Christopher Columbus, the famous Italian voyager was right when he referred to papayas as the ‘fruit of the angels’.
Musky, soft, butter-like and extremely sweet, the papaya is a delicious tropical fruit. Papayas are spherical or pear shaped with dark orange coloured flesh and black round seeds encased in its inner cavity.
Though of American origin, its extraordinary taste and amazing health benefits made it popular across the globe.
Today papaya is available in markets throughout the year and is even grown in households. The Vitamin C rich fruit has become an exotic variety that is a very important part of every man’s diet.
The vitamin C and vitamin A rich papayas are powerful antioxidants and helps in preventing heart diseases. They also help in preventing the oxidation of cholesterol and protect the body from serious heart attacks, strokes and hypertensions.
The rich amount of fiber present is papaya also helps to lower high cholesterol levels. Similarly the presence of folic acid in papayas prevents the damage of blood vessel walls and reduces the risk of a heart disease.
By providing synergistic protection to the colon cells from radical damage to their DNA, the nutrients in papaya are also responsible for preventing colon cancer.
Papayas are rich sources of protein digesting enzymes like papain and chymopapain. Recent studies show that these enzymes are anti-inflammatory and help in healing burns.
So people suffering from asthma, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and similar diseases, here is a suggestion: Eat a lot of papayas!
Moreover it is the beta carotene in papaya that provides Vitamin A and C which is required for the proper functioning of the immune system of our body. Papayas are also a great cure against illnesses like ear infections, colds and flu.
The papaya is a zero calorie fruit. So if you want to stay fit or lose weight, papaya is your solution. It is common knowledge that carrots help in improving your eyesight.
But data reported in a recent study also indicates that eating three or more servings of the fruit may help in lowering the risk of age related macular degeneration (ARMD), the primary cause of vision loss in adults.
It’s high time you let papaya be a part of your daily diet. Add slices of fresh, ripe papaya to your morning cereal, lunch time yogurt or green salads and enjoy.
If you are looking for something more delicious, cut a papaya in half and fill it with cottage cheese, crab and shrimp or tuna salad. You can even use slices of papaya as toppings for desserts and ice creams.
Papaya is an excellent food option for diabetic patients because though sweet it has low sugar content. It prevents constipation and is good for your digestive system. The digestive enzyme papain along with the fibres present in papaya helps in maintaining a healthy digestive tract.
Papayas also provide the body protection against inflammatory arthritis, a form of rheumatoid arthritis. The fruit is also rich in lycopene. Therefore eating papayas and drinking green tea regularly may reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer.
Other lycopene rich fruits include tomatoes, guava, pink grapefruit, watermelons and apricots. The findings from a study conducted recently showed that people who consumed lycopene rich food were 82% less likely to develop prostate cancer than those who consume the least amount of lycopene.
Papaya is a good pain reliever for women suffering from menstrual pains. Papain also helps in controlling the menstrual irregularities in women. Everybody loves to stay young forever.
Remember, papaya is a good anti-ageing agent. It is also rich in excellent stress relieving nutrients. So find time after your busy schedules to enjoy a plate of delicious, mouth watering papayas.
Did you know that papayas are used in manufacturing shampoos? They are, because papayas help in controlling dandruff. Researchers have also found that the juice extracted from papaya leaves help in the treatment of dengue fever.
The seeds of papaya also possess medicinal properties. They help in treating intestinal worms in the body. From all of this you can infer that papaya is a wholesome fruit extremely beneficial to maintaining a healthy body.
Enjoy this delicious fruit that is available in different varieties – Asian, Hawaiian and Caribbean to name a few. Always choose papayas with reddish orange skin as those with yellow patches will take a few more days to ripen.
Though available throughout the year they are grown in plenty during summer and fall. Also remember to store ripe papayas in a refrigerator. You can enjoy the maximum flavour when consumed in a day or two.
The Mayans used to worship papaya trees and called it the ‘Tree of Life’. Just imagine!! So never forget to make this fruit a part of your diet. It is bound to create a positive effect on your body and keeps you healthy.