Papaya Latin name Carica papaya, is one of the most nutritious fruits around. It is orange inside with seeds that can be eaten if you have a smoothie maker. The taste is sweet and tangy. The sweeter ones are the ones with wrinkle skin, it seems, and the sweeter it is the more nutritious it is. Papaya comes from Central America, originally, and then was passed on to India, Africa and Philippines and then Hawaii, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Christopher Columbus called the fruit the fruit of the Angels, maybe for its sweet taste.
Papaya has a high amount of vitamin C, carotenes (because of the orange colour) and flavonoids, which are antioxidants. The fruit is high in folic acid, vitamin E and A, potassium and dietary fiber. The good thing about papaya is that also contains high enzymes that digest proteins, which is called papain, similar to bromelain enzyme in the pineapple fruit. Papain is highest in the unripe fruit. It is used in many supplements and to tender the meat as well.
The health benefit of papaya is the same as any other great wonderful fruits, because of the antioxidants, the digestive enzyme and potassium, and fiber, helps with keeping the body in good condition and full of fiber and vitamins. In a nutshell, it keeps the healthy body, healthy.
When you choose the fruits, choose one that is a bit yellow, and it can ripen at room temperature in few days and develop a sweetie juice taste. If it is too green then, it will not become too sweet enough and if it is too smooth than it is not going to ripe in the right way.
There are various preparations for papaya. It is suggested to wash the outside with soap and or scrub the outside. You can use the seeds inside in a salad with lemon and cut the orange part in a fruit salad or salad. I use it in a smoothie maker with freshly squeezed oranges and or mandarins, half a lemon and with all the seeds. You can add blueberries or any other berries to increase the benefit of the smoothie.
There are various recipes with papaya, you can look it up on the internet. The thing with any fruits and cooking is that the vitamins will be destroyed by cooking or air, either partially or completely, so once you cut the fruits it is good to eat it as soon as possible or put it in an air tight container and in the fridge.
Reference and bibliography:
Murray M. & Pizzorno J. (2005). “The encyclopedia of Healing Foods”. Atria books; USA.
© Maria Esposito BSc (Hons) Nutritional Therapist – R-Craniosacral Therapist