Papaya is a tropical fruit that is enjoyed by many people around the world. However, is papaya good for diabetics? It is rich in vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, folate, and potassium, which can be beneficial for diabetics. According to the Aditya Birla Capital , "Papaya is a nutrient-dense fruit that is low in calories and high in fiber, antioxidants, and vital nutrients that may help manage diabetes."

In this Diabetic Me article, you will learn more about:

  • Can diabetics eat papaya?
  • How is sugar content related to papaya?
  • How much sugar does papaya contain?
  • What are the benefits of papaya?

Can Diabetics Eat Papaya?

The short answer is yes. While papaya is high in sugar, it is also rich in vitamins like potassium, magnesium, dietary fiber, and vitamin C. A medium-sized papaya contains about 11g of sugar, which is one reason why it is important to pay attention to portion sizes when eating Papaya. The nutritional information is valuable in understanding the effect that food has on your body - not only are vitamins essential for our overall health but they can also help regulate your blood sugar levels.

For example, magnesium is a mineral that is essential for normal energy-yielding metabolism because it is involved in the process of converting food to energy. It also helps regulate your blood pressure and keep bones strong! 

How Is Sugar Content in Papaya Related to Diabetics?

Diabetes is when the body cannot control blood sugar levels, which is usually when a person is either not producing insulin (type 1 diabetes) or is insulin-resistant (type 2 diabetes). According to NetMeds, "Papaya is a low glycemic index fruit, which means it does not cause a sudden spike in blood sugar levels after consumption."

Papaya does contain naturally occurring sugars, but can actually regulate blood sugar levels because it contains certain nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and flavonoids. These essential nutrients help balance blood sugar levels by regulating digestion and in some cases can cause drops in your blood sugar levels.

Nevertheless, you should always measure your blood sugar levels after eating papaya and take note of how fast and how much your levels elevate or drop.

How Much Sugar Is in 100g of Papaya?

There are 11 grams of sugar in 100g of papaya. According to Healthline, "While papaya does contain natural sugars, it has a low glycemic index of around 60, meaning it won't spike your blood sugar levels as much as foods with a higher glycemic index." If you are looking for a less sweet fruit you can go for watermelon which only contains 6 grams of sugar.

The GI of a food is determined by its glycemic index, which ranks foods using their effect on blood sugar levels. Low-GI meals score between 20 and 49, moderate-GI meals are 50 to 69, and high-GI meals are 70 and above. This may be beneficial to people with diabetes who are attempting to maintain an acceptable blood sugar level.

Because the glycemic index (GI) of papaya is 60, it does not cause blood sugar to shoot too high too quickly.

One fresh papaya has about 67 calories, according to the USDA. Other nutrients include: 

  • 2.67 g of dietary fiber
  • 286 milligrams (mg) of potassium
  • 95.6 mg of vitamin C
  • 33 mg of magnesium
  • 31 mg of calcium

What Are The Benefits of Eating Papaya?

Eating more fruit and vegetables can help you stay healthy while also lowering your risk of developing some chronic diseases. Here are a few of the benefits:

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables reduces the risk for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers.

Eating papaya can help regulate blood sugar levels, primarily by improving digestion. Papaya also contains Omega 3 fats, Vitamin C, and Potassium. Those who are diabetic can reduce their dependence on insulin while decreasing the negative effects of diabetes by including more fruit in their diets while following a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise.

What Are The Benefits Of Eating Papaya?

Papaya is High in Fiber

Papaya is an excellent source of dietary fiber, with one small fruit (152g) containing 3 grams of fiber. As Aditya Birla Capital explains, "The fiber in papaya helps slow down the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream, preventing sudden spikes in blood sugar levels." Fibers will not increase blood glucose because they are not broken down and absorbed like other carbohydrates.

Packed with Nutrients and Antioxidants

Papaya is an incredibly nutrient-dense fruit, packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and beneficial plant compounds. One small papaya (152g) contains 224% of the RDI for vitamin C, 33% for vitamin A, 14% for folate, and 11% for potassium. It's also a good source of fiber, magnesium, copper, and antioxidants like carotenoids and flavonoids. As NetMeds explains, "The antioxidants present in papaya may help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which are linked to diabetes and its complications." The flavonoids in papaya, according to studies, can also help lower blood sugar levels.

Keeps You Full

When your gut digests sugar you need to slow your appetite up. This can inhibit eating unhealthy foods that are dangerous for a diabetic. Papaya is a thick fruit that is extremely filling and stops your cravings.

Low Glycemic Index Prevents Blood Sugar Spikes

Despite containing natural sugars like fructose, papaya has a low glycemic index of around 60. Foods with a low glycemic index are less likely to cause spikes in blood sugar levels, making them a better choice for people with diabetes. The fiber, antioxidants, and nutrients in papaya help regulate the absorption of its natural sugars into the bloodstream.

Helps with Digestion

Since papaya is very rich in fiber and water it's beneficial for preventing constipation and supporting a healthy gut. It also contains Papain - an enzyme aiding indigestion.

Immunity Booster

One papaya can carry over 200% of your daily dose of vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential in providing collagen which helps connect bodily tissues. It helps ward off many ailments in people including scurvy anemia weakness skin problems and gum diseases. It's good to have daily papaya as it will slow down medical conditions.

Beneficial for People with Arthritis

Because there are anti-inflammatory properties, papaya helps support the bones. This vitamin will aid in lowering the onset of arthritis. In people with diabetes, arthritis causes great pain as its bone structure deteriorates. So you can eat papaya to reduce the risk of forming arthritis.

Improves Eyesight

Papaya is a good source of vitamin A that improves visual clarity. People with diabetes who have high blood glucose levels can risk developing diabetic retinopathy. Papaya may benefit in healing or improving your eyesight.

Reduces Inflammation Linked to Diabetes

Papaya contains several anti-inflammatory compounds like papain, chymopapain, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. Chronic inflammation is linked to insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes or worsen existing diabetes. The anti-inflammatory properties of papaya may help reduce inflammation and improve insulin sensitivity. These anti-inflammatory enzymes and antioxidants can also help speed healing for diabetic wounds and infections.

Aids In Weight Loss

Papaya is also effective in losing weight as it lacks calories. Tropical fruit also has good dietary fiber that aids in weight loss and helps in preventing diabetes.

Papaya Leaves May Also Provide Benefits

In addition to the papaya fruit itself, the leaves also contain beneficial compounds. Papaya leaves are rich in nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin E, and flavonoids that may help lower blood sugar levels and fight inflammation. Some research shows papaya leaf extract may help increase insulin sensitivity and reduce oxidative stress related to diabetes. However, more studies are still needed on the effects of papaya leaves for diabetes management.

Papaya Top View

Conclusion

If you have diabetes, eating a lot of sugar is not good for your blood sugar levels. In fact, it can cause them to go up and create problems. One fruit that has a low glycemic index and high antioxidant content is papaya which also contains protein enzymes that helps indigestion. It's best to eat this type of food at mealtime or before bedtime so it doesn't interfere with insulin functioning correctly throughout the day.

Eating tropical fruits like papayas will give people a healthy boost of vitamins C and A while reducing inflammation, which helps prevent diseases such as arthritis from developing.

You could say that one Papaya a day keeps the doctor away.

Sources

At Diabetic Me, we are committed to delivering information that is precise, accurate, and pertinent. Our articles are supported by verified data from research papers, prestigious organizations, academic institutions, and medical associations to guarantee the integrity and relevance of the information we provide. You can learn more about our process and team on the about us page.

  1. BioMedCentral - Nutrition & Metabolism Antidiabetic properties of dietary flavonoids: a cellular mechanism review
  2. Health Line Is Papaya Good for Diabetes?
  3. Aditya Birla Capital Is Papaya Good For Diabetes? Discover 3 Surprising Benefits For Blood Sugar Management

About the Author

Ely Fornoville

Hi, I'm Ely Fornoville, and I am the founder of Diabetic Me. Being a type 1 diabetic since 1996, I developed a passion to help people learn more about diabetes. I write about diabetes and share stories from other diabetics around the world. I currently use a Medtronic Guardian 4 CGM and a MiniMed 780G insulin pump with Humalog insulin.

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