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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

Commercial editor for global publications Gizmodo, Kotaku, Lifehacker & Business Insider.

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Last Updated on October 16, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

Why you can’t sleep through the night

The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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Stress

If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

Exposure to blue light before sleep time

We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

Eating close to bedtime

Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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Medical conditions

In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

The vicious sleep cycle

The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

You get a bad night’s sleep
–> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
–> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
–> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

    You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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    How to sleep better (throughout the night)

    To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

    1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

    What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
    • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
    • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
    • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
    • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

    2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

    What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

    • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
    • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
    • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
    • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

    3. Adjust your sleep temperature

    Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

    Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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    Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

    Sleep better form now on

    Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

    I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

    As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

    Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

    Reference

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