Today while in a well known store that begins with the word “W” I noticed one of my favorite fruits over in the produce section. Looking at the label sticker I saw that it came from the same country where I normally get my papaya from at the farmers market. The price was marked to $1.28 a pound which was a steal so I had to pick up two! As I was walking out of the store the woman at the door who checks the receipts looked into my cart and saw I had the papayas. After she made mentioned that I didn’t have any of my items in plastic bags ( I’m all about trying to save the environment :)), she asked me about papayas, how they taste and how do I prepare them. She then preceded to tell me she heard papayas were very good for the body and that she was trying to eat better, she also told me how she feels so much better after she gave up red meat, chicken and basically started eating more of a plant based diet. Hearing her talk made me so excited! I told her how I liked to eat papaya, how to tell if it’s ripe and I also told her a simple smoothie recipe incorporating papaya. This encounter started me thinking on the subject of papaya and how undervalued this wonderful fruit is, it also got me thinking about my blog and what better post than a post about papaya to start blogging again. So after taking a long hiatus let’s talk about papaya!!!
Papaya also know as pawpaw or papaw originated in the tropics of the Americas around Mexico and Central America. What is so interesting about the papya plant is that the plant grows in three sexes, male, female and hermaphrodite. The male produces only pollen, never fruit, the female produces small fruit that if not pollinated is indigestable, only the hermaphrodite has male and female flowers which can self pollinate and produce fruit. So the majority of our papayas come from hermaphrodite plants. The most common type of papayas are red flesh papayas and yellow flesh papayas.
The benefit of eating papaya is great! According to organicfacts.net , papaya helps to aid digestion, regulate mentrual cycles, build up immune system, aids in weight loss, has anti-cancer properties, wonderful for skin health and it helps prevents arthritis. All this is due to the presence of 212 amino acids and a few enzymes one of them called papain, an enzyme that causes anti-inflammatory effects on the stomach. Papain also aids in the faster digestion of protein. But the big kicker here is that papaya has 144% of the daily recommended serving of vitamin C! This is perfect for someone building up or maintaining their immune system.
Finding the perfect papaya is pretty simple. For me it’s important to know where the papaya is coming from, I’ve noticed the sweetest papayas come from Central America for example Guatemela. Second is to look at the color of the skin on the papaya, you want to pick a papaya that has a yellowish orange color. If it still has green skin when you purchase it you can sit the papaya on your counter till it turns 85% yellow. And last the papaya shouldn’t feel hard, it should feel slightly soft when you press your finger into it.
After buying your papaya you can cut it opened lengthwise, remove the seeds and cut the papaya in horizontal slices, I find once you do that it’s easier to peel the skin off. You can then chop it up and freeze the pieces for smoothies later or just eat them up!
One of my favorite ways to eat papayas is in a smoothie. I’ve found that cinnamon and papaya goes extremely well together and a side note about cinnamon (ceylon cinnamon) has anti-inflammatory properties as well! Another post we’ll delve more in to cinnamon and its amazing properites. This smoothie recipe I created below is my go to if ever I have a taste for dessert, a milkshake or icecream. It’s delicious, healthy and medicinal.
Peace, Good Health & Blessings,