If you are looking for a quick evening snack which is good for your health then Papaya is one of the options to look for. Papaya, a fruit with soft flesh and flavor which can draw you towards it. Because of its sweetness and its benefits papaya is loved by millions people all over the world. It is easy to cut and eat. In fact you can serve a Papaya as snacks in matter of minutes.
Although the ripe papaya is sweet many people also eat green raw papaya. In its raw form papaya is cooked and many types of recipes can be created from it. Papaya is a native of Mexico and South America but it is now grown and consumed all over the world. Some people also eat the leaves and crushed seeds.
Nutrients In Papaya
Papayas have 1.7g of fiber per 100 g and they just contain 43 calories per 100 grams. They are good source of minerals such as Calcium, Magnesium and Phosphorus. They also contain good amount of Vitamin C (meets about 75% requirements of your daily need), Vitamin A and Folate.
Apart from these they are also full of Phytochemicals, Polyphenols and carotenoids.
Health Benefits of Papaya
Green Papaya contains papain which is a type of enzyme which is used for many medical benefits such as treating pain and inflammation (swelling) following many medical procedures. It is also used as digesting aid as it can break down proteins and helps in digestion. If your child has parasitic worms in the stomach eating raw boiled papaya can help in killing and eliminating the worms. It is also used to treat tumors and ulcers.
Reduces Craving for Food
Papaya make you feel filled and reduces your hunger. If you are planning to diet or take less food then you should go for Papaya as it can decrease the cravings. This can help in controlling obesity and also cleanses your body.
Keeps Colon Healthy
Fiber in papaya can cleanse the Colon and keep it disease free. Folate and Vitamin C has been shown to prevent cancer cell. Fiber acts as prebiotic which means it helps the friendly bacteria in the Colon to grow. These bacteria release short chain fatty acid which repairs the colon lining and cell wall and also kills the Cancer cells of the colon.
Papaya enzymes and Vitamin C and Vitamin A prevent oxidation of cholesterol which causes formation of plaque. This plaque can get deposited in the walls of the arteries causing a condition called atherosclerosis which is narrowing of the arteries. This can lead to heart disease. Hence eating fiber rich foods and the bright colored foods such as oranges, spinach, grapefruits are essential for a healthy heart.
Inflammation can be caused due to many reasons. Eating bad food is one of the primary reasons of inflammations. Inflammations can cause many health conditions. Vitamin A and C along with the enzymes papain and chmopapain are known to reduce inflammation. Beta-carotene in Papaya also reduces inflammation. Many diseases are cause
Improved Immune System
Vitamin C and A also increase your immunity and you will become less likely to be affected by common cold and flu.
The fiber in the Papaya is good for health health as it can reduce the bad cholesterol. LDL which is considered as bad cholesterol can cause blockage of arteries of the heart and cause heart disease.
One of the reasons of Asthma is inflammation. Beta Carotene and other Phytochemicals in Papaya reduce inflammation hence reduce the chances of Asthmatic attacks.
It is also used in some traditional medicines to treat Malaria. For that the patient is given papaya leaves tea boiled in the water.
Interesting facts about Papaya
- Chistopher Columbus was so impressed by Papaya that he called them “Food of the angels”.
- Papaya and its seeds are used as meat tenderizers in many cultures including Mexico. The main ingredient which helps in making the meat tender is papain as it can break down the protein.
- Papaya stems are hollow. It is used for making home made candles by pouring molten wax in the stems.
- India and Brazil are top growers of Papaya producing more than 57% of the total world production. Papaya is a relatively cheap fruit and is consumed by many to help the digestive system healthy and they feel light the next day.
- It is the fourth largest fruit produced after Bananas, oranges and mangoes.
- Papaya contains pectin which is extracted and used for many food products.
- Keeping papayas in paper bags can ripen them faster.
How To Eat
If you want to eat ripe Papaya you can find it by pressing with fingers or thumb. If they are soft and orange to amber colored in the skin they are are ripe and good for consuming. If you want to eat raw papaya then they should be green and hard.
You can simply peel the skin, remove the seeds and cut the Papaya into cubes and serve. You can add little salt and pepper on the top to make it more delicious. To add more taste add some freshly squeezed lemon if you like that taste. Add it with other fruits such as Mango or apples to make your Salad tastier.
You can also eat raw Papaya, by boiling it first and then make curries or as Salads. Some people also like to make stews with raw papaya.
Potential Health Risk of Eating Papaya
Papain in Papaya can sometimes cause abortion. It is advisable for pregnant women to avoid eating Papaya.
Papayas contain a compound called Chitanases and it can cause allergic reaction in people allergic to latex. These people should avoid Papaya also.