(NaturalHealth365) The Papayas connection to health has been known for a long time, but the evidence is growing stronger. Research is finding that this tropical fruit is restorative, nourishing, and protective.
I can’t image a better way to health than consuming a fruit that has the consistency of custard, with the right amount of sweetness. Papayas have been grown in the tropical regions of Central America and Southern Mexico. Today, the largest commercial producers of papayas include the United States, Mexico and Puerto Rico.
There are two types of papayas, Hawaiian and Mexican. The Hawaiian papayas are the ones usually found in the produce department. These are pear-shaped and weigh about 1 pound; the Mexican papayas are larger and can weigh up to 10 pounds and be 15 plus inches. The Hawaiian variety has a more pronounced taste, though both are delicious. They are usually orange, or yellow in color, with small black seeds in the center portion. The seeds can be eaten along with the fruit.
Papaya fruit is used for commercial and medical purposes. Not all papaya fruits get to market. The enzyme papain in papaya is used to tenderize meat, and is found in cosmetic products.
Papaya is a rich source of antioxidants. It is high in carotenes, vitamin C, flavonoids, B vitamins, folate, pantothenic acid, vitamin E, vitamin K. potassium and magnesium. It supplies a good amount of fiber.
These nutrients promote cardiovascular health, and prevent many common cancers such as colon cancer. It helps lower cholesterol, and removes toxins from the colon. Papaya contains the enzymes papain and chymopapin, which reduce inflammation. Papain is a digestive enzyme, and is important in the digestion of proteins. The seeds are a source of saponins, which have antimicrobial properties, and can eliminate intestinal worms.
The papaya thwarts cancer cells in the lab making this a very sweet deal. It has shown promise against hormone related cancers; in the case of breast cancer cells, research shows it can stop the growth and metastasis process. It may reduce a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer.
The University of Florida researcher Nam Dang, M.D., PhD and colleagues in Japan have documented papaya’s dramatic anticancer effect against a broad range of lab-grown tumors. These include cancers of the cervix, breast, liver, lung and pancreas. Researchers in Japan found the mechanisms of action in a type of isothiocyanate found in papaya known as BITC (Benzyl isothiocyanate} that underlies the relationship between cell cycle regulation and appropriate cell demise.
Papaya can be enjoyed right from the tree. Eaten raw it makes a nice juicy dessert. It is a high energy snack that packs few calories. Unripe papaya can be added to a salad or to stews and curry dishes.
The seeds are edible and have a sharp spicy taste. Sometimes it is used like black pepper.
No matter how you eat it, it will leave you satisfied, without adding pounds. Ripe papaya over a plate of greens is an easy meal. Papaya is the ultimate convenience food, just cut in half and digs in. When you focus on variety, the papaya is a nutrient-packed breakfast, lunch or dinner treat.
About the author Blanche has been a student of natural healing modalities for the last 25 years. She had the privilege of working with some of the greatest minds in Natural Healing including Naturopaths, Scientist, and Energy Healers. Having seen people miraculously heal from all kinds of dis-ease through non-invasive methods, her passion now is to help people become aware of what it takes to be healthy.