The great voyager Christopher Columbus used to refer to it as “fruit of the angels”. Papaya, also known as Pawpaw, with the presence of the enzyme papain makes it nature’s best fruit. Many find it hard to get by a morning without digging into a bowl of freshly cubed Papayas.
Papaya, succulent fruit of a large family of Caricaceae is one of the easiest and cheapest available fruit across countries. It is available mostly throughout the year these days. The papaya fruit is slightly sweet, with an agreeable musky tang, which is more pronounced in some varieties.
Mostly found in tropical climates it is incredibly healthy. Loaded with antioxidants, papaya not only makes you look younger but also boost your immunity.
Nutrition Value of Papayas
Here is what 100 gms of papaya has –
-Carbohydrates: 15 grams
-Fiber: 3 grams
-Vitamin C: 157% of the RDI
-Vitamin A: 33% of the RDI
-Folate (vitamin B9): 14% of the RDI
-Potassium: 11% of the RDI
* It is low in calories. It is a much better snack that your favourite cookies and which have almost 10 times more calories.
*It is an amazing source of Vitamin C and has almost twice the amount of Vitamin C than an orange.
*It is a great source of Vitamin A. It is amazing for your eyes.
*It is a good source of Folate which helps in digestion and your mental health.
* It is a good source of Potassium. It regulates fluid balance and reduces blood pressure in your body.
Benefits of consuming papaya are-
*It has anti-cancer properties
*it is good for your heart health
*it boosts immunity
*it protects you against skin damage
Papayas contain healthy antioxidants known as carotenoids — particularly one type called lycopene. Says, Naina Setalvad, a nutritionist, “your body absorbs these beneficial antioxidants better from papayas than other fruits and vegetable. esearch suggests that the lycopene in papaya can reduce cancer risk.”
Papaya is a great source of vitamin A, B, C, and K and is known as an excellent immunity booster.. It is great for the growth of body tissues, including hair and skin. It helps in maintaining collagen, the structural protein of connective tissues. It is said that a medium-sized papaya could provide you double your daily requirement of vitamins.
According to a study done by the Centre of Excellence for Biomedical and Biomaterials Research at the Mauritius University, green tea and fermented papaya work together as preventive means for diabetes. In some parts of India, especially the North East, papaya flowers are locally used as a preventive measure against diabetes. The bitter flowers are lightly sautéed in a little oil and consumed as a side to rice on a regular basis.
This orange rich fruit can be consumed for breakfast or first thing in the morning. It can be consumed as salad, or to make a great smoothie or even puddings. Or simply add it in curd to make delicious papaya raita.
Papaya is used to make halwas, coolers, chutneys down south India. Raw papaya is considered to be one of the best agents to tenderise meat and is extensively used in the making of kebabs.
The unripe fruit is added to curries and stews along with aromatic spices which lend in a delectable flavour. Let’s not forget the seeds! Packed with nutrients, they have a spicy flavour and are often used as a substitute to black pepper in some cultures.