Papaya

Ever go into a grocery store and see a large spherical/pear shaped fruit that is green/orange and quite exotic looking?

Most likely you have seen this fruit, but you have not bothered to buy it or to eat it. This interesting fruit is called a papaya.

If you cut open a papaya you will find black, round seeds that look like fish eggs. Although papaya’s seeds are edible, they are bitter and I personally don’t enjoy the taste. The fruit of the papaya contains papain, an enzyme that helps digest proteins. Papain is extracted to make digestive enzyme dietary supplements.

Papayas are also a great source of antioxidant nutrients such as carotenes, vitamin C and flavonoids; the B vitamins, folate and pantothenic acid; and the minerals, potassium, copper, and magnesium; and fiber.

Papayas are also an excellent source of vitamins A and C!

All of these nutrients help prevent the oxidation of cholesterol. You see, when cholesterol oxidizes, it can build up in blood vessel walls, forming plaques that can eventually cause heart attacks or strokes.

Papayas are full of fiber as well and can keep your digestive tract flowing. Papaya’s fiber is able to bind to cancer-causing toxins in the colon and keep them away from the healthy colon cells. These delicious fruits also contain protein-digesting enzymes. These enzymes have been shown to help lower inflammation and to improve healing from burns.

So how do you choose the right papaya at the grocery store?

Avoid purchasing papayas that are very green in color or very hard to the touch. Papaya in this form can be usedif you plan on cooking them, but will not taste good otherwise.

Also avoid purchasing a papaya that is too bruised or soft.

Papayas that are partially yellow should be left at room temperature where they will ripen in a few days. If you want to speed this process, place them in a paper bag with a banana.

Try adding papaya to a fruit salad or your morning yogurt. If these don’t appeal to you, then simply eat it with a spoon!

Information taken from:http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=47

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