Papaya: The fruit that heals

By: Henrylito D. Tacio
Deliciously sweet with musky undertones and a soft, butter-like consistency, it is no wonder the papaya was reputably called the “fruit of the angels” by explorer Christopher Columbus.
In the Philippines, papaya is one of the favorite fruits that abound all year round.  “It offers not only its luscious taste and golden yellow color but also its many health benefits,” says the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), a line agency of the Department of Science and Technology.
“Low in calories and full of nutrition, papaya has more vitamin C than an orange,” says Amy Tousman, a registered dietitian based in Hawaii.  “It’s loaded with vitamin A, potassium, folate and fiber.  It also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, substances, which help protect our eyes from age-related blindness.”
“A medium-size papaya supplies more than three times the adult recommended dietary allowance [RDA] of vitamin C, 75 percent of the RDA of vitamin A and 800 milligrams of potassium,” writes J.C. Kurian, author of Amazing Healing Plants.
According to FNRI, the folic acid found in papaya helps in the conversion of a substance known as homocysteine. The Medical Dictionary defines homocysteine as “a naturally occurring amino acid found in blood plasma.” If left unconverted, it could do direct damage to blood vessels and if the levels of this substance increase, it could lead to heart attacks or strokes.  It is also believed to increase the chance of Alzheimer’s disease and osteoporosis.
As an excellent source of three powerful vitamins—referring to C, A and E—papaya helps prevent oxidation of cholesterol. “It is able to do this as it is associated with a compound known as paraoxonase, which is an enzyme that stops or reduces high-density lipoprotein [HDL] cholesterol oxidation and low-density lipoprotein [LDL] cholesterol,” the FNRI informs. HDL is considered the good cholesterol while LDL is known as the bad cholesterol as it carries cholesterol to cells and tissue…
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Source: Business Mirror
Image: Business Mirror