Papaya is an alkaline fruit grown in the tropical regions of the Americas and Southeast Asia. Before societies implemented modern medicines, people used plants, herbs and fruits like papaya to treat illnesses and health ailments. Historically, papaya was known to have many benefits for human health, including the ability to ease indigestion, heartburn and healing acid reflux.
Acid reflux develops when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. The symptoms of acid reflux are heartburn, regurgitation and indigestion.
Besides containing 10% of the daily recommended fiber intake per cup, papaya has papain, which is a key enzyme responsible for healthy digestion. Papain helps to break down food into simpler, easier form, to decreased stomach acid production and improved digestion. In result, papain can help lead to decreased acid reflux symptoms by aiding the body’s digestive workload.
In a recent study published in “Biogenic Amines,” 42 subjects who consumed papain experienced improvements in gas and bloating compared to 42 who took a placebo.
Eating papaya to help heal acid reflux is only one way to alleviate the issue. There are several other high fiber fruits, vegetables and grains that can be implementing in the daily diet to aid digestion. Apples, prunes, kale pears, mangoes and spelt are all foods that are high in fiber.
In addition to digestion health, papaya has also been traditionally used for antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, cancer prevention, diabetes and asthma treatment.