Soft and creamy taste, aromatic flavour, rich orange colour and a myriad of health benefits to offer, that’s papaya fruit for you. The bright orange fruit with jelly-like black seeds is considered to be among and the healthiest and most nutritious fruits in the world. It is also very versatile as it can be enjoyed in a number of ways. Regular consumption of papaya improves the health of the cardiovascular system of the body and it also protects again colon cancer. Read on to discover more about this super food.
Considered to be among the healthiest and most nutritious fruits, papaya is an extremely versatile fruit which is endowed with numerous health benefits. Papayas are soft and creamy fruits, with a succulent and heavenly taste, a rich orange colour and a pleasant aroma. The flesh of the fruit is a rich orange color with yellow and pink hues. Inside the inner cavity of the fruit are black, round seeds. Papaya’s seeds are edible, and are known for their medicinal properties. However, the peppery flavour of the seeds is somewhat bitter.
Going back to the luscious fruit, let us look at several ways in which papayas can be devoured:
- Eat ripe papaya fruit with a dash of lemon and seasonings.
- Cut the fruit into cubes and add to fruit salads.
- Press or blend with ice cubes to make papaya juice.
- Add papaya to savoury dishes to enhance the dish’ taste and flavour.
So far we have only discussed the taste and serving tips of the fruit. Even more important are the myriad health benefits of papaya that the fruit is noted for. Papaya is known for its nutritional, digestive, and medicinal properties. The fruit is an excellent source of antioxidant nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and fiber. These nutrients promote the health of the cardiovascular system and also provide protection against colon cancer. In addition, papaya contains the digestive enzyme, papain, which is used to treat sports injuries, trauma, and allergies.
In case you are a smoker then this is a fruit that should never be out of stock in your kitchen and home.
A medium papaya contains 2,313 micrograms of beta-cryptoxanthin. This orange-yellow carotenoid has anticancer properties and can lower risk of lung cancer by 30 percent, according to nutritionist Jonny Bowden. Beta-cryptoxanthin may also protect smokers’ lungs from the inflammation and damage that cigarette smoke causes. Although the scientific research on cancer prevention and carotenes is preliminary, eating papaya and other colorful fruits and vegetables is a great way to boost your antioxidant intake. (Source: LiveStrong)
Read on to discover the numerous nutritional and health benefits of Papaya, as well as some storage tips and our favourite recipes.
Fresh papayas can be readily available in stores all around the season.
Storage: Unripe fruits can be kept at room temperature for few days but ripe ones should be stored inside the refrigerator. Bring it back to normal temperature when it is to be eaten to get its natural taste and flavour.
Cleaning & Cutting: Wash papaya fruit thoroughly in cold running water to remove dust and any pesticide residues. Skin is bitter in taste and inedible. Remove skin with “peeling knife,” cut the fruit longitudinally into two equal halves. Gently remove seeds and thin slimy layer loosely adhering to the flesh. Cut the fruit longitudinally into wedges or small cubes.
How to Buy: Choose papayas on the basis of your serving size and timing. Pick up those with intact skin without any surface cracks, bruises or cuts.
The papaya fruit is very low in calories and contains no cholesterol; it is a rich source of phyto-nutrients, minerals, and vitamins.
Mineral Content: Papaya is a rich source of many minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and zinc.
Vitamin & Compounds: Papaya is an excellent source of vitamin-C, vitamin-A and flavonoids like β-carotene, lutein, zea-xanthin and cryptoxanthin. Papaya fruit is also rich in many essential B-complex vitamins such as Folic acid, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin, and thiamin (vitamin B-1).
Water Content: Papaya is 91 percent water by weight.
Carbohydrate Content: Papaya provides 39 calories per 100 g.
Papaya is a delicious tropical fruit which has a great taste, mouthwatering flavor and great health benefits.
Great for Skin and vision: It is also an excellent source of Vitamin-A and flavonoids like β-carotene, lutein, zea-xanthin and cryptoxanthin. Vitamin A is required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is essential for healthy vision. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties.
Great Source of Vitamic C: Fresh, ripe papaya is one of the fruits with the highest vitamin-C content. Research studies have shown that vitamin C has many important functions like free radicals scavenging, immune booster, and anti-inflammatory actions.
Cholesterol: As it is a fruit that is rich in fiber it lowers blood cholesterol levels. It contains enzymes that help prevent oxidization of cholesterol, which in return helps to prevent heart-attacks.
Improves Digestion: Papayas contain soft, easily digestible flesh with a good amount of soluble dietary fiber that helps to have normal bowel movements; thereby reducing constipation problems.
Weight-Loss: It is low in calories and high in nutritional values. Hence, it is a good food for those who want to lose some weight.
Boosts Immunity: It is rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin C that help in boosting the body’s immunity and hence is very good for those who are suffering from fever, cold or flu.
Medicinal Properties: Papaya seeds have been proven natural remedy for many ailments in the traditional medicines. The seeds are found application as anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, and analgesic, and used to treat stomachache, and ringworm infections.
Allergies: Papayas contain white milk like latex substance, which can cause irritation to skin and provoke allergic reaction in some sensitized persons.
Here are some simple and delicious Papaya recipes.
- Bright Eye Papaya Salad
- Melon and Papaya Tango
- Pineapple and Papaya Passion
- Papaya Shrimp Lettuce Wraps