;7:211-14.
Pryor WA, Stahl W, Rock CL. Beta carotene: from biochemistry to clinical trials. Nutr Rev 2000;58:39-53.
Gokce N, Keaney JF, Jr., Frei B, et al. Long-term ascorbic acid administration reverses endothelial vasomotor dysfunction in patients with coronary artery disease. Circulation. 1999;99(25):3234-3240.
Audera, C (2001). "Mega-dose vitamin C in treatment of the common cold: a randomised controlled trial". Medical Journal of Australia 389: 175.
Hemilä, Harri; Chalker, Elizabeth; Douglas, Bob; Hemilä, Harri (2007). "Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold". Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) (3): CD000980
Fleming DJ, Tucker KL, Jacques PF, Dallal GE, Wilson PW, Wood RJ (December 2002). "Dietary factors associated with the risk of high iron stores in the elderly Framingham Heart Study cohort". The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 76 (6): 1375?84.
Institute of Medicine. Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Carotenoids. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2000.
Weinstein M, Babyn P, Zlotkin S. An orange a day keeps the doctor away: scurvy in the year 2000. Pediatrics 2001;108:E55.
Hoffman FA. Micronutrient requirements of cancer patients. Cancer. 1985;55 (1 Suppl):295-300.
Deicher R, Hörl WH. Vitamin C in chronic kidney disease and hemodialysis patients. Kidney Blood Press Res 2003;26:100-6.