Papaya, paw paw – call it what you will but it’s one of the healthiest fruits that you can eat and we’ve got trees full of them here in Grenada. In fact, you’ll often find papaya in the tropical fruit salad that we serve in our breakfast buffet.
With the consistency of butter and the sweetness of honey, Christopher Columbus labelled the papaya ‘the fruit of angels’ and we have to agree. It grows year-round and is bright orange, sometimes with a little green or a little yellow on it depending on ripeness.
Inside the fruit, you’ll find black seeds that some say work wonders on the liver and kidney and also contain anti-inflammatory properties.
But that’s not all that Papaya offers when it comes to good health, let’s discover more reasons why you should be eating papaya:
1. More vitamin C than an orange
Papayas are also full of antioxidants such as flavonoids and carotenes, B vitamins and other nutrients in addition to fibre. All in all, it’s the perfect fruit to help protect you against colon cancer and its fibre will wrap around toxins in the colon to protect the healthy cells. It’s beta carotene, folate and vitamin E also help to reduce colon cancer. People at risk from colon cancer are advised to enjoy eating it.
2. Contains papain for digestion
Papain is a digestive enzyme that is very like bromelain which is found in pineapples. It’s also a non-inflammatory that can help with sports injuries, allergies and even join pain.
3. Protection against heart diseases
With their vitamin c and vitamin a, papayas could go a long way with helping to prevent diabetic heart disease and atherosclerosis. They can help to stop cholesterol oxidising, which can be dangerous. Once oxidation of cholesterol occurs, it can stick to the walls of blood vessels, building up that can then go onto to cause strokes and heart attacks.
The fibre in papayas can also work on lowering high cholesterol levels.
4. Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Papayas
Containing digestive enzymes papain and Chymopapain, the papaya can decrease inflammation and improve healing caused by burns. In addition to the antioxidant nutrients of vitamin c and beta carotene which also reduce inflammation. A lot of pain comes from inflammation, and when sufferers of illnesses such as osteoarthritis, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis get these nutrients, they can suffer far less.
5. Immune Support by Papayas
Beta carotene and vitamin c do a lot of good things for the immune system. They can help to stop viruses such as flu, colds and ear infections. When it comes to vitamin A, it’s of great benefit in providing some protection against macular degeneration.
Medical doctors recommend eating 3 servings of fruit daily to help protect against macular degeneration. With high levels of vitamin A, C and E the papaya is the perfect fruit to help protect the eyes (just as your mother told you to eat your carrots – and you never see a rabbit wearing glasses)
6. Rheumatoid Arthritis protection
According to the research results presented in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, those who eat foods containing high levels of vitamin c are less likely to develop arthritis. Papaya contains large amounts of vitamin c and offers protection for your joints.
7. Prostrate cancer protection
Research was recently published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition that found that men who ate fruit and vegetables that were rich in lycopene and drank green tea were afforded a reduction in the risk of developing prostrate cancer. Lycopene can be found in guavas, pink grapefruit, apricots, tomatoes, watermelon and papaya. In fact, it can give 82% of protection, so get your lycopene and your green tea daily and you’ll be far less likely to develop it.
8. Full of vitamins
Papaya has a great vitamin profile – as we mentioned earlier it contains a lot of vitamin a and vitamin C. It’s also a great source of Vitamin K, folate, magnesium, fibre, copper and potassium.
If you’re not visiting us and you’re wondering how to eat papaya, then you have plenty of options. You might want it on your porridge in the mornings, with your yoghurt or even as part of your green salad. How about cutting one in half and adding cottage cheese or even adding slices to grilled pork chop or fish. Otherwise, just cut it open and enjoy it with a spoon.
If you’ve read all these reasons you should be eating papaya, you’ll agree with us. What’s not to love!