Is Papaya Good for Diabetes? Nutrition Facts and Benefits

Dr. Sandeep Agarwal

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Sandeep Agarwal


9 min read


s papaya good for diabetes patients? The answer is yes. There are a range of health benefits this tropical fruit offers. This is beneficial for people with diabetes, who need to maintain stable blood sugar levels. 

Key Takeaways

  • Papayas are a low-glycemic fruit
  • Papayas are also a good source of fiber
  • The fruit is also rich in Vitamins A, and C

Diabetes is one of the common chronic diseases that people suffer from these days. According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report, 30.3 million Americans have diabetes, and 1 in 4 don't even know it. People with diabetes have a strict diet to follow and must stay aware of it. So, is papaya good for diabetes? Let's find out. 

What Is Diabetes? 

It is a condition where there is too much sugar in the blood. The body needs sugar for energy, but too much sugar in the blood can lead to serious health problems. 

Diabetes is of two types generally– type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is usually witnessed in childhood or adolescence, and type 2 diabetes usually develops in adulthood. However, both types of diabetes can develop at any age, and you should get doctor consultation no matter which type of diabetes you have. 

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body doesn't produce enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps to control blood sugar levels. People with type 1 diabetes need regular insulin injections to maintain their blood sugar levels. 

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body doesn't produce enough insulin or the insulin produced doesn't work correctly. People with type 2 diabetes are often able to manage sugar levels in the blood with diet and exercise, but some may also need medication. 

If diabetes is not controlled, it can lead to serious health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, and amputation. 

Additional read: Signs and Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes

Are Diabetes and Hypertension Linked? 

There is growing evidence that suggests that diabetes and hypertension may be linked. For example, studies have shown that people with diabetes are more likely to develop hypertension, and people with hypertension are more likely to develop diabetes. 

The exact reason for this link is not yet known, but it is believed that the two conditions share common risk factors, such as obesity, insulin resistance, and inflammation. 

Treatment of one condition may also help to treat the other. For example, lifestyle changes such as weight loss and exercise can help to improve both diabetes and hypertension. In addition, medications used to treat one condition may also be effective in treating the other. 

If you have diabetes and hypertension, you must work closely with your healthcare team to manage both conditions. By doing so, you can help to reduce your risk of complications from both states. 

Is Papaya Good for Diabetes

Is Papaya Good for Sugar Patients? 

Is papaya good for diabetes? Yes, papaya is the best food for diabetes patients and has been known since ancient times for its many health-friendly properties. It is a nutritious fruit and is a good source of vitamins A, C, and E. It also contains carotene, which is beneficial for eyesight. In addition, papaya has high water content and is low in calories, making it an ideal fruit for weight loss.

How Is Papaya Good for Diabetic Patients, and How Much Should They Eat Daily? 

A small amount of papaya can help reduce sudden spikes in blood sugar levels. Diabetic patients are advised to consume just one cup of papaya daily, as although it is low in calories, the fruit includes a substantial amount of free sugars that you should not consume in large amounts. 

Furthermore, papaya has a glycemic index of 60, which is moderate, and also contains substantial quantities of dietary fibers, both of which assist in slowing down the absorption of sugar in the body, reducing diabetes symptoms. Therefore, healthcare professionals recommend eating papaya as a mid-day or night snack for people with diabetes who should avoid consuming it at night. 

Papaya may be eaten fresh, cooked, or frozen as a fruit, added to fruit salads, blended into juices and smoothies, or made into papayasicles (ice cream with natural fruits). It can also help manage diabetes by providing the nutrients of the fruit in addition to effectively controlling it. 

Papaya is a sweet fruit that has a lot of health benefits. It is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. It also has enzymes that help in digestion. All these factors make papaya a immunity boosting superfoods, aids weight loss, and prevents various chronic diseases. 

According to a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, papaya leaves can help treat diabetes. The leaves contain compounds like papain and chymopapain, which lower blood sugar levels by increasing insulin sensitivity. They also help in improving lipid metabolism. 

Sugar Contents in Papaya 

The sugar content in papaya is low as compared to other fruits. For example, one cup of papaya has around 15 grams of sugar, while the same amount of mango has about 30 grams of sugar. So, people with diabetes can eat papaya without worrying about the sugar content. 

Rich in Fiber

They contain both soluble and insoluble fibers. Soluble fiber helps in slowing down the absorption of sugar, while insoluble fiber aids in digestion. It makes papaya a good fruit for diabetics as it helps in regulating blood sugar levels. 

Rich in Vitamin A and C

Vitamin C helps in boosting immunity, while vitamin A is good for vision health. These vitamins also have antioxidant properties that help in fighting free radicals. Free radicals are responsible for damaging cells and causing various chronic diseases. 

Source of Magnesium

Papayas also contain magnesium which is good for diabetics as it helps control blood sugar levels. It also aids in the relaxation of muscles and nerves. 

Papaya for Diabetes

Glycemic Index of Papaya 

Papaya has a low glycemic index, so it won't cause a spike in blood sugar levels. The glycemic index measures how fast a food is likely to raise blood sugar levels. Foods with a high glycemic index are more likely to cause spikes in blood sugar levels, while foods with a low glycemic index are slowly absorbed and don't cause spikes.

Papayas are a good fruit for diabetics as they have a low glycemic index. They also help in regulating blood sugar levels and boosting immunity. So, go ahead and add papayas to your diet if you have diabetes. 

Is Raw Papaya Good for Diabetes Patients? 

The short answer is yes; raw papaya is good for diabetes patients. This tropical fruit is loaded with nutrients like fiber, vitamins C and A, and carotenoids, which are all great for maintaining blood sugar levels. Papaya is also a natural digestive aid, so it can help with some common issues that people with diabetes face, like indigestion and constipation. So if you're looking for a delicious and nutritious way to add more fruit to your diet, raw papaya is a great choice. Just be sure to eat it in moderation and pair it with other healthy foods to check your blood sugar levels. 

Additional Read: Yoga for Diabetes

Health Benefits of Papaya 

Papayas are incredibly healthy and have a long list of benefits. Here are some of the most impressive health benefits of papaya: 

1. They're a great source of antioxidants 

Papayas are rich in vital antioxidants, including vitamin C, beta-carotene, and flavonoids like zeaxanthin and lycopene. These nutrients scavenge harmful toxins and byproducts that can damage cells, leading to inflammation. The antioxidants in papayas can help reduce this inflammation, which is a significant factor in many chronic diseases. 

2. They boost immune function 

Vitamin C is a well-known immunity booster, and papayas are an excellent source of this nutrient. One cup of papaya provides more than 150%of the RDI for vitamin C. This nutrient is essential for the function of several immune system cells, and it can help reduce the severity and duration of colds and other infections. 

3. They aid digestion 

Papayas contain a digestive enzyme called papain, similar to bromelain found in pineapples. These enzymes help break down proteins into smaller pieces, making them easier to digest. Papain is also thought to have anti-inflammatory effects on the digestive tract, which can be helpful for conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). 

4. They improve heart health 

Papayas are a good source of fiber, potassium, and antioxidants like lycopene and beta-carotene. These nutrients have all been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease. Additionally, the fiber in papayas can help lower cholesterol levels and keep blood pressure in check, both of which are important for a healthy heart. 

5. They may protect against cancer 

Several studies have shown that the antioxidants and compounds found in papayas can help protect against certain types of cancer. For example, one study showed that lycopene (a compound found in papayas) might reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Another study found that beta-carotene (also found in papayas) may help protect against lung cancer. While more research is needed, these findings suggest that papayas may be beneficial for cancer prevention. 

Additional read: Papaya Benefits

Alternatives of Papaya for Diabetes Patients 

While papaya is an excellent fruit for people with diabetes, it's essential to eat it in moderation. If you're looking for other fruits that are safe to eat if you have diabetes, here are a few ideas: 

1. Berries

All types of berries are low on the glycemic index and high in fiber, making them a good choice for people with diabetes. Try adding strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries to your breakfast, or enjoy them as a healthy snack. 

2. Apples

Apples are another type of fruit that is low on the glycemic index and high in fiber. Eaten with the skin intact, apples can help slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. 

3. Pears

Pears are a good source of fiber and also have a low glycemic index rating. Eat pears with the skin intact to get the most benefit from their fiber content. 

4. Citrus fruits

Oranges, lemons, and grapefruit are all excellent choices for people with diabetes. These fruits are high in fiber and antioxidants, and they can help improve blood sugar control. 

5. Beetroots

Beetroot and diabetes have been closely linked recently. Beetroot is a root vegetable that is high in dietary nitrates. These nitrates are thought to improve blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of diabetes. 

Beetroot is also a good source of fiber, which can help to regulate blood sugar levels. Additionally, beetroot contains antioxidants and other compounds that may help to protect against diabetes. If you protect yourself from diabetes you can avail diabetes health insurance.

When choosing fruits to eat if you have diabetes, focusing on those high in fiber and low on the glycemic index is essential. Fruits like berries, apples, pears, citrus fruits, and stone fruits are all great choices. Talk to your diabetologist if you're unsure which fruits are safe to eat.

Published on 19 Aug 2022Last updated on 11 May 2023

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.

Dr. Sandeep Agarwal

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Sandeep Agarwal

, MBBS 1 , MD - General Medicine 3


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