Papaya For Diabetes - Good Or Bad
While fruits are considered healthy food options, are all fruits healthy even if you are a diabetic? Let us check if papaya is good for diabetes or not.
Benefits Of Eating Papaya
Papaya, originally a tropical fruit native of Mexico and grow naturally in areas such as the Caribbean and Florida, has gradually evolved to become a fruit available all through the year. Interestingly, according to reports of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), India is one of the major producers of Papaya. The soft fleshy fruit is known for its taste and immense benefits for human health. Some of the benefits associated with papaya include;
These are some of the common benefits of consuming papaya. The miracle fruit has wondrous effects on curing various ailments of the body. Apart from curing several ailments, this fruit also contains various medicinal and dietary properties. A single small-sized papaya contains;
- Carbohydrates: 15 grams (including sugar and 5 grams of fiber)
- Protein: 1 gram
- Folate: 14 percent of RDI
- Vitamin C: 157 percent of RDI
- Vitamin A: 33 percent of RDI
- Vitamin B1: Trace amounts
- Vitamin B3: Trace amounts
- Vitamin B5: Trace amounts
- Vitamin E: Trace amounts
- Vitamin K: Trace amounts
- Potassium: 11 percent of RDI
- Calcium: Trace amounts
- Magnesium: Trace amounts
- Copper: Trace amounts
- Pantothenic Acid: Trace amounts
- Total Calories: 59
Apart from all these nutrients, papaya is also a rich source of various antioxidants known as Carotenoids (both alpha and beta carotenes) including Lycopene (an antioxidant commonly found in tomatoes). These antioxidants help in reducing inflammations and fighting diseases that affect the human body. These antioxidants also help an individual look younger.
Papaya is also known to contain a special enzyme known as papain. This enzyme is used to break tough chains of proteins in meat. This enzyme has been used to tenderize meat for several years. This enzyme is especially rich in concentration in raw and unripe papaya because of the high latex in the unripe papaya. Therefore, pregnant women are advised to cook the unripe papaya before consumption, though ripe papaya can be taken raw.
Further, papaya should be consumed with caution by people who suffer from latex allergy since the fruit contains another enzyme called chitinases.
Is Papaya Good For Diabetes?
As already mentioned above, papaya and diabetes have a connection. In fact, papaya has a healthy and positive relationship with diabetes. Papaya is an excellent choice of food for diabetics because;
- It is low in sugar content (glucose) though sweet in taste. Therefore a diabetic individual can have as much as three large servings of the fruit throughout the day.
- The fruit is easy to digest while also aids in healthy digestion in diabetic patients.
- Consumption of papaya can help prevent the occurrence of diabetes in non-diabetics
- In the case of diabetics, individuals suffering from Type 1 Diabetes need to consume high fiber diets in order to lower their levels of blood glucose. A small papaya can offer around 3 grams of fiber.
- Diabetes is of two types Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes is a considerably more severe form of diabetes where shots of insulin might have to be administered. Consumption of papaya regularly not only helps individuals suffering from type 1 diabetes (as mentioned above) but also helps individuals suffering from Type 2 diabetes in impeding their progression from type 2 to type 1 diabetes.
- Individuals suffering from diabetes are prone to contract heart diseases because of irregular blood sugar levels. The rich antioxidant content of papaya helps the individual maintain the blood sugar levels while preventing the deterioration of cell structures in the body, thus preventing further damage of cells. This helps in heart and other ailments affecting other organs and the nervous system.
- Papaya is rich in fibers that help diabetics, feel full, thereby restricting their cravings in between meals.
- Some researchers also suggest that raw and unripe papaya can help in maintaining cholesterol and blood sugar levels since it has a high content of fiber.
Ways To Include Papaya In Your Diet
Researches from across the world have found various ways in which consumption of papaya can benefit diabetic individuals. Some of them include;
- Combining fermented papaya with green tea (this has been a study conducted by the Centre of Excellence for Biomedical and Biomaterials Research at the Mauritius University)
- Using papaya flowers by sautéing them in a small quantity of oil and consuming it with rice regularly for preventing diabetes as in North-Eastern India
- Papaya can be consumed as a fruit directly
- Papaya can be a healthy part of fresh salads including fruit salads
- Papaya can also be healthily used in various drinks such as iced tea or even lemonade
- Papaya can also be given a tasty touch by preparing a fresh salad using red peppers, jalapeno, chipotle pepper, and mango.
- Smoothies prepared using papaya can also taste and feel good.
The answer to “Is papaya good for diabetes” is thus simple. Papaya is indeed a wonder fruit for diabetics. However, it is always advisable to consume fresh fruit rather than a dried or canned version of the fruit. Diabetic patients are also advised to try consuming the whole fruit rather than fruit juices or drinks which can add to the already increased blood sugar levels in their body.