According to the American Diabetes Association, a person with diabetes can consume any fruit as long as they are not allergic to it. However, it is best to steer clear of certain fruits and fruit juices that contain high amounts of sugar. Fruits are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fibers. This helps boost immunity and regulate blood glucose volumes. Fruits like peaches, pears, berries, figs, and papayas are rich in antioxidants that reduce the risk of heart disease. But is papaya good for diabetes? Let us find out.
Choosing the best fruits for diabetics with science
Glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how much the carbohydrate in the food raises your blood sugar level. Naturally, the best fruits for diabetics are the ones that have a low GI value. Pears, apples, berries, apricots, peaches, and plums are low GI fruits. Oranges, grapes, and papayas come under the medium GI category. The good news is that a person with diabetes can consume fruits having low and medium GI but in moderation.
Apart from a medium GI score, papaya is also full of other nutrients that makes it a great addition to your diet.
Nutritional profile of papaya
This cholesterol-free, low-sodium fruit is loaded with the goodness of some essential nutrients.
|Food Category||Quantity (Per 100 g)|
|Vitamins & minerals||0.30 g|
Health benefits of consuming papaya
Papaya has unique advantages for overall health. Apart from being loaded with antioxidants, papayas have also been linked with anti-cancer effects. Their consumption slows down cancer progression. We have listed the main benefits for you:
- Better cardiovascular health – Being rich in potassium and fibers, papaya is a great way to ward off heart-related disorders. The antioxidants present in papaya oxidize the cholesterol, thereby reducing the chances of blockage in blood vessels.
- Great for digestion – The enzyme papain, which is found mainly in papayas, helps with digestion. The high water and fiber content prevent constipation.
- Boosts immunity – Papayas are rich in vitamin C, iron, and folates, which help fight infections. Choline, a nutrient in papaya, reduces inflammation and aids in the absorption of fat.
- Anti-cancer properties – Papaya is packed with the goodness of antioxidants like beta-carotenes, carotenoids, and lycopenes. These reduce the damage caused by free radicals in the body, thus decreasing the chances or progression of cancer.
- Anti-inflammatory properties – Consumption of papaya aids in preventing inflammation. This helps to control conditions like hypertension, arthritis, and even diabetes.
- Good for skin health – The presence of proteolytic enzymes and antioxidants in papayas serve to heal wounds and scars, thus promoting healthy and glowing skin.
- Improves eyesight – The antioxidants and vitamin A present in papayas prevent the degeneration of the retina and enhance overall eye health.
How is papaya good for diabetes?
Since papaya has a medium GI value of 60, its consumption generates a hypoglycemic effect on the body. This helps in bringing down blood sugar levels to some extent. What’s more, papaya is rich in flavonoids that help regulate blood glucose volumes. So, being high in fiber and low in sugar content, papayas can be included as a healthy snack for a person with diabetes. The medium GI value of papaya does not lead to a sudden spike in the blood sugar level. Certain ingredients in papaya destroy the free radicals and slow down the progression of type 2 diabetes.
How much papaya is safe to consume for people with diabetes?
Papaya may be safely included in the list of best fruits for diabetics. However, it is always advisable to consume it in moderation. Even though the fruit has low amounts of organic sugar, it is safe to have one cup of papaya a day for individuals with diabetes. Doctors recommend that papayas are best consumed as a mid-morning or afternoon snack.
Ways to consume papaya
Is papaya good for diabetes? Definitely, yes. But, what are the best ways to include it in a diabetes-friendly diet? Let’s find out:
- Eat ripe papaya by cutting it into bite-sized pieces
- Make fruit juices or smoothies without adding extra sugar
- Prepare a fruit salad by incorporating other fruits with papaya, like apples, pears, and oranges
Know the risks
Consuming papaya in excess may end up increasing blood sugar levels. This causes complications for people with diabetes. Although papaya can be considered as one of the best fruits for diabetics, exercising moderation is the key. Having more than a fair share of papayas in a day may cause stomach upset and diarrhoea, as papayas provide a laxative effect.
People with diabetes must be very careful about the fruits they include in their daily diet. However, the answer to the question, “is papaya good for diabetes”, is a resounding yes. The key is to consume it in moderation. This pulpy fruit which is rich in nutrients, is a great healthy snacking option. It controls the advancement of type 2 diabetes by effectively regulating blood sugar levels.