Putting together your weight loss diet can be a challenge with all the possibilities. What about papaya, is it good for weight loss or fattening?
Papaya is a kind of orange fruit, that when ripe you can eat raw on its own or as an addition to other dishes. This is not the most popular fruit there is but eating it can offer some health benefits.
Like most fruits, many people will benefit in terms of weight loss by eating more papaya. They are in fact one of the better fruits for weight loss. Find out just how good they are and how you can eat them in a weight loss friendly way.
Micronutrients in papaya
The first thing to look at is the amount of micronutrients in papaya.
Micronutrients are a group of nutrients your body absolutely needs to survive and thrive. Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. These are involved in basically every aspect of your health, including weight loss.
100 grams of papaya provides you with approximately (1):
- Vitamin C: 103% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Vitamin A: 22% of the DV
- Folate: 10% of the DV
- Potassium: 7% of the DV
And some other vitamins and minerals in less significant amounts. The amount of other vitamins and minerals in papaya is decent compared to many other whole foods.
You will need other nutrient-dense foods as well but papaya can get you a few extra vitamins and minerals.
Papaya also contains certain kinds of antioxidants, substances that help your body deal with oxidative damage. It is not entirely clear if and to what extent antioxidants help weight loss.
Fiber in papaya for weight loss
Another very important factor for weight loss is the amount of fiber in your food.
Papaya contains around 1.8 grams of fiber per 100 grams.
That’s a decent amount of fiber per 100 grams compared to many whole foods.
Fiber has multiple benefits for weight loss. First of all, it feeds your microbiome, the microbes that live in your intestines. The health of your microbiome influences your body’s health and weight. Feeding it well is usually not a bad idea.
Fiber also helps you feel less hungry without adding a lot of calories to your diet. Hunger and cravings can be a big pitfall for people trying to lose weight, so avoiding this is a big plus.
With the amount of fiber in papaya you can reduce the time you spend craving for food a decent amount.
Does papaya help you lose weight?
You still need a final piece of the puzzle. The number of calories in papaya.
Papaya contains 39 calories per 100 grams. 35.8 of these calories come from the carbohydrates (9.8 g per 100 grams of which 1.8 g fiber).
The amount of calories in papaya is not that high in general. Papaya is actually one of the lower-calorie fruits. Compared to many vegetables papaya is slightly higher in calories.
That being said, papaya is still generally a very low-calorie food that can help you feel fuller with its fiber content. This can help you avoid higher-calorie foods. For most people that, and thus eating more papaya, is enough to help them lose weight.
If you don’t like papaya you don’t have to go out of your way to force it into your daily eating habits, papaya is not a unique weight loss food. Other foods can be better for weight loss.
If you are gaining weight while eating papaya, the first place to look at is the rest of your diet and other lifestyle habits. Papaya is generally not fattening.
Do keep in mind that some people are allergic to papaya. These individuals should avoid this food anyway.
How much papaya a day should you eat?
Nutrition is always a bit of a puzzle in terms of what the perfect diet looks like. It’s a pretty individual thing.
Consuming enough vitamins and minerals is important for both your short and long-term health and weight loss. Papaya will offer you a decent amount of vitamins and minerals but you definitely need other nutritious foods as well.
That’s why something like a papaya diet, mostly eating papaya, is just plain bad for you.
If you have consumed enough vitamins and minerals you can see how much papaya still fits within your daily calories. The amount will be different from individual to individual from day to day, it can be 0 too.
What is the best time to eat papaya for weight loss?
The calories in papaya are mainly from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates raise insulin. Insulin in turn can mess with the production of sleep hormones. Sleep is important for your weight loss and health.
That’s one of the reasons why you preferably want to eat papaya earlier in the day or at least not right before bed or at night. The amount of calories in papaya is not that high but if you can make the better choice why not.
Papaya won’t be that fattening at night that it means the end of your weight loss journey but you preferably want to stop eating it a while before bedtime.
How to eat papaya for weight loss
Papaya makes for a great snack on its own but this fruit also combines great with other healthy foods. Here are some healthy dishes you can combine with papaya:
If you are looking to lose weight you want to avoid papaya juice and most dessert recipes with papaya.