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13 Unexpected Benefits of Papaya You Should Know About

13 Unexpected Benefits of Papaya You Should Know About

I’ve always enjoyed papaya because it’s both delicious and incredibly fun to say. However, there’s more to this fruit than pleasing linguistic backflips and the party the taste creates in your mouth. Surprisingly, papaya is incredibly beneficial to your health, and today you’re going to find out why.

1. It Supports Your Immune System

Papaya isn’t just rich in flavour, it’s also rich in both Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Both help to boost your body’s immunity to nasty illnesses such as colds, fevers, and the flu.

2. It Protects Against Macular Degeneration

Who wants to lose their site as they age? Data reported in a study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology indicates that eating at least three servings of fruit per day may lower your risk of age-related macular degeneration, which is the primary cause of vision loss in older adults. As I’m sure you’ve worked out by now, papaya is indeed a fruit.

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3. It’s Good for Your Skin

Papaya doesn’t just have to be ingested for you to reap the benefits. Applying it to your face as a mask is actually incredibly good for your skin. It helps to get rid of acne and skin infections due to assisting in opening up clogged pores. The fermented flesh of papaya, the papain, also helps to dissolve your dead  skins cells, which leaves your skin fresh and glowing.

4. Anti Aging

Papaya contains antioxidants that fights the free radicals in your body that cause aging. As such, the fruit helps you look younger for longer.

5. Healthy Digestion

The fruit contains enzymes that assist your body to digest proteins by breaking them down. As such, it helps to keep you regular, and can be particularly helpful if you’re feeling constipated.

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6. Protection Against Heart Disease

The nutrients and vitamins found in papaya can help to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol. This is important, because it’s only when cholesterol becomes oxidised that it’s able to stick to, and build up, in blood vessel walls. It’s at this point that it can form dangerous plaques that can eventually cause heart attacks or strokes.

7. Morning Sickness

Small quantities of papaya are said to help ladies whilst pregnant, by alleviating morning sickness and nausea in general.

8. It’s an Anti-Inflammatory

Papaya contains several unique protein-digesting enzymes, including papain and chymopapain. These have been shown to help lower inflammation, as does the vitamin C and beta-carotene contained within the fruit.

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9. It Fights Rheumatoid Arthritis

Research indicates that food with high quantities of vitamin C, such as papaya, can aid in protecting against inflammatory polyarthritis, which is a form of rheumatoid arthritis.

10. It Plays Well with Green Tea

Papaya contains an antioxidant compound called lycopene, and research has shown that regular consumption of green tea combined with lycopene rich foods can have a highly effective synergistic result. They work well together. In this case, green tea and papaya have been shown to reduce a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer by up to 86%.

11. It Helps With Menstrual Pain

The nutritional benefits of papaya continue to be more useful for women, as the leaves also works as a cure for menstrual pain. Simply take the leaf, tamarind, salt, and some water, and allow it to work its menstrual cycle pain relief magic.

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12. It Prevents Dangerous Blood Clotting

An active enzyme called fibrin that can be found in papaya can assist in preventing unnecessary blood clots. It can also act as a healing reagent for external and internal bodily wounds.

13. It’s Great For Your Hair

You might notice that some shampoo contains papaya extract. This is because it has been proven to control dandruff. Plus, it smells awesome.

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Tegan Jones

Tegan is a passionate journalist, writer and editor. She writes about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on June 20, 2019

Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

There’s nothing quite like picking up a guitar and strumming out some chords. Listening to someone playing the guitar can be mesmerising, it can evoke emotion and a good guitar riff can bring out the best of a song. Many guitar players find a soothing, meditative quality to playing, along with the essence of creating music or busting out an acoustic version of their favourite song. But how does playing the guitar affect the brain?

More and more scientific studies have been looking into how people who play the guitar have different brain functions compared to those who don’t. What they found was quite astonishing and backed up what many guitarists may instinctively know deep down.

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Guitar Players’ Brains Can Synchronise

You didn’t read that wrong! Yes, a 2012 study[1] was conducted in Berlin that looked at the brains of guitar players. The researchers took 12 pairs of players and got them to play the same piece of music while having their brains scanned.

During the experiment, they found something extraordinary happening to each pair of participants – their brains were synchronising with each other. So what does this mean? Well, the neural networks found in the areas of the brain associated with social cognition and music production were most activated when the participants were playing their instruments. In other words, their ability to connect with each other while playing music was exceptionally strong.

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Guitar Players Have a Higher Intuition

Intuition is described as “the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning” and this is exactly what’s happening when two people are playing the guitar together.

The ability to synchronise their brains with each other, stems from this developed intuitive talent indicating that guitar players have a definite spiritual dexterity to them. Not only do their brains synchronise with another player, but they can also even anticipate what is to come before and after a set of chords without consciously knowing. This explains witnessing a certain ‘chemistry’ between players in a band and why many bands include brothers who may have an even stronger connection.

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This phenomenon is actually thought to be down to the way guitarists learn how to play – while many musicians learn through reading sheet music, guitar players learn more from listening to others play and feeling their way through the chords. This also shows guitarists have exceptional improvisational skills[2] and quick thinking.

Guitar Players Use More of Their Creative, Unconscious Brain

The same study carried out a different experiment, this time while solo guitarists were shredding. They found that experienced guitar players were found to deactivate the conscious part of their brain extremely easily meaning they were able to activate the unconscious, creative and less practical way of thinking more efficiently.

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This particular area of the brain – the right temporoparietal junction – typically deactivates with ‘long term goal orientation’ in order to stop distractions to get goals accomplished. This was in contrast to the non-guitarists who were unable to shut off the conscious part of their brain which meant they were consciously thinking more about what they were playing.

This isn’t to say that this unconscious way of playing can’t be learnt. Since the brain’s plasticity allows new connections to be made depending on repeated practice, the guitar player’s brain can be developed over time but it’s something about playing the guitar in particular that allows this magic to happen.

Conclusion

While we all know musicians have very quick and creative brains, it seems guitar players have that extra special something. Call it heightened intuition or even a spiritual element – either way, it’s proven that guitarists are an exceptional breed unto themselves!

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Featured photo credit: Lechon Kirb via unsplash.com

Reference

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