Papaya is that sweet and musky fruit that has a butter-like consistency. Way back, it has been called as the ‘fruit of the angels‘, by Christopher Columbus. So, there seems to be something quite special about it, we suppose? Well, we suppose right. There are so many different ways on how to eat papaya fruit. So many ways we can include them in our meals and the benefits this fruit provides are various. Before, it has been considered exotic. However, now it can be found in stores all throughout the year.
Papayas have an orange-colored complexion with yellow or pink hues. They contain black seeds on the inside which are surrounded by a somewhat gelatinous like substance. The seeds are edible and the fruit in general contains an enzyme called papain. Something that helps in digesting proteins.
As mentioned, the papaya health benefits are various. They are rich in antioxidant nutrients like carotenes, vitamin C and flavonoids, the B vitamins, folate and pantothenic acid and minerals, potassium, copper, magnesium and fiber. According to research, this fruit has more vitamin C than an orange. The vitamin is important in preventing cardiovascular disease, stroke, stomach cancer, breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, as well as supporting your immune system. It also has 31 percent of the RDA of vitamin A, important in regulating gene expression, red blood cells production and more.
How to Eat Papaya
First of all, not only can this fruit be included in salads and meals but it can also be eaten as it is. One issue, however, would be how exactly do we cut the papaya fruit and not waste any part of it?
- Cut the papaya in half lengthwise using a knife on a cutting board.
- Open the papaya into two sections.
- Using a spoon, scrape out the seeds. Try not to cut too deep with the spoon if you don’t want to lose any bit of the fruit.
- Scoop out the fruit, put it in a bowl and there you go!
- You can cut the fruit in half lengthwise.
- Hold the fruit vertically and peel the papaya fruit.
- Turn the papaya over and slice it into wedges.
Papaya can be included in plenty of recipes, breakfasts, smoothies, salads and more. However, it’s very important for the fruit to be ripe. It shouldn’t be overly ripe or not ripe enough since the taste will be different than the preferable one. We know the fruit is perfectly ripe if it has a color of yellow to orange-red and it might even include a few green spots.
How to include papaya in:
- Smoothies: If you want to make a papaya smoothie, you can combine it with diced fruit, coconut milk and ice in a blender and you’re good to go!
- Salads: When it comes to including papaya fruit in a salad, then chop both papaya and avocado in cubes, you can add diced cooked chicken and add olive oil and vinegar.
Can you eat papaya seeds?
Papaya seeds have a variety of essential micronutrients although they might be disregarded when eating the papaya fruit. According to Health line, these seeds are high in polyphenols and flavonoids, which are two compounds that act as antioxidants in promoting better health.
These seeds supply a dose of fiber as well and increasing fiber intake might help in reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Among others, higher fiber consumption is also linked with a decreased risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke or obesity.
Some of the benefits of papaya seeds, as Health line lists them, are:
- Might help in fighting infections: According to studies, papaya seeds can destroy some types of fungi and parasites.
- Might protect kidney function: Research suggests that these seeds can protect and preserve kidney health. However, the studies are animal-based. Therefore, more research is needed.
- Might improve digestive health: Since these seeds contain fiber, increasing the fiber intake can positively impact digestive health.
What you should keep in mind when it comes to consuming papaya seeds:
There are some things one should keep in mind concerning papaya seeds:
- In some animal studies, it has been concluded that these seeds might reduce fertility.
- These seeds might be harmful when consumed in big amounts. Again, based on the studies done on animals and cells and not human beings.
But the musky fruit of papaya has proven to have a variety of benefits in relation to the immunity system, bone health, skin protection and more.