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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Papaya Discoveries

Papaya instructions... Peel it.  Cut it in half and scoop out and discard the seeds in the center and cut the fruit in chunks.  Add to an assortment of fruit like strawberries, peaches, watermelon, blueberries, etc.  It doesn't have too much flavor as a stand-alone fruit.  However, it's been fun to learn of some of its health benefits.

Papaya enzymes have been used for tenderizing meats because they act to break down proteins, explains the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Papain also appears to have modulating effects on the immune system and possible antitumor or anticancer properties, says the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Normally, your pancreas produces sufficient enzymes such as those found in papayas to digest foods and stimulate cell reactions. Therefore, papaya enzymes may be especially helpful for people who don't produce enough pancreatic enzymes, which causes indigestion symptoms such as gas, bloating and flatulence.
In addition to treating gastrointestinal and pancreatic conditions, papaya enzymes could potentially help treat lower back pain, sprains, tendinitis and strains, as well as chronic yeast infections, acne rosacea and osteoarthritis. Papain might help reduce the side effects of cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and prevent diabetes complications, and outbreaks of human papilloma virus -- HPV - and herpes and inflammation, Papain may help treat hepatitis C and rheumatoid arthritis as well. Talk with your doctor before taking papaya enzymes for any medical purpose. Papain can interfere with certain blood-thinning drugs such as aspirin and Coumadin, cautions the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. 

  • Check the outside. The outside of a papaya tells you a lot about what is on the inside. Green papayas are not ripe and must be stored properly to allow further ripening. Yellow papayas are ready for eating.  
  • Good papayas are slightly firm to the touch. Bad papayas feel soft, look shriveled and do not have a healthy green or yellow color. Bruising on the outside of the papaya is a clear indicator that the meat of the fruit is not going to taste well. Softness at the stem of the fruit also indicates that the inside is bruised or rotten.
  • Smell the fruit. Uncut papayas do not have a scent. Before eating a papaya, cut it open and inhale. The inside of a good papaya smells sweet and musky. A bad papaya smells rotted or fermented. Ripe papaya is usually eaten raw. 

    Papaya contains latex (the white sap that oozes out of an unripe papaya) which can cause an allergic reaction in people with a latex allergy. The greener (more unripe) the fruit is, the more latex it contains. When buying papayas, look for ones that are mostly or completely yellow and give slightly to pressure. Green, hard papayas are unripe.

    Papaya aids in weight loss. This fruit is low in calories, high in vitamins and minerals, and a good source of fiber. The papain present in papaya increases metabolism, digests fats, and assimilates carbohydrates in your body.Papaya is great for improving skin health. Its rich vitamin E content delays aging by minimizing the formation of wrinkles and giving the skin a healthy glow. Lightening soaps made from papaya fruit has been patronized especially in Asian countries for its beauty results. Papaya's powerful enzyme, called papain, has the ability to remove dead skin off thus encouraging skin renewal resulting in younger looking skin.

  • Read more: How to Know the Health Benefits of Papaya |
    Read more: How to Tell If a Papaya Is Bad | 

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