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Title:   Papaya

Nutrition facts

Serving Size
Amount per serving
Calories 55 Calories from Fat 2
Hide Daily Values % Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
  Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 4mg 0%
Total Carbohydrates 14g 5%
  Dietary Fiber 3g
  Sugars 8g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A 31%     Vitamin C 144%
Calcium 3%     Iron 1%
Thiamin 3%     Riboflavin 3%
Niacin 2%     Pantothenic Acid 3%
Vitamin B6 1%     Potassium 10%
Phosphorus 1%     Magnesium 4%
Zinc 1%     Copper 1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

55 calores in one cup of papaya. High fiber, high in nutrients, zero weight watchers points.

papayas, raw

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Papaya Health Benefits and Nutrition Information.

Papayas offer not only the luscious taste and sunlit color of thetropics, but are rich sources of antioxidant nutrients such ascarotenes, vitamin C and flavonoids; the B vitamins, folate andpantothenic acid; and the minerals, potassium and magnesium; and fiber.Together, these nutrients promote the health of the cardiovascularsystem and also provide protection against colon cancer. In addition,papaya contains the digestive enzyme, papain, which is used like bromelain, a similar enzyme found in pineapple, to treat sports injuries, other causes of trauma, and allergies.

Protection Against Heart Disease

Papayas may be very helpful for the prevention of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease. Papayas are an excellent source of vitamin C as well as a good source of vitamin E and vitamin A (through their concentration of pro-vitamin A carotenoid phytonutrients), three very powerful antioxidants.

These nutrients help prevent the oxidation of cholesterol. Onlywhen cholesterol becomes oxidized is it able to stick to and build upin blood vessel walls, forming dangerous plaques that can eventuallycause heart attacks or strokes. One way in which dietary vitamin E andvitamin C may exert this effect is through their suggested associationwith a compound called paraoxonase, an enzyme that inhibits LDLcholesterol and HDL cholesterol oxidation.

Papayas are also a good source of fiber, which has been shown to lower high cholesterol levels. The folic acidfound in papayas is needed for the conversion of a substance calledhomocysteine into benign amino acids such as cysteine or methionine. Ifunconverted, homocysteine can directly damage blood vessel walls and,if levels get too high, is considered a significant risk factor for aheart attack or stroke.

Promotes Digestive Health

The nutrients in papaya have also been shown to be helpful in the prevention of colon cancer.Papaya's fiber is able to bind to cancer-causing toxins in the colonand keep them away from the healthy colon cells. In addition, papaya'sfolate, vitamin C, beta-carotene, and vitamin E have each beenassociated with a reduced risk of colon cancer.

These nutrients provide synergistic protection for colon cellsfrom free radical damage to their DNA. Increasing your intake of thesenutrients by enjoying papaya is an especially good idea for individualsat risk of colon cancer.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Papaya contains several unique protein-digesting enzymes including papain and chymopapain.These enzymes have been shown to help lower inflammation and to improvehealing from burns. In addition, the antioxidant nutrients found inpapaya, including vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene, are alsovery good at reducing inflammation. This may explain why people withdiseases that are worsened by inflammation, such as asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis, find that the severity of their condition is reduced when they get more of these nutrients.

Immune Support

Vitamin C and vitamin A, which is made in the body from thebeta-carotene in papaya, are both needed for the proper function of ahealthy immune system. Papaya may therefore be a healthy fruit choicefor preventing such illnesses as recurrent ear infections, colds andflu.

Protection against Macular Degeneration

Your mother may have told you carrots would keep your eyes bright asa child, but as an adult, it looks like fruit is even more importantfor keeping your sight. Data reported in a study published in the Archives of Ophthalmologyindicates that eating 3 or more servings of fruit per day may loweryour risk of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), the primary causeof vision loss in older adults, by 36%, compared to persons who consumeless than 1.5 servings of fruit daily.In this study, which involved over 110,000 women and men, researchersevaluated the effect of study participants' consumption of fruits;vegetables; the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E; and carotenoids onthe development of early ARMD or neovascular ARMD, a more severe formof the illness associated with vision loss. While, surprisingly,intakes of vegetables, antioxidant vitamins and carotenoids were notstrongly related to incidence of either form of ARMD, fruit intake wasdefinitely protective against the severe form of this vision-destroyingdisease. Three servings of fruit may sound like a lot to eat each day,but papaya can help you reach this goal. Add slices of fresh papaya toyour morning cereal, lunch time yogurt or green salads. Cut a papaya inhalf and fill with cottage cheese, crab, shrimp or tuna salad. For anelegant meal, place slices of fresh papaya over any broiled fish.

Protection against Rheumatoid Arthritis

While one study suggests that high doses of supplemental vitamin Cmakes osteoarthritis, a type of degenerative arthritis that occurs withaging, worse in laboratory animals, another indicates that vitaminC-rich foods, such as papaya, provide humans with protection againstinflammatory polyarthritis, a form of rheumatoid arthritis involvingtwo or more joints.

The findings, presented in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseaseswere drawn from a study of more than 20,000 subjects and focused onsubjects who developed inflammatory polyarthritis and similar subjectswho remained arthritis-free during the follow-up period.Subjects who consumed the lowest amounts of vitamin C-rich foods weremore than three times more likely to develop arthritis than those whoconsumed the highest amounts.

Promote Lung Health

If you or someone you love is a smoker, or if you are frequently exposed to secondhand smoke, then making vitamin A-richfoods, such as papaya, part of your healthy way of eating may save yourlife, suggests research conducted at Kansas State University.

While studying the relationship between vitamin A, lunginflammation, and emphysema, Richard Baybutt, associate professor ofnutrition at Kansas State, made a surprising discovery: a commoncarcinogen in cigarette smoke, benzo(a)pyrene, induces vitamin Adeficiency.

Baybutt's earlier research had shown that laboratory animalsfed a vitamin A-deficient diet developed emphysema. His latest animalstudies indicate that not only does the benzo(a)pyrene in cigarettesmoke cause vitamin A deficiency, but that a diet rich in vitamin A canhelp counter this effect, thus greatly reducing emphysema.

Baybutt believes vitamin A's protective effects may helpexplain why some smokers do not develop emphysema. "There are a lot ofpeople who live to be 90 years old and are smokers," he said. "Why?Probably because of their diet…The implications are that those whostart smoking at an early age are more likely to become vitamin Adeficient and develop complications associated with cancer andemphysema. And if they have a poor diet, forget it."If you or someone you love smokes, or if your work necessitatesexposure to second hand smoke, protect yourself by making sure that atleast one of the World's Healthiest Foods that are rich in vitamin A,such as papaya, is a daily part of your healthy way of eating.

last edit by slc2006, 2/20/2007 3:13:28 PM

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