Papayas were supposedly deemed the “fruit of the angels” by Christopher Columbus, and it only takes one bite to reveal how they earned that name. Not only is their sweet flesh delightful when eaten alone or added to a dish, but they also provide many health benefits. Here are just a few, highlighted by Santa Rosa elderly care professionals.
1. Ease Inflammation
A papaya contains special enzymes that fight protein called chymopapain and papain that have been shown to reduce inflammation and promote healing from injuries. These enzymes along with the vitamin C and beta-carotene a papaya contains all work together as an anti-inflammatory. Seniors with asthma, osteoarthritis, and other conditions affected by inflammation can reduce their symptoms by eating papayas.
2. Support the Immune System
Seniors are more prone to colds and longer recoveries from illness due to their declining immune system. This makes it extra important to focus on eating the nutrients the body needs to fight germs. Since papayas contain both vitamin C and vitamin A, it can have a stimulating effect on a senior’s immune system.
3. Promote Weight Management
Everyone craves a sweet now and then, and a papaya can satisfy a craving while only adding 120 calories to a senior’s intake. Since it is a low-fat food that is full of fiber, it also promotes digestion and helps a senior to feel full longer. A papaya can also be prepared in seconds so a senior has a quick way to satisfy a sweet tooth before turning to less healthy options.
4. Prevent Macular Degeneration
Vitamin A has been shown to prevent macular degeneration, and papayas are an excellent source of this important nutrient. Papayas also contain flavonoids that are like beta-carotene, and they can be just as effective as carrots for increasing eye health.
5. Reduce the Signs of Aging
If there was a fountain of youth, it would be overflowing with papayas. Each juicy bite of a papaya gives seniors a healthy dose of antioxidants that can prevent damage to the cells caused by free radicals. Since cellular damage is the leading cause of wrinkles and sagging skin, seniors can maintain their youthful appearance while enjoying this delectable fruit.
Interested in learning more about senior health and nutrition? You’ve come to the right place. While we are known for our dementia care Santa Rosa families trust, we offer flexible part-time care for seniors who live independently but could use help with everyday tasks like grocery shopping and preparing healthy meals. Find out more about the benefits of home care by calling (707) 843.4368 and speaking with a friendly Care Manager.