Drinking papaya juice has been a way of life in many areas of the world for centuries, and now it is becoming a popular drink here.
Papaya juice is made from the fruit of the papaya tree, which grows in tropical areas of the Americas. The fruit is a large berry, and is around the size of a large potato. The inside of the fruit if filled with dozens of black seeds in a clear pulp, but the orange flesh is the part that is eaten and turned into juice.
Papaya juice is full of vitamins and nutrients, including vitamin C, folate, vitamin A, beta-carotene, vitamin E, vitamin K, B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, and manganese.
While many people like to eat the fruit, you can get a concentrated shot of these nutrients if you drink papaya juice instead. It’s not the most common juice on the market, but you can make it at home to enjoy the many health benefits.
1. Prevents Cancer
The antioxidants in papaya seek out and neutralize free radicals in the body that can cause cancer. Some of these ingredients also promote the production of tumor-suppressing proteins.
2. Helps Strengthen the Nervous System
Copper is essential for a healthy nervous system, and it is found in significant levels in papaya juice.
3. Strengthens Bones
Papaya juice has nearly a dozen minerals, and many of them contribute to building the strength and durability of our bones. With just a glass of this juice every day, you can help prevent or slow down osteoporosis as you age.
4. Reduces Blood Pressure
Potassium is found in papaya juice, and it has a big role to play in lowering blood pressure. It will ease the tension in the blood vessels and promote better circulation.
5. Soothes Inflammation
Papain is a digestive enzyme found in this fruit, but it also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help benefit other parts of the body. It can help reduce the symptoms of gout, arthritis, IBS, and headache.
6. Boosts the Immune System
One papaya contains more than 300% of the daily required intake of vitamin C! Some of that vitamin will be lost in the blending process, but there is still more than enough to give your immune system a boost.
7. Improves Vision
Papaya has a high level of beta-carotene, which is a well-known vision booster. It also helps prevent oxidative stress that can cause cataracts and macular degeneration.
Make Your Own Papaya Juice
You can buy papaya juice at some grocery stores, but some brands have more added sugar and fewer nutrients. Making your own juice means you know exactly what goes in to it.
Papaya has a very strong, sweet flavor, so other fruits or spices are often included to make the drink taste better. Look for different recipes on the internet.
Storing Papaya Juice
If you have made your own juice, experts recommend drinking it within 24-36 hours. When fruit is exposed to oxygen, it begins to oxidize, and this causes a change in the color and quality of the nutrients.
Papaya juice has some very strong enzymes that will begin to break down the components of other juices, so it’s best not to store blended juices for very long.
A Word of Caution
While most people enjoy papaya juice, there are some potential side effects you should know about. You could get a stomach upset from the papain enzyme if you have too much, and it can cause cramping, bloating, diarrhea and other stomach issues.
Too much papaya juice can turn your skin orange due to the beta-carotene, but this is harmless and will go away in a day or so.
The digestive enzyme in papayas can cause an allergic reaction in some people, causing shortness of breath, runny nose or itchy eyes, but most people can drink a glass or two of papaya juice without suffering from a bad reaction.
Because there’s a lot of vitamin C in papaya fruit, it can cause oxalate levels in the body to rise if you have too much. This can help to develop kidney stones, so if you have kidney problems, speak to your doctor before you start drinking this juice regularly.