Healthy Food Database
The papaya is thought to be indigenous to the West Indies and northern South America. When the Europeans first saw it they called it a tree melon as many varieties are melon shaped. In Australia, the papaya is sometimes referred to as papaw, although there is some confusion with some people only using the term papaya (or Hawaiian papaya) for the smaller variety with slightly wrinkled, yellow skin and sweet red flesh.
Papaya has distinct orange-red flesh and is pear-shaped with a yellow-orange coloured skin. Different to papaw, it has a sweeter flavour so is great in desserts or on its own.
Papaya contains papain, an enzyme that helps digest proteins. Papain is especially high when the fruit is unripe and may be beneficial to those with digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome. Papain is also often extracted from the fruit to make digestive enzyme dietary supplements.
Papaya is a good source of vitamin C, folate, potassium, vitamins E, C, A and K as well as antioxidants such as beta-carotene, lutein and lycopene.
When selecting a papaya examine it for bruises, soft spots and any other indications of damage. The fruit should be firm, but not too hard. Don't be put off by the smell, it's characteristic of the fruit. Papaya will ripen at room temperature so if you don't need it for a few days buy one that is slightly green.
Store unopened at room temperature for up to a week - opened it can be wrapped in plastic and kept in the fridge for 48 hours.
Tips & Tricks:
Some sensitive individuals may experience respiratory difficulties from papaya. For most of us papaya is an extremely healthy food with antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Slightly underripe papaya can be used to make refreshing salsas in the summer. Grate the flesh and mix it with sprouts, cucumber, chilli and lemon juice. Serve under grilled or BBQ'd fish.
Also tastes great with a squeeze of lime juice and some cinnamon to complement the flavour.
Nutrition per Per serve:
Monosaturated Fat , g:
Benefits the Following Health Conditions:*
Cold and Flus
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
* This information is sourced by a qualified naturopath. It is non prescriptive and not intended as a cure for the condition. Recommended intake is not provided. It is no substitute for the advice and treatment of a professional practitioner.
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