Papaya is one of my favorite fruits. It has a luscious taste and the color is just beautiful. The rich orange color of papaya is actually an abundance of concentrated beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin, two healing phytonutrients that provide powerful antioxidant protection against the damage free-radicals do to attack your body every day.
Whew! That is quite a lot of power for one beautiful fruit!
Unripe green papaya contains papain, which is a digestive enzyme that digests proteins. Protein is often difficult to digest for us as we begin creeping into those higher numbers. I suggest buying a papaya supplement if you have trouble digesting proteins because no one is going to be faithful to eat green papaya before every meal. If you have trouble digesting food in general and don’t even know which food group is causing your bloated stomach, your heartburn, acid reflux or your constipation, you may want to try a full-spectrum enzyme to help you break down all your foods.
Papaya is also excellent in helping your body reduce inflammation especially inflammation that is causing diseases like asthma, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Papaya is high in Vitamin C and E, which helps limit the oxidization of cholesterol in the bloodstream, that results in a lower risk of heart attack and stroke.
Papaya is high in Vitamin A which can protect the lungs and support respiratory health stopping diseases like a common cold and flu to emphysema. Also with that much Vitamin A, your skin appearance will surely improve.
Choosing a Papaya
Choosing a papaya is simple. Just buy one that is green with patches of yellow color. The tricky part is to know when to actually cut it open because unlike pineapple, papaya continues to ripen after it is picked; very similar to an avocado or banana. A papaya is best eaten when it looks the ugliest, with lots of spotty coloring and soft to the touch. Papaya that is mushy and has black spots and mold should be avoided because it is acidic and will have a harmful effect on your body.
Like an avocado, papaya is best bought green and then allowed to ripen on your counter. A whole papaya will not ripen in the refrigerator. When the day comes that your papaya is ripe, you need to cut and eat it! Waiting another day could mean the difference between wonderful or ruined. I cut mine and put it in a Tupperware just to chill. It’s usually gone pretty quickly.
The Simple Way to Cut Papaya
- Cut ripe papaya in half and spoon out the seeds from the center.
- Cut off the peel with a sharp knife.
- Cut papaya into small bite-size pieces and enjoy!
Scrumptious Papaya Smoothie Recipe
Freeze your cut papaya overnight. Blend 2 or 3 cups of frozen papaya with 1 can of organic coconut cream and a pinch of cinnamon. So Easy and so good.
If you are adventurous, don’t throw those seeds away. They have a peppery taste and can be eaten on a sandwich or added to a poppy seed dressing. So Yum!