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8 Surprising Ways Papaya Benefits Your Health

It’s no surprise that fruit is a healthy addition to your diet, but papaya goes above and beyond. Learn how a serving of papaya benefits your health and beauty routine.

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Fresh papaya natural facial mask peeling puree in white plate with spoon on wooden background.Nelli Syrotynska / Shutterstock

Reduce Wrinkles

The secret to young, glowing skin? Vitamin-rich papaya. The fruit is full of good-for-you nutrients and antioxidants (like beta-carotene) that help fight wrinkles. Treat your skin with a homemade face mask. Just mash together ripe papaya, lemon juice and honey until you achieve a spreadable consistency. Apply to your face and let sit for 15 minutes.

If you don’t want to DIY, pick up some papaya face masks.

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Young woman combing hair covered with mask, indoorsAfrica Studio / Shutterstock

Encourage Hair Growth

Full of folic acid, papaya can help stimulate hair growth. Speed up the process by applying the fruit directly to your roots. Mix together ¼ cup Greek yogurt, 1 teaspoon of honey and ½ cup of mashed papaya in a blender. Apply the mask liberally to your scalp and let sit for 30 minutes before rinsing.

Did you know bananas are good for hair, too?

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Papaya smoothie, selective focus.Tatiana Bralnina / Shutterstock

Fight Colds

Feel like you’re coming down with a cold? Add papaya to your diet. One fruit has more than a day’s recommendation of vitamin C.

If you have a cold, these recipes will help you make a quick recovery.

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woman hands holding some papayasKanea / Shutterstock

Reduce Cancer Risk

Papaya is rich in lycopene, a pigment that can help fight cancer risk. Plus, the fruit’s anti-inflammatory powers and antioxidant-rich flesh promotes overall well-being.

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Pretty girl with reading a book sitting on the windowsill.Andrii Kobryn / Shutterstock

Keep Your Eyes Sharp

Vitamin A is critical for keeping your vision sharp, and papaya is a good source of the nutrient. One serving of the fruit has a third of your recommended daily value.

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Funny photo of positive adult woman with smiling face holding in hands ripe fruit - orange papaya slices.Tropical studio / Shutterstock

Reduce Stress

Vitamin C is good for a lot of things—including reducing stress. Adding papaya chunks to your morning smoothie or snacking on them throughout the day can help you feel more calm when stressful situations arise.

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Summertime close up picture of two woman sitting near pool holding big plates with amazing sweet tasty tropical exotic fruitsAnn Haritonenko / Shutterstock

Reverse Sun Damage

If you’ve spent a lot of time in the sun, reach for papaya to help your skin recover. The fruit’s powerful combo of lycopene, vitamin C and antioxidants can help repair skin damage caused by the sun and prevent premature aging.

These foods are also great for skin health.

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Elderly woman applying moisturizing lotion cream on hand palm, easing aches. evrymmnt / Shutterstock

Ease Arthritis Pain

Fight arthritis pain with anti-inflammatory foods, like papaya. The fruit is good for your bones, and the influx of vitamin C can keep the pain away.

Note: Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Katie Bandurski
As Senior Shopping Editor, Katie connects Taste of Home readers with the best gifts, deals and home products on the market. An avid foodie and a holiday enthusiast, Katie is an expert at cultivating meaningful moments. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and watching Christmas movies.