Mother nature has given us a wide array of vegetables, fruits, and spices that may have a large impact on our overall wellness. Studies have found that there are certain natural cancer-fighting foods that possess promising anticancer properties to give us a healthier version of ourselves and be able to help our body fight off cancer.
Papaya is considered to be among the top anti-cancer foods we should stock up on. This large plant of the family Caricaceae bears a pear-shaped fruit with green skin when unripe and orange when ripe, while the flesh is yellow, orange or red.
Papaya and Cancer
According to studies, papaya can be effective against various types of cancer, including breast and pancreatic cancers.
Researchers have found that lycopene in papaya may reduce cancer risk. Lycopene is a strong antioxidant that is also found in tomatoes. It helps relieve the side-effects of cancer radiotherapy. It also helps scavenge free radicals, and prevents the oxidative damage of DNA thus, preventing the potential transformation of normal cells to cancer cells.
In addition to lycopene, papaya also contains a carotenoid called beta-cryptoxanthin. This carotenoid fights free radicals and helps protect cells and membranes against damage and disease. Some studies have shown that regular consumption of papaya can lower the risk of cervical cancer.
Moreover, papaya also possesses unique effects not shared by other fruits. In a study, it was found that among 14 fruits and vegetables that have antioxidant properties, only papaya was proven to have anticancer activity in breast cancer cells.
In a 2010 study, it was also found that papaya leaf extract obtained from dried leaves produced anti-carcinogenic effects against a laboratory-grown tumor. These effects were even stronger when the cells were given larger doses of papaya leaf tea. The same effects were also obtained when different types of cancer-affected cells were exposed to different papaya leaf extracts.
Meanwhile, adults with inflammation and precancerous stomach conditions were found to have reduced oxidative damage after fermented papaya was given to them, according to a study.
Other Health Benefits Of Papayas
- Helps deal with diabetes
- Improves bone health
- Aids in digestion
- Helps reduce inflammation
- Promotes wound healing
- Keeps hair moisturized
- Lowers the risk of asthma