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Can Papaya Help You Lose Weight?


Papaya is a sweet-tasting tropical fruit with a squash-like shape, yellow-orange peel, and coral-colored inner flesh with seeds.

In recent years, it has been highlighted by some voices in the health community as a perfect food for weight loss.

While incorporating antioxidant-rich papayas into your diet may benefit your heart, brain, and digestion, you may wonder whether it’s also good for weight loss (1, 2, 3, 4).

This article reviews whether papaya can help you lose weight.

Although papaya may not target weight loss directly, it offers a nutrient composition that may support a healthy weight loss diet.

Papayas are rich in fiber, offering approximately 3 grams per cup (145 grams) of diced fruit (5).

Furthermore, papayas are high in water and low in calories, so they can be satisfying without too many calories. One cup of diced papaya contains only 62 calories (5).

Fiber offers several health benefits, including helping you maintain a healthy weight, increasing satiety, and lowering the risk of overeating (6, 7, 8).

In fact, one study indicated that fiber intake may predict weight loss success regardless of your dietary pattern. That means that people who eat a high fiber diet are more likely to achieve weight loss than those who eat less fiber (9).

Surveys show that only around 5% of Americans consume their recommended daily intake of dietary fiber. Adding papaya into your diet can be one way to help achieve your daily fiber goals (8).

To reap fiber’s health benefits, it’s recommended to consume approximately 20–30 grams of dietary fiber per day (10).

SUMMARY

Papaya itself is not a weight loss solution. However, like other fruits, it’s a good source of fiber and low in calories, which can help support healthy weight loss.

Although papaya may not be directly involved in weight loss progress, it contains several compounds that could benefit other areas of your health.

For instance, papaya is rich in antioxidants, which fight free radicals in your body that may otherwise lead to cell damage and chronic disease.

Some of the most potent antioxidants in papaya are vitamin C, lycopene, and the pigment carotenoid beta carotene (12).

Furthermore, papaya contains a unique enzyme called papain, which is sometimes touted for its ability to promote weight loss and fat burning.

Papain helps break down dietary proteins and is often used to tenderize meat. It’s also sold in supplemental form to help improve digestion.

However, while papain may improve your digestion, there’s no convincing evidence that it promotes weight loss or fat burning (4, 11).

SUMMARY

Papaya is rich in antioxidants, such as vitamin C, lycopene, and beta carotene. It also contains a unique enzyme called papain, which may help improve digestion.

Papaya doesn’t specifically cause weight loss, but it contains compounds that may help promote a healthy weight loss diet.

This fruit is low in calories and a good source of fiber — two qualities that have been shown to improve satiety and lower the risk of weight gain.

It’s also rich in antioxidants that may help protect your body from free radical damage.

Papaya is a great food to add to your diet, providing nutrients and fiber that may help support your weight loss goals.



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