Papaya fruit and pregnant women?

Papaya fruit and pregnant women?
Most of us know that papaya fruit is a popular refreshing palate cleanser. Did you know that papaya has a beneficial effect on digestion? Because of its low calories and high fibers, papaya also makes a perfect fruit to compliment an Endomorph diet especially for those who want to lose weight. Is it safe to eat papaya during pregnancy? Let's learn more about the nutritional benefits of papaya as well as the Cons of Papaya.

About Papaya
Papaya is an edible fruit of the plant Carica papaya. The papaya fruit is generally oval to nearly round. Papaya tree is native to the tropical region of America, mainly from southern Mexico to Central America. Now these plants are available in all tropical regions of the world like China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, Central and Southern Africa, Australia and other countries.

Papaya Nutrition
Papaya nutrition facts. Papaya is a good source of vitamins A, B and Riboflavin and an excellent source of vitamin C (ascorbic acid). It also contains iron, folate, and calcium. There are also papaya enzymes. Papayas contain the proteolytic enzyme papain, as do pineapples, kiwi fruit and figs. These enzymes assist in the digestion of proteins, such as meat, dairy products and nuts. Papaya fruit is also a source of fiber and potassium that helps the cardiovascular system and protect the colon from cancer. Just like watermelon, papaya contains an enzyme called arginine which is good to treat erectile dysfunction. Papayas contain the phytochemical lycopene, the same cancer fighter found in tomatoes. Additionally, papaya has the cartenoid beta-cyrptoxanthin which is another cancer fighter.

Papaya and digestive problems
Papaya tablets? Papaya is also marketed in tablet form to remedy digestive problems. The Papaya extract tablets ease gas and bloating, and helps boost nutrient assimilation from food.

Papaya seeds
The black papaya seeds are edible and have a sharp, spicy taste. Papaya seeds are sometimes ground and used as a substitute for black pepper.

Papaya leaves
In some parts of Asia, the young leaves of papaya are steamed and eaten like spinach. In some parts of the world, papaya leaves are made into tea as a preventative for malaria, though there is no real scientific evidence for the effectiveness of this treatment.

Papaya latex
The papaya latex (plant sap / a milky white liquid) from the green fruits, the papaya leaves and the papaya stem are rich in an enzyme called papain, a protease that breaks down tough meat fibers. Papain is a component in products (meat tenderizers) sold in shops and that is used to make meat more soft before cooking it.

When is a papaya ripe?
Papaya ripe? First, the skin is green but it changes to yellow in ripe fruits, ready to be eaten. Papaya fruit is ripe when it feels soft (like a ripe avocado or a bit softer) and its skin has attained an amber to orange hue. In a ripe fruit, the pulp is yellow, orange, pink, and even light red. Inside the papaya fruit, there are many small black seeds.

How to choose a ripe papaya?
Check for color, softness, and smell. Try to find a lot of yellow and red colors on the green skin. A little green on the stem end is fine, but the main body of the papaya fruit should have good color all around. Avoid a papaya with too many black spots and bruising. Squeeze the papaya very gently. Papayas are usually ripe when soft to the touch (Not too soft). Smell the papaya fruit at the base where the stem was once attached. A ripe papaya should have a sweet smell. Papayas that are cut should smell sweet, not fermented. 

When is papaya ripe, so ready to eat?
Papaya is ripe and ready to eat when the flesh is almost all yellow, pink or red in color.

How to ripen Papaya fruit?
A papaya fruit should continue to ripen if it is kept at room temperature, especially placed in a paper bag. It may be ripened over a period of two to three days. As they ripen, the skin of papayas turn from green to yellow. You can place ripe papayas in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator.

Health Benefits of Papaya
Papaya benefits
+ sweet but low in sugar which is good for diabetics
+ low in calories, fat-free, great for those on a diet
+ low in sodium and cholesterol free
+ the fruit is used to treat digestive disorders
+ a rich source of antioxidants that helps to prevent cancer
+ has lycopene and immune system stimulation
+ has a significant effect on stopping breast cancer cell growth
+ carotenoids fight free radicals
+ lower your cervical cancer risk
+ has a significant effect on halting breast cancer cell growth
+ Some alternative medical practitioners believe it can control premature aging
+ contains arginine which is essential for male fertility
+ has anti-inflammatory properties due to its enzymes papain and chymopapain
+ contains anti-cancerous properties
+ Papaya seed extract may protect the kidneys
+ Papaya seeds/leaves could be used as an antibacterial agent
+ Papaya shampoos good for the hair and helps in controlling dandruff

Cons of Papaya
Papaya pregnancy? Is it safe to eat papaya during pregnancy? It is speculated that the latex concentration of unripe papayas may cause uterine contractions, which may lead to a miscarriage. Papaya is sometimes recommended for soothing indigestion, which is a common ailment during pregnancy. Although a fully ripe papaya is not considered dangerous, a papaya that is at all unripe contains a latex substance that triggers uterine contractions and may cause a miscarriage. Ripe papaya is not teratogenic and will not cause miscarriage in small amounts. Phytochemicals in papaya may also suppress the effects of the female hormone, progesterone. Many pregnant women prefer to avoid eating papaya or using a papaya product. Due to the mixed views about whether it is safe to eat papayas during pregnancy, pregnant women should consult a doctor to learn more about this.

Papaya Recipes
+ Ripe papaya fruits are usually eaten fresh (without the papaya skin or the papaya seeds), usually are cut in small pieces
+ juice of papaya can be mixed with milk to make smoothies
+ can often be combined with pineapple juice
+ mixed with other fruits for a fruit salad
+ can be cut in pieces and cook with sugar and eaten as dessert if the papaya fruits are not completely ripe
+ unripe green fruit of papaya can be eaten cooked, usually in curries, salads and stews (in south east Asian cooking)
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4 comments on "Papaya fruit and pregnant women?"

LissaD said...

Thanks fyi. I love papaya, but i've been trying to become pregnant. I think i would avoid eating unripe papaya during my next pregnancy. I'll also talk to my doctor to make sure whether it is safe to eat ripe papaya if it is taken in large doses during that period. My friends who were pregnant chose to eliminate the risk and avoid papaya all together.

aruni said...

last night i had unprotected sex as we are trying to conceive..but by mistake today morning i drank a fully ripe papaya juice with now confused whether this will affect getting me pregnant......please can any one answer t this problem.

Unknown said...

i am pregnant (5 Month Complete) please let me know can i eat raw papaya as i feel like eating it. is it good for my health and does it any ways harm me during my pregnency.

Maureen Muoneke MD said...

You need to take a prenatal vitamin every day. Prenatal vitamins contain all of the nutrients that your growing baby needs to stay healthy at every stage of development.

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