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By JEROME MICHAEL EBRUPHIYO/Science and Nature/Friday, September 17, 2021

What Are The Health Benefits Of Paw paw Fruit (Carica papaya)?

                              
                            
This post will provide information on "What are the health benefits of paw paw fruit (Carica papaya)?" as well as provide answers to questions like: What is the history of the papaya? Who discovered pawpaw? When was papaya discovered? What is the best time to eat papaya? What happens if you eat papaya everyday? What is the side effects of eating papaya? Who should not eat papaya? What happens if you eat too much Paw Paw? What does pawpaw do to the body? Is it safe to eat papaya everyday?

History of Paw paw Fruit (Carica papaya)

The pawpaw is a true native to North America and has a long history in the United States. The fruit of the pawpaw was a key component of American Indian diets; indeed, the Shawnee even had a “pawpaw month” dedicated to the fruit in their calendar (Austin). Later, the Spanish discovered the pawpaw in 1541. The first European mention of the pawpaw dates to Hernanado de Soto’s 1540 Mississippi expedition, where a fellow traveler noted the fruit being cultivated by American Indians (Staub). Later, we learn from journal entries that it was the pawpaw that fed the Lewis & Clark expedition on their return trip in the fall of 1810. In fact, pawpaw fruits and nuts saved the expedition from starvation and death when in western Missouri their rations ran low and no game was to be found. Further, at least two U.S. presidents favored pawpaws: George Washington reportedly enjoyed them as his favorite dessert, and Thomas Jefferson was known to have grown pawpaws at Monticello where he too enjoyed the delightful fruit. However, pawpaws did not become popular in Europe until the end of the 20th century. During the Great Depression, the pawpaw was also frequently consumed as a substitute for other fruits and were thus called the “poor man’s bananas” (Bales). Though the pawpaw continued to be an important fruit in the North American diet, interest waned after World War II with the introduction of other fruits. Nowadays, most pawpaws are very difficult to find outside of a few local farm markets and is why ONF takes pride in bringing this one true American fruit to our customers. The papaya, papaw, or pawpaw is the plant Carica papaya, one of the 22 accepted species in the genus Carica of the family Caricaceae. Its origin is in the tropics of the Americas, perhaps from Central America and southern Mexico.

Nutritional Composition of Paw paw Fruit (Carica papaya)

Paw paw fruit an excellent source of vitamin C, and one single medium fruit provides 224% of recommended daily intake. One medium paw paw fruit has approximately:
  • 120 calories
  • 30 g of carbohydrate
  • 18 grams of sugar
  • 2g of protein
  • Folate
  • vitamin A
  • magnesium
  • copper
  • pantothenic acid
  • 5g fiber

Health Benefits of Paw paw Fruit (Carica papaya)

  • Paw paw fruit is great for hair health because it contains vitamin A, a nutrient required for sebum production, which keeps hair moisturized
  • When used topically, mashed paw paw fruit appears to be beneficial for promoting wound healing and preventing infection of burned areas
  • Choline is a very important and versatile nutrient found in paw paw fruit that aids our body in sleep, muscle movement, learning, and memory and also reduces inflammation
  • The fiber, potassium, and vitamin content in paw paw fruit all help to ward off heart disease
  • Paw paw fruit contain an enzyme called papain that aids digestion and it can be used as a meat tenderizer
  • It can reduce the risk of diabetes
  • It helps in strengthening the bones as it contains vitamin K which improves calcium absorption and reduce urinary excretion of calcium
  • Consuming the antioxidant beta-carotene, found in papayas, may reduce cancer risk
  • The risk of developing asthma is lower in people who consume a high amount of nutrients like beta-carotene, contained in paw paw
  • It can help in Age-related macular degeneration

Side Effects of Paw paw Fruit (Carica papaya)

  • Most health experts advise pregnant women to avoid eating papaya as the papaya seeds, roots and infusion of the leaves can harm the foetus
  • Excessive consumption of it could lead to an upset stomach
  • Papaya may interact with blood thinning medications, which can lead to easy bleeding and bruising
  • Fermented paw paw fruit could lower blood sugar levels, which can be dangerous for diabetics
  • The papain in the fruit or pollen from the flowers can lead to certain allergies like swelling, dizziness, headache, rashes and itching
  • Excessive consumption could cause different respiratory disorders like asthma, congestion and wheezing
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