Containing high amounts of vitamin C, folate, and fiber, papayas are a naturally sweet fruit loaded with a mix of beneficial vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Papain, an enzyme found in all parts of the fruit, also helps with the digestion of key proteins. This is just one of several ways papayas can boost elderly health. Here are a few others, presented by trusted respite caregivers in Douglas County.
1. Heart Disease Protection
Powerful antioxidants in papayas can prevent the oxidation of cholesterol to reduce a senior’s risk of developing heart disease since only oxidized cholesterol sticks to blood vessel walls. Dietary fiber in papayas also helps reduce cholesterol levels.
2. Immune System Booster
Age-related changes in the immune system can make seniors more susceptible to seasonal viruses. Just one papaya contains more than 200 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, a strong immune system booster.
3. Digestive Assistance
Beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, and folate in papayas may reduce the risk of developing colon cancer. These nutrients also offer protection against cell-damaging free radicals and prevent certain toxins from gathering in the colon.
4. Inflammation Reduction
Protein-digesting enzymes in papayas have been shown to naturally reduce inflammation. Elevated vitamin C and beta-carotene concentrations may also benefit seniors with inflammation-based conditions like arthritis.
5. Diabetes Management
A low sugar content makes papayas a great addition to a diabetic senior’s diet. Vitamins and phytonutrients in the fruit may also reduce the risk of heart disease in seniors with diabetes.
6. Better Eye Health
Flavonoids like zeaxanthin and lutein found in papayas make the fruit beneficial for seniors looking to maintain optimal eye health. High concentrations of vitamin A in papayas can also reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.
7. Stress Reduction
One study found that about 200 mg of vitamin C can regulate stress hormones. This provides an added incentive for seniors to start their day with a fresh, vitamin C-rich papaya.
Learn more about senior health and nutrition from Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior care Douglas County families trust. Our caregivers are expertly trained in proprietary care programs that focus on mental, physical, and emotional health. For more information, schedule a free consultation by calling 720-287-1685 today. We look forward to hearing from you.