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What Are the Benefits of Papaya for Diabetes?

By Amy Rodriguez
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Papaya fruits offer many benefits to diabetics, including a low sugar food choice and an antioxidant source. Diabetics suffer from a condition that impedes insulin production within the pancreas. People who live with diabetes must constantly pay attention to the amount and types of food consumed throughout the day, ensuring that the body's blood sugar level remains level for proper body functioning. Among other healthy foods, those with this disease should consider eating papaya for diabetes benefits.

The papaya is a large yellow fruit found in the majority of grocery stores. In the center are numerous seeds that are typically discarded, allowing the papaya eater to scrape the sweet fruit from the outside skin. The yellow color denotes its high beta carotene levels, as well as offering vitamins A, B, and C.

Choosing to eat papaya for diabetes is especially helpful since it has low sugar amounts compared to other fruit. Many diabetics need to reduce their fruit intake since natural fruit sugars cause high blood sugar levels. Although papayas are sweet to taste, the glucose levels are relatively low throughout the fruit's edible portion. Diabetics can easily ingest their suggested three fruit servings a day, with papaya as one of the many choices.

Natural antioxidants within the fruit make papaya for diabetes another practical diet choice. Antioxidants prevent deterioration of the human body's cellular structures. Diabetics are prone to many ailments, including heart or nerve damage, caused by their irregular blood sugar levels. A healthy diet, incorporating papaya, can obstruct future cell damage for a better and longer lifespan.

Diabetes is categorized into two groups: type 1 and type 2. Papaya for diabetes can inhibit the progression from type 2 to type 1 diabetes. A more severe condition, type 1 diabetes requires insulin shots, since the pancreatic cells are actually being destroyed by the human body's immune system. Type 2 diabetes can stay manageable on a day to day basis with a healthy diet.

Diabetics should try and eat papaya for diabetes in its raw fruit form, as opposed to canned or bottled papaya juice. The fruit provides needed fiber for the digestive system, as well as a filling snack for a healthy body. In addition, papaya juice may have added hidden sugars that negatively impact the diabetic's blood sugar levels.

Papayas are commonly available all year round. Diabetics should look for a papaya that has little or no visual blemishes, along with a thick, intact skin. Some people enjoy eating the seeds, rather than discarding them, since they offer a peppery taste.

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Discussion Comments
By anon943731 — On Apr 03, 2014

Being Asian, I know this for a fact. papaya contains papase, that helps bring inflammation down. in fact, if you blend and drink papaya (no sugar please, just pure papaya) when you are starting a cold or cough, it will not continue to come out. I do that often. Enjoy papaya!

By anon935602 — On Feb 25, 2014

I did not like papaya, but about 10 years ago when I was in Ethiopia, one of my friends suggested I try it, since he papayas of Ethiopia are very tasty. I started eating it from that day without knowing its benefits. Now I have seen the benefits of the papaya on this site, so I am happy to eat it as I am a diabetic.

By anon352918 — On Oct 26, 2013

Does anyone know if papaya nectar is the same as papaya juice? If they are different, are there any benefits that one has over the other?

By burcinc — On Jan 20, 2013

@donasmrs-- Do you have type 1 or type 2?

If you have type 1 and have been adjusting your insulin properly for the foods and drinks you consume, it should be okay. Of course, it's better to have the fresh fruit but I know that's not always available. But you should avoid juices that have been added sugar.

If you have type 2, it's even more important to avoid juices and stick to fresh fruit. The reason is because fresh fruit has fiber whereas fruit juices don't. Fiber slows down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. Papaya is a fruit full of fiber, that's why it doesn't affect diabetes patients' blood sugar much.

Type 1 diabetics can adjust their insulin amounts to avoid a raise in blood sugar but that's not possible for type 2 diabetics who are only on a diet or on tablet medication. That's why it's important for type 2 diabetics to consume papaya in its fresh form only. This is true for all fruits.

By donasmrs — On Jan 19, 2013

I have diabetes too and I love papayas. But I've been drinking papaya juice instead of having the fresh fruit. Is this bad?

By bluedolphin — On Jan 19, 2013

I have diabetes but I don't have a liking for papaya. I guess that's why I never knew that it's one of the approved fruits for diabetics.

Maybe in the future, I'll give papaya a chance but for now I'm eating other fruits that are safe for diabetics like apples, oranges and pears.

By Azuza — On Jul 18, 2012

I never knew papaya was so good for you! I feel like I hear about the health benefits of other more commonly eaten fruits all the time, but I never hear anything about papaya. I didn't even know there was beta carotene in papaya. I usually associate beta carotene with carrots!

This is actually really good news for me, because I've been wanting to increase my beta carotene intake because of my eyes, but I hate carrots. I guess I'll have to start eating papaya more regularly now. Plus, it's always good to add more fruits with antioxidants into your diet.

By ceilingcat — On Jul 17, 2012

@Pharoah - I've used papaya tablets for an upset stomach too, and I also found them to be effective. And they taste a lot better than some other over the counter stomach remedies.

Anyway, I also like papaya fruit just to eat too. Unfortunately, the grocery stores around me don't carry papaya on a regular basis. I'm not sure if it's like that in most areas, but I feel like papaya is kind of exotic. So even if they are a really great fruit for diabetics, people with diabetes might not be able to find them!

By Pharoah — On Jul 17, 2012

Papaya fruit sounds like a great choice for diabetics! Unfortunately, a lot of fruits are high in sugar, and even though it's natural sugar, it still "counts" for someone who is watching their intake. So eating fruit that is lower in sugar is definitely better.

One other benefit of papaya that wasn't mentioned in the article is that papaya is really good for your stomach. When I was younger and used to get upset an upset stomach occasionally, my mom would give me papaya tablets from the health food store. They tasted good and really settled my stomach.

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