Papaya is a delicious tropical fruit that is not only tasty but also highly nutritious. It is widely consumed around the world, and many cultures have recognized its potential health benefits for centuries. In this blog post, we will discuss all papaya benefits including the nutritional facts, health benefits, and how to eat papaya correctly, according to Ayurveda.
Nutritional Facts of Papaya
Papaya is a rich source of various nutrients that are essential for maintaining good health. According to the Department of Biotechnology, K. L. University, Andhra Pradesh, a 100-gram serving of Papaya (A medium-sized Papaya is around 300g ) contains the following nutrients: 
Calories: 43 kcal
Carbohydrates: 10.8 grams
Protein: 0.4 grams
Fibre: 1.7 grams
Vitamin C: 60.9 mg
Vitamin A: 47 µg
Folate: 37 µg
Potassium: 182 mg
Calcium: 20 mg
Iron: 0.25 mg
Health Benefits of Papaya
1. Boosts Immunity
Primary Benefit: Papaya is an excellent source of vitamin C. 
Secondary Benefit: Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps boost the immune system. Regular consumption of papaya can help fight off infections and diseases. 
2. Aids Digestion
Primary Benefit: Papaya helps correct Agnimandya (weak digestive fire) due to its Rechana (laxative) nature. It contains an enzyme called papain, which helps break down proteins and aids in digestion.  
Secondary Benefit: It also has a high fibre content, which helps regulate bowel movements and prevent constipation.  
3. Reduces Inflammation
Primary Benefit: Papaya contains several anti-inflammatory compounds, including papain and chymopapain. 
4. Promotes Healthy Skin
Primary Benefit: Papaya contains high levels of vitamin C, which is essential for the production of collagen. It also has vitamin A.  
Secondary Benefit: Collagen is a protein that keeps the skin firm and youthful. Vitamin A too helps promote healthy skin and reduces the appearance of wrinkles. 
How to Eat Papaya Correctly, According to Ayurveda
In Ayurveda, it is essential to eat foods in a way that promotes optimal digestion and absorption of nutrients. Here are some tips on how to eat papaya correctly, according to Ayurveda:
1. Eat Ripe Papaya
Eat Ripe Papaya
According to Ayurveda, it is best to eat ripe papaya as it is easier to digest and has a sweeter taste. Unripe papaya contains latex, which can cause stomach discomfort to some people and is best avoided.
2. Eat Papaya Alone
Papaya is considered a “self-sufficient” fruit, meaning it does not need to be combined with other foods to aid digestion. It is best to eat papaya alone or as part of a fruit salad. 
3. Avoid Eating Papaya with Milk
It is not advisable to consume papaya and milk together as both have a laxative property that could result in loose motions and aggravate chronic diarrhoea. However, a mixture of milk and papaya can be applied topically on hypersensitive skin to alleviate allergic conditions due to their tikshna(sharp) and ushna(hot) properties.
4. Use Papaya Seeds
Papaya seeds are edible and are considered a potent digestive aid in Ayurveda as they contain antioxidants. They can be added to smoothies, and salads, or eaten on their own.
1. Can Paya be used for Hair Care?
Papaya is beneficial for eliminating excess oil from the scalp and promoting healthy hair. It also aids in managing dandruff, thanks to its strong and dry properties. To use papaya for hair care, take 1-2 teaspoons of papaya fruit pulp and add coconut oil to make a paste. Apply the paste to your scalp and leave it for 1-2 hours and rinse it off. Do this thrice a week for the best results.
2. Can I eat Papaya at night?
Yes, due to its Rechana (laxative), Papaya is good to consume at night to improve digestion. 
3. Can Pregnant Women eat Papaya?
Ayurveda believes that unripe or raw papaya can induce abortions in women and hence doesn’t recommend their consumption. Ripe Papaya however has no conclusive evidence of causing any complications in pregnant women. It is also advisable to seek the help of a medical professional to understand what food items are good for you.
4. Can Papaya Induce periods?
Unripe papaya contains a high amount of latex, which due to its pungent and hot potency, can cause bleeding. However, these same properties make it useful in treating amenorrhea or the absence of menstrual periods. 
5. Can I eat Papaya in the morning?
Yes, Papaya can be consumed in the morning on an empty stomach as its rechana(laxative) property promotes bowel movement.
In conclusion, papaya is a delicious and highly nutritious fruit that offers several health benefits. It is a rich source of vitamin C, fibre, and antioxidants that can boost immunity, aid digestion, and reduce inflammation. Adding papaya to your diet can be an easy and delicious way to support your overall health and well-being.
Disclaimer: This article is from a health and wellness perspective only.
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