Which fruit is the top choice for longevity? Preferred by many centenarians

### The Health Benefits of Papaya

Papaya has a reputation for a trove of health benefits, earning it the title of the “fruit of long life.” It is considered one of the “longevity superfoods” consumed in the Blue Zones, where people live long and healthy lives. Headlines have even dubbed it “The #1 Fruit Eaten by the World’s Oldest Living People.”

### What is Papaya?

Papaya is a tropical fruit with vibrant yellow or orange flesh and black seeds. It is aromatic, juicy, and sweet, with a buttery, milky texture ideal for smoothies. While grown in various states in the U.S., most papayas sold in stores are imported from Mexico.

### Papaya Nutrition

Papaya is low in cholesterol, fat, and protein. It is rich in nutrients like magnesium, potassium, folate, lycopene, and vitamins A, C, E, and K. Additionally, it contains iron and calcium.

### Benefits of Eating Papaya

Registered dietitian Maya Feller describes papaya as a fantastic choice in terms of fruits. It is a great source of phenolic compounds and flavonoids, which are anti-inflammatory and offer antioxidant benefits. Carotenoids in papaya, such as beta carotene and lycopene, can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer.

### Is Papaya Considered a Superfood?

Feller does not label any food as a superfood, emphasizing the importance of a diverse diet. While papaya offers numerous health benefits, it is essential to consume a variety of fruits for optimal nutrition.

### Is it Safe to Eat Papaya Daily?

According to Feller, consuming papaya daily is safe and beneficial, as long as it is part of a balanced diet. Papaya seeds, although bitter, are edible and nutritious. Eating dried papaya seeds has been shown to eliminate intestinal parasites.

### Risks and Precautions

Avoid unripe papaya, as it contains papain, an enzyme that can be harmful, especially to pregnant women. Unripe papaya also contains latex, which may trigger a reaction in individuals with a latex allergy.

### How to Choose a Papaya

When selecting a papaya, opt for smaller fruits with skin transitioning from green to yellow or orange. A ripe papaya should be soft, fragrant, and slightly musky in smell. Papayas are available year-round but are at their peak during summer and early fall.

Original Story at www.aol.com – 2024-04-06 00:50:04

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