9 Awesome Benefits of Papaya You Should Know about ...

I love this fruit because it's great for weight loss and tastes amazing (its name itself is delicious to pronounce), but there are many hidden benefits of papaya that should make it a regular on your grocery list. It is packed with vitamins and nutrients that give it great healing powers, which may be why it is also referred to as "the fruit of angels". Here are 9 of the most awesome benefits of papaya (or pawpaw) you should know about.

1. It Balances Intestinal Flora

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You know how harmful antibiotics can be for your body. One of the many benefits of papaya is that it has the ability to replenish good intestinal bacteria, which, usually, are destroyed by antibiotics along with the "nasty" ones you're trying to fight. Thus, during or after an antibiotic treatment, make sure to eat plenty of papaya or drink its juice.

2. It's Great for Your Eyes

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Papaya is rich in beta carotene and Vitamin A, which are good for protecting your vision from degenerating – especially as you age. If you don't want to see a day when you cannot see, stock up on pawpaw and it will take good care of your eyes.

3. It Treats Sore HeEls

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Have been wearing uncomfortable shoes all day? When you finally get home, mash some papaya to a paste and rub your feet with it. It can bring great relief to sore or cracked heels. Plus, it smells great!

4. It Has anti-Inflammatory Properties

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The fruit contains papain and chymopapin, two unique protein-digesting enzymes, and as already mentioned it is also rich in carotene and Vitamin C. All these have been proven to help reduce inflammation, as well as protect against rheumatoid arthritis. This is quite a powerful combo we have here!

5. It Relieves Menstrual Pain

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It's not only the fruit itself that has powerful properties. Papaya leaves are also a great cure for menstrual pain. How exactly should you use them to get rid of that annoying pain? Add one papaya leaf, salt and tamarind to a glass of water and then boil. After you drink this concoction, you will feel a lot better. Be warned that the mixture is not exactly scrumptious, unfortunately.

6. It Can Prevent Blood Clotting

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If you use birth control pills, you may already know you have a higher risk of developing blood clots. If you're also a smoker, you're practically begging them to set up camp. Though quitting smoking should be the first thing you do, fibrin (an enzyme found in papaya) can also help in preventing blood clotting.

7. It Helps Relieve Nausea

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Papaya contains enzymes that help digestion and balance out the acids in your stomach, and, therefore, it can be of great help against nausea – even when it comes to morning sickness. Pawpaw does seem to be like a guardian angel for us, ladies, doesn't it?

8. It Helps Reduce Stress

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I've already mentioned (twice!) that papaya is rich in Vitamin C. Guess what else Vitamin C is good for! Research has found that it is very effective in regulating the flow of stress hormones. So, after a hard day at work, it would be a great idea to have some delicious papaya and allow yourself to relax.

9. It May Be a Good Aid in Cancer Treatments

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Papain, one of papaya's enzymes we've already talked about, is being studied as a relief for cancer treatment side effects, such as mouth sores or difficulty swallowing after chemotherapy. What's more, it also boosts the immune system, thus giving the body a helping hand in fighting the cancer.

As you can see, there's much more to this fruit than its delicious taste and funny names. Do you know about other benefits of papaya that I haven't mentioned here? Don't hesitate to share your knowledge with us!

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