Papaya is a tropical fruit native to Central America. In the United States, papaya is mainly cultivated in Florida, Hawaii and greenhouses in less tropical climates. Each papaya tree grows from a seed that produces an original heirloom papaya. This fruit has properties that can help contribute to safe weight loss.
A small papaya weighs 5.5 oz. and provides 68 calories, or 3 percent of the standard 2,000-calorie diet. Trimming the diet by 3,500 to 7,000 calories each week results in 1- to 2-lb. of weight loss, a healthy and reasonable goal. Maintaining a convenient supply of low-calorie foods, such as papaya, during a diet provides healthy eating options and helps promote long-term weight regulation.
A small papaya provides 2.7 g of fiber, or 11 percent of the 25 g U.S. Food and Drug Administration daily value. A diet that provides an adequate supply of fiber is filling and helps regulate digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. Your body absorbs carbohydrates quickly and fiber prevents blood sugar from rising abnormally. The body reduces high blood glucose by clearing sugar from the blood and storing it as glycogen. This process makes you feel hungry. If you do not burn the energy stored as glycogen, it transforms to fat and contributes to weight gain. The high fiber content in papaya prevents the blood sugar elevation that contributes to glycogen-derived weight gain.
A small papaya contains only 0.41 g of fat, or about 1 percent of the 65 g FDA daily value. The body needs the daily requirement of fat for brain and cardiovascular health, but the standard American diet includes more fat than the body needs. Eating foods such as papaya will not contribute to fat gains that can tip the scales and thwart weight-loss progress.
A small papaya provides 138 g water, or 89 percent of its total weight. Water and fluid intake clears normal toxins that result from the conversion of food to energy from the body. When toxins accumulate, they interfere with normal metabolism, which can cause weight gain. The fluid content in papaya helps flush toxins and keeps the metabolic system running smoothly, which helps facilitate weight loss.