Wednesday 09 December 2009
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The Intriguing Health Benefits of Eating Papaya

Fruits are a powerful combination of phytonutrients and fibre, important dietary
components that help to increase resistance to disease. The best way to maximize the health benefits of fruit is to eat a diversity of fruits in a variety of colors since each has its own unique nutritional advantages.

When it comes to selecting a different fruit to excite your taste buds, the exotic flavor of the sweet papaya is one to consider.

Although not as common as the apple or orange, it offers a pleasing taste and texture all its own. What are the health benefits of eating papaya?

Papaya is good for digestive health
Papayas is a good source of an enzyme called papain that helps to aid protein digestion.

For this reason, it's often an ingredient added to digestive enzyme supplements marketed in health food stores. Because of its ability to break down protein, it's also found in most meat tenderizers sold in the grocery store. Papaya juice is often used by sufferers of irritable bowel syndrome after a meal to promote better digestion and reduce bloating and flatulence.

Papaya is a rich source of vitamins and minerals
A single serving of papaya provides a full day's supply of vitamin C. It's a good source of vitamin A and E, all of which are good anti-oxidants. The papaya fruit also has respectable amounts of the B vitamins, potassium, and magnesium. It shouldn't surprise you when you look at its rich, golden color that it's a good source of carotenes, an important part of any healthy diet.

Papaya is a good source of fibre

If you're still not getting enough fibre in your diet, adding slices of papaya to your salad or simply enjoying one as a snack can help. A serving of papaya provides almost a quarter of your recommended daily fibre intake. It's satisfying to know that something so naturally sweet is also high in fibre. Sure beats the high fibre breakfast cereals that taste like cardboard!

Papaya has an anti-inflammatory and good for immune function
With the high anti-oxidant content of papaya, it's not surprising this tasty fruit helps to reduce inflammation and strengthen the immune system. Although most fruits have these properties, papaya stands out because of its high papain content. Papain has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.

One caveat.

The papain found in papaya has been used in the past to treat skin ulcers and infection. There appears to be a high rate of hypersensitivity to papain when applied topically to the skin. This is particularly true of people who have latex allergies. For this reason, ointments and creams containing papain have been removed from the market by the FDA, although papain is still used as a digestive aid.

The best way to get your papain? By biting into a sweet, fresh papaya slice of papaya.


How to Eat Papaya
What's the easiest way to eat a fresh, ripe papaya?

First, cut it in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds (or leave them in - they are safe to eat).

Now simply eat the fruit out of the peel with a spoon or a melon baller.

Or you can peel the skin away from each half and then cut the fruit into slices or cubes to add to a smoothie or a salad.




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