There are many things you can do to reduce stress. Music, deep breathing, meditation and yoga are some of the most popular practices to manage stress and prevent stress induced symptoms like depression, anxiety and insomnia. Certain foods can also help you relieve stress. One of these stress remedies is papaya. Papayas contain a rich variety of essential nutrients which help detoxify your body and balance your hormones to minimize your body’s exposure and sensitivity to stress factors.
Antioxidants to Build Immunity
Stress can come in all shapes and forms. Sunlight, dust and pollution are examples of environmental stress factors that damage your skin cells and speed up your aging process. The accumulation of toxins can increase your body’s production of free radicals which cause cell damage and mutation, weakening your immunity and subjecting you to higher risks of inflammation and cancer. Papaya is rich in powerful antioxidants like carotenoids and vitamin C. These antioxidants naturally shield your cells from free radical attacks, and strengthen your immunity against opportunistic diseases.
Folic Acid and Vitamin B6 to Remove Homocysteine
Papaya is also an excellent source of folic acid and vitamin B6. These two nutrients also play an important part in stress management. They control the level of homocysteine in your blood. Homocysteine is a metabolic byproduct produced by your cells, and increased homocysteine levels often lead to higher stress responses. Both folic acid and vitamin B6 can help you eliminate your blood homocysteine and keep you from experiencing stress symptoms.
Additionally, folic acid also acts on your hypothalamus to aid in the production of an anti-stress hormone. Studies have proved folic acid as an effective treatment for depression and mood swings. Women, after menopause, can especially benefit from extra intake of folic acid. Studies have shown that postmenopausal women who maintain high dietary intake of folic acid have healthier psychological and neurological health.
Phytosterols to Reduce Progesterone
Perhaps the most significant impact of papayas on stress is its control on progesterone. Progesterone is a steroid hormone produced mostly in the brain, testicles and ovaries. It is known as a “calming hormone”, being able to ease pain and produce a sense of euphoria. Stress can make your progesterone levels go out of balance, and in such situations, you can exhibit symptoms like acne, fatigue, depression and mood swings. The phytosterols in papaya can help you maintain your hormonal balance and has been shown effective in the prevention of PMS symptoms, postmenopausal depression as well as post partum depression.
How to Alleviate Stress Symptoms with Papayas?
This question may seem like a no-brainer, but there are special ways to use papaya for maximum relieve of stress induced symptoms. Eating raw fully ripe papayas as a snack is just one such way. But you can achieve much better results if you cook partially ripened papayas in soups and various dishes. You can also mash ripe papayas and apply them topically to help you heal sun burned skin, acne breakouts and other skin lesion. Some studies even show that eating papaya seeds can help cure stomach upsets and gastrointestinal infections.