The pawpaw fruit is loaded with health benefits! If you haven’t heard of it, keep reading and learn about the delicious and nutritious pawpaw!
You’ve probably never heard of a fruit known as Pawpaw (also known as soursop). But, it was a highly popular fruit, especially back in the day of George Washington. It is actually native to North America, growing wild in 26 states. This forgotten yet delicious fruit tastes like a cross between a banana and a mango. It can come in a variety of shapes and sizes and has a white, fibrous meat. Here we’ll take a look at pawpaw and some of the amazing health benefits it can provide!
Both the fruit and the leaves of the pawpaw plant offer nutritional and medicinal benefits. In fact, the Native Americans have used pawpaw for many centuries for the healing benefits it provides.
The nutrient profile of pawpaw combines to help with a number of health problems. Check out some of the top noted benefits of pawpaw.
Many years ago, pawpaw extracts were actually used as a pesticide, helping to ward off mosquitoes and beetles.
Scientific studies done using pawpaw extracts have demonstrated that the fruit has the ability to help prevent and fight cancer, primarily by its ability to prevent cellular communication between cancerous cells which causes them to die off; the particular anti-cancer chemical contained in pawpaw is known as acetogenin. Aside from this chemical, the strong antioxidant profile of pawpaw gives it that much more of a strong anti-cancer capacity, helping to combat cellular damage that can lead to cancer. Pawpaw can actually be so effective at treating cancer, some sources say it’s the leading anti-cancer plant.
Lowers Blood Sugar
The fiber and antioxidant content of pawpaw help lower blood sugar levels, thus helping to prevent and manage diabetes. The lower blood sugar levels also helps lower high cholesterol levels.
An interesting and unique benefit pawpaw can provide is the treatment of lice. Pawpaw extracts have been very successfully used to get rid of lice, even when more conventional methods have been used unsuccessfully.
Another somewhat unique attribute of pawpaw is its ability to help kill off parasites, both internally and externally (such as in the treatment of lice).
High in Nutritive Value
Somewhat uncommon in fruit, pawpaw is comparatively high in protein, with more protein content than bananas, apples, or oranges. It’s also particularly high in vitamins A, B6, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, niacin, and vitamin C, and a number of minerals including magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and iron. It’s also an excellent source for a number of strong antioxidant compounds. The B-complex vitamins in pawpaw work to help the body convert the macronutrients you consume into energy. And, the high vitamin C content help boost the immune system and keeps the connective tissues strong, as well as aids in the absorption of iron and calcium.
Another rather unique attribute of pawpaw is that it can actually help metabolize other foods that have been eaten. Additionally, it’s low in calories and fat and is a great source of fiber.
The leaves provide their own list of impressive benefits.
- Aids in digestion, including that of grains and gluten
- Relieves heartburn
- Prevents cancer
- Treats acne
- Can act as a laxative
- Prevents cataracts
- Prevents aging effects
- Boosts immunity
- Fights infections
- Balances blood sugar (prevents diabetes)
- Can act as a diuretic
- Strengthens bones
The wonderful thing about pawpaw is that it provides so much nutritional value, but it’s also highly delicious to eat, making the process of nourishing your body quite delightful. Next time you’re at your local supermarket, inquire about this spectacular super fruit.