10 Papaya FAQs – Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Papaya

Papaya Benefits


Papaya is the fruit of the plant known as Carica papaya. Papayas grow in tropical areas and are also known as papawas or pawpaws. This popular soft, fleshy, delicious, tasty, vibrant bright color, fruit offer many health benefits. You can include papaya in your daily healthy diet menu and also can planned this amazing fruit as a part of your balanced diet.

It was originated in Central America and Southern Mexico region but is now grown in many other parts of the world. Now papaya is considered as one of the best fruits and healthy food.

The potential health benefits of eating papaya include reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, digestive aid, improving blood glucose control in people with diabetes, lowering blood pressure, and improving wound healing.

Papaya FAQs and Health Benefits

1. Does Papaya aid weight loss?

Papaya helps in weight loss

Papaya does not directly cause weight loss, but it does contain ingredients that can help promote a healthy diet for weight loss. Papaya is a great food supplement and you can add this useful tasty fruit to your diet. It can provide fiber and nutrients that can help support your goals in pursuing the weight loss.

Papaya contains a unique enzyme called papain and this papain helps to break down dietary proteins and is often used to soften meat. It is also used in supplement form to help improve digestion and is sometimes recommended for its ability to promote weight loss and fat burning.

However, some studies indicate the importance of papaya in weight loss but there is no conclusive evidence that it promotes weight loss or fat burning. This fruit is low in calories and is a good source of fiber – two qualities that have been shown to improve appetite and reduce the risk of weight gain.

It is important to note that eating papaya alone will not lead to weight loss. But adding papaya as a snack, in a smoothie, or as part of a healthy, balanced, and nutritious plan diet including the physical exercises and activities, it can help to control weight. So, try consuming it.

2. Who should not eat papaya?

Who should not eat Papaya

1. Pregnant women should avoid eating papaya
Many health experts and professional researchers advise pregnant women to avoid eating papaya. The seeds, roots, and leaves of papaya fruit can harm the fetus. The highly concentrated latex present in unripe papaya can cause uterine contractions and the papain present in papaya may damage certain essential membranes that are required for fetal growth.

2. People having digestive issues should avoid eating papaya
Papaya is high fiber content fruit; while it may be good for people with constipation, excessive eating can cause an upset stomach. In addition, the skin of the fruit contains latex which can irritate the stomach and cause pain and discomfort. The excessive fiber in the fruit can mix with stool and cause diarrhea, leaving you dehydrated.

3. People taking blood thinning medicines
According to the finding of US National Library of Medicine, papaya may get infused with blood thinning medications, that can cause and lead to easy bleeding and bruising.

4. Diabetic patient should avoid as it can lower blood sugar significantly
Fermented papaya may lead to lower the blood sugar levels in diabetic patients who are on medications, which can be very dangerous. So, it is always advisable to consult a doctor, especially if you are a diabetic.

5. People prone to fruit allergies
The enzyme ‘Papain’ present in papaya provides anti-inflammatory benefits to our digestive system. However, the same enzyme also contains a potentially harmful allergen that can be bad for our respiratory system. Excessive consumption of papaya may cause various respiratory problems such as shortness of breath, nasal congestion, hay fever etc. due to the beta carotene present in the fruit.

The papain present in the fruit or the pollen from flowers can lead to certain fruit allergies include swelling, dizziness, headache, rash, and itching.

3. Can we eat papaya after lunch?

Can we eat papaya after lunch

Many health experts recommend that papaya and other fruits should be consumed in a specific time, taking into account the excess sugar content in fruits. Therefore, with all the recognized health benefits of eating papaya, people suggest that one should know when to eat it.

Papaya is a super fruit and a powerful natural source of essential nutrients; however, it is important to know that you cannot eat papaya at any time of the day. In particular, you should avoid eating them immediately after eating your meal.

The following are three reasons why you do not eat papaya immediately after eating your meal:

1. One of the most common issues in papaya is the sugar, carbohydrates, and the bacteria present in it can cause digestive problems, which can disrupt your digestive system. Eating papaya immediately after a meal is not a good idea, as it may not be digested properly.

2. The nutrients in papaya may not be absorbed properly if you eat after meal. You need to give a small gap of at least 30 minutes between meals and snacks of papaya fruit.

3. Papaya can be eaten at any time you like. But if you eat papaya after a meal, it usually simply turns into sugar and is stored in your body and can cause a person to gain weight. So it is better to eat papaya or any fruit approx. 3 hours before meals.

You can have 2 slices of papaya in breakfast, and then eat a proper lunch. Or you can even eat some papaya during a tea break, and then have your dinner after 3 hours. You can make a healthy breakfast Including papaya in morning diet.

4. Should papaya be eaten at night? Or can we eat papaya before sleep?

Yes, you can eat papaya at any time you like and of course, at night too, as it acts as a laxative and cleans the colon. It helps correct constipation. But, one thing you should know that fruits should be avoided just hours after the meals. The reason behind it, when you eat fruits just after a meal, they usually just turn to sugar and gets stored in your body and can cause one to put on weight.

If you want to have fruits try to leave at least a gap of 3 hours after meals. So if you want to eat papaya at night, plan your dinner accordingly.

5. What is the best time to eat papaya?

You may be familiar with the fact that papaya is good for digestion and detoxification. Papaya is a good fruit that support weight loss.

The best time to eat papaya is in the morning, for breakfast, pair 2 slices of papaya with a source of good quality protein and a small amount of healthy fats.  

As a healthy snack, you can eat papaya in between lunch and dinner at evening as evening snacks, it helps you stay full for longer and help you to resist those high calories harmful evening snacks that you may feel tempted to eat, before dinner. You can have your dinner after 3 hours of it.

6. Can we eat papaya early in the morning on an empty stomach?

Yes, it is good to eat papaya on an empty stomach early in the morning; we can eat this fruit as it cleans the digestive tract of toxins and is excellent for smooth bowel movement due to the digestive enzymes contain in papaya.

It can keep you away from digestive disorders like bloating, upset stomach and constipation. As papaya is a rich source of vitamin A and C, it helps boost the immune system keeping illnesses and infections away.

But you need to avoid eating anything after having papayas for at least an hour. This yellowish-orange colored fruit is considered to be an excellent source of fiber besides being low in calories and bad cholesterol that can be a precursor to heart disease keeping weight and cholesterol in check.

Eating papaya in your morning breakfast routine can also help weight loss. The low calorie content combined with fiber helps keep one fuller for longer by keeping away hunger and unnecessary craving for foods. Papaya is one of the best healthy breakfast options.

7. Is it good to eat unripe papaya?

Unripe papaya is not SAFE to eat raw. It is unsafe when taken by mouth. Unripe papaya contains papaya latex, which contains an enzyme called papain. Eating large amounts of papain is harmful and may damage the esophagus.

Unripe papaya should always be cooked before eating and should be avoided especially during pregnancy. As unripe papaya is high in latex, it can lead to nausea and vomiting also. It also contains a chemical known as carpain that can kill certain parasites and might affect the central nervous system.

8. What happens if we eat papaya during period?

It is usually suggested that women should consume cold food items during menstruation. Papaya is considered as a hot food. Still, you can eat papaya if you are having normal periods. Even some health experts consider it as taboo to avoid eating any fruit during menstruation.

Women suffer from conditions like severe period pain, irregular and delayed periods. Papaya can help a lot to deal with these conditions. Papaya contains a rich source of carotene which helps in contracting the uterus muscles, speed up the production of oestrogen in the body, and helps shed the uterine lining which can induce periods and eases the painful flow during that time of the month.

Unripe papaya can induce the uterine contractions which may cause early periods, so it is suggested to eat unripe papaya for at least 18-24 hours before the estimated date of the cycle.

9. Does eating papaya avoid pregnancy?

Ripe papaya is good, healthy, and safe fruit option for pregnant women while unripe papaya UNSAFE. Since ages people are using papaya as a food to abort an unwanted pregnancy. Consuming unripe papaya during pregnancy is a strict NO!

The followings are the complications pregnant women may face during pregnancy from eating unripe papaya:

1. The latex or active enzyme papain present in unripe papaya may trigger the contraction in the uterus, which causes miscarriage. It is so damaging during pregnancy that it can lead to premature labor pain.

2. It can also weaken vital membranes that support the fetus to survive.

3. The common allergen property could lead to certain dangerous allergies reaction include swelling, dizziness, headache, rash, and itching. 

Hence, avoiding eating it completely is the key and best way to stay safe and healthy.

10. Can papaya cause an abortion?

Eating ripe papaya is considered as a healthy fruit option for pregnant women. So eating ripe papaya is safe for the pregnant women, while unripe papaya is UNSAFE and can lead to abortions or preterm labor. Elders often warn pregnant women against papaya intake to avoid the risk of miscarriage.

This happens because of the active proteolytic enzymes called as papain found in latex – the white milky fluid that comes out of a raw papaya.

A small bowl of raw papaya may stimulate the estrogen synthesis and in turn it can contracts the uterus and induces periods in women in their first trimester. Thus health experts suggest pregnant women to completely avoid the consumption of raw papaya.