papaya good for diabetes

Is Papaya Good for Diabetes? What You Need to Know

Can a diabetic patient eat papaya fruit? How is papaya good for diabetes? Here we’ll see its immense health benefits for diabetics.

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Diabetes affects more and more people around the world. Like many people, if you are diabetic, the constant worry of what to eat and what to avoid keeps you watchful. And when it comes to fruits, the high sugar content keeps you away from them. That being said, papaya is a fruit that has too many myths surrounding it for diabetes. And the question remains, ‘Is papaya good for diabetes?’ Can diabetics eat papaya regularly?

While some suggest that papaya is good for diabetes, others may tell you it can raise your blood sugar levels. With diabetes, you give your all to keep the sugar under control. So, the thought of having papaya, which has a mild sweetness, might be frightening.

In general, fruits are a healthy choice, even for diabetic patients. It should be part of your daily diet. Here, we’ll see the nutritional profile of papaya and whether papaya is good for diabetic patients.

The nutritional profile of papaya

First things first, papaya is a fruit native to Central America and is extremely nutritious. It is chock full of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Plus, the high fiber content in papayas helps improve digestion and acts as a natural laxative. A small fresh papaya has about 67 calories in it, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Also, the other nutritional value of papaya are-

  • 10 per cent DV (daily value) of dietary fibre
  • 08 per cent DV of potassium
  • 2 per cent DV of vitamin C
  • 1 per cent DV of calcium
  • 8 per cent DV of magnesium

In addition, it is rich in natural antioxidants, sodium, and vitamins A and E. As it turns out, all these nutrients are beneficial for diabetic patients to improve their health. That being said, the sugar content in a ripe papaya remains a cause of concern for diabetes. Let’s see how the papaya glycaemic index affects your diabetes blood sugar levels.

Glycaemic index of papaya

Experts suggest that by keeping track of the glycaemic index of foods, you can make better food choices for diabetes control. But what is a glycaemic index? Well, the glycaemic index (GI) is a rating system for foods (numbered 1 to 100) that contain carbohydrates. And it even tells you how eating these foods will increase your blood sugar levels on its own. So basically, it gives you an idea of what foods to include or avoid based on your diet.

Generally, the Glycaemic index is divided into 3 sections:

  • Low GI—range of 1 to 55
  • Medium GI–range of 56 to 69
  • High GI–range of 70 and above

Thankfully, papaya has a glycaemic index score of 60, which falls under the medium category of GI. This shows that eating papaya is ok for diabetes. And it will not increase your blood sugar immediately. Although it does not fall under low GI fruits like blueberries, it is safe for diabetic patients. But keep in mind that moderation is necessary to regulate your blood sugar.

 How is papaya good for diabetes?

 With diabetes, you either don’t produce a sufficient amount of insulin or your cells resist insulin. It leads to the accumulation of glucose in your blood, which ultimately increases your blood sugar levels.

Experts encourage diabetic patients to incorporate dietary fibres, lean proteins, and healthy fat into their meals. With that in mind, papaya fruit is rich in dietary fibre and can help you regulate your blood sugar levels in the long run.

Plus, it is worth noting that a cup of fresh papaya has about 11 grams of natural sugar, as per USDA. It does not lead to any significant increase in your blood glucose levels. On the other hand, ripe papaya can have anti-diabetes properties. As a result, you can manage insulin in your blood.

Also, papaya is power packed with flavonoids. It is a natural antioxidant that is beneficial in regulating your blood sugar. It shows that papaya is helpful for diabetes and is one of the healthiest snacks to eat.

Health Benefits of papaya for diabetes

Papaya is a low-calorie fruit, low in sugar content and high in dietary fibre. It aids in digestion and promotes weight loss as well. When it comes to diabetes, managing your weight is crucial. You are at a greater risk of obesity if your blood sugar is high. Eating papaya helps you feel full for a longer period. As a result, you can avoid any significant weight gain and keep your blood sugar in control.

Some researchers have shown that eating green papaya reduces lipid deposition in your liver cells. Papaya also reduces lipid formation and prevents your risk of obesity from diabetes.

Also, papaya contains the enzyme papain, which helps reduce inflammation in your body. If you are insulin resistant, you are more prone to inflammation. But if you overconsume papaya, it could lead to asthma and diarrhoea, as it is a natural laxative. In addition, if you are pregnant, seek health advice before you consume raw papaya.

The natural antioxidant flavonoid in papaya reduces oxidative stress. Additionally, beta carotene, vitamins A, C, and E help reduce inflammation and complications associated with diabetes, such as cardiovascular diseases.

Some research suggests that papaya has vasodilating and hypolipidemic properties. That means eating papaya helps reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol due to diabetes.

Ways to incorporate papaya into your diabetes meal

Often, you eat the whole papaya by scooping the seeds out and cutting them into pieces. But you can try to be versatile with papaya in your diabetes meal!

  • If you wish to have a fresh drink, you can make a smoothie out of papaya. Just toss in some papaya and other diabetes-friendly fruits like strawberries into a blender. But make sure you don’t add any extra sugar to it.
  • You can also incorporate papaya chunks into your fruit salad bowl. Even if you eat a chicken or tuna salad, you can add small bits of papaya to it!
  • Plus, you can boil raw papaya and make a savoury dish out of it. And it tastes delicious with rice or roti.

Not only is papaya good for diabetes, but it also helps to curb between-meal hunger. You can eat papaya for diabetes as a mid-day or an evening snack, as it improves your digestion. Even if you have prediabetes, consuming papaya is still a heart-healthy food choice.

Often, you don’t pay attention to the number of fruits you eat. But if you have diabetes, you need to control the portion size of papaya to regulate your blood sugar. You may have one cup of papaya per day as a snack. However, you need to avoid consuming papaya at night. If you have it, eat it in moderate quantities. Seek medical advice on what you choose to add to your diabetic diet. Eventually, have a healthy diet, exercise regularly and take your medications to keep your blood sugar in check!

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