Papaya is a good dietary source of potassium. It contains 264 mg of potassium per serving.
Why do we need potassium?
Potassium is an essential nutrient. It’s present in all body tissues.
In addition, potassium may decrease the risk of developing osteoporosis, as it regulates calcium metabolism.
Moreover, potassium is an electrolyte. It’s involved in muscle contraction and the transmission of nerve impulses. Intense exercise and sweating leads to potassium losses. We have to replenish it. A common sign of potassium deficiency is muscle cramps!
How much potassium do we need a day?
The recommended daily intake of potassium is 2,600 for women and 3,400 mg for men.
Children and teenagers require lower doses. Pregnant women require about 2,900 mg, while lactating women require 2,800 mg of potassium a day.
Healthy people can safely consume much higher doses. But, people with certain diseases, such as kidney disease, shouldn’t exceed the maximum safe dose. They have to follow a low-potassium diet.
Papaya is a good source of potassium
Papaya is rich in potassium. It contains 182 mg of potassium per 100 g. Moreover, an 1-cup (145 g) serving provides 264 mg of potassium.
A small papaya fruit (160 g) contains 286 mg of potassium, while a large papaya (780 g) contains 1,420 mg of potassium.
Dried papaya contains 484 mg of potassium per 100 g, or 194 mg per serving. Papaya juice isn’t high in potassium, though. It contains only 31 mg per 100 mL. In any case, you better consume only fresh papaya fruit. Other papaya products are particularly high in sugars.
Can I eat papayas if I follow a diet low in potassium?
People with certain diseases, like chronic kidney disease, type 1 diabetes, congestive heart failure, liver disease, or adrenal insufficiency may need to significantly reduce the daily potassium intake.
Papaya is considered a high-potassium food, as it provides more than 200 mg of potassium per serving.
So, patients who have to follow a low-potassium diet better eat small portions of papaya.
Certainly, they should consult their physician about appropriate potassium intakes.
Health benefits of papaya
Papaya is good for health. Above all, it may protect from many oxidative stress-related diseases, as it’s particularly high in antioxidant compounds. Antioxidants fight inflammation. Chronic inflammation has been associated with cancer, diabetes, and heart disease![7,8]
Moreover, papaya pulp and seeds may help reduce cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.
Papaya pulp is rich in vitamin A, B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, and vitamin E, as well as minerals, such as magnesium. Also, it contains traces of other minerals, such as calcium and iron. It contains moderate amounts of fiber as well.
Furthermore, papaya seeds are edible. They’re particularly high in phenolic compounds and carotenoids.
Other common foods high in potassium
Actually, nuts, seeds, beans, many vegetables and fruits are high in potassium.
On the other hand, animal-based foods, such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and milk contain only moderate amounts of potassium.