Benefits of Papaya Extract

Papaya extract is derived from the fruit of the plant carica papaya, which is native to Central America. This sweet, velvety fruit -- also called pawpaw -- is packed with valuable nutrients and antioxidants and contains powerful enzymes that are used in the treatment of some ailments. Consuming papaya extract is an excellent way to support your body with healthful benefits.

A papaya cut in half. (Image: Design Pics/Tomas del Amo/Design Pics/Getty Images)

Digestive Relief

Papaya contains two important enzymes, chymopapain and papain, known for their effectiveness in treating gastrointestinal disorders. Papaya is also an effective treatment for diarrhea and dysentery. It contains mild laxative properties and is a bowel stimulant. An article published in "Neuro Endocrinology Letters" in 2013 notes that a preparation made from papaya significantly relieved patients' symptoms of constipation, bloating and irritable bowel syndrome and contributed to a healthy digestive tract.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Chemicals in the enzyme papain may reduce overall inflammation. They also may decrease pain and inflammation experienced with rheumatoid arthritis and help improve healing of injuries and reduce swelling following surgery. An article published in "Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology" in July 2001 noted that papain shows strong anti-inflammatory activities in the treatment of infectious arthritis.

Vital Vitamin C

Vitamin C plays an important role in creating your body's connective tissue. It's vital for healing wounds and maintaining healthy bones and teeth. Vitamin C also contains antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are powerful substances that protect your body against free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can damage healthy cells. Free radicals are linked to the development of such conditions as cancer, heart disease and arthritis. A 1-cup serving of mashed papaya contains 140 milligrams of vitamin C, more than 200 percent of the daily value set by the Food and Drug Administration based on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet.

Increased Folate Intake

Folate is a member of the B vitamin family. It helps your body convert food into energy and is essential for maintaining healthy skin, hair, eyes and liver, and your body's nervous system relies on folate to function properly. In addition, folate works with vitamin B-12 in the creation of red blood cells and, because it's crucial for proper brain function, plays a role in mental and emotional health. A 1-cup portion of mashed papaya contains 85 micrograms of folate, which is 21 percent of the DV set by the FDA.

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