GLORIA DE DOURADOS, MATO GROSSO DO SUL, BRAZIL - 2022/09/01: A view of the formosa papaya plantation in Mato Grosso do Sul. This cultivation is done by family farmers who aim to supplement the income. (Photo by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Raw Papaya: The Wonder Fruit You Never Knew You Needed

Be the first of your friends to hop on this new healthy food trend. It’s all about papaya. It may be the super-food you never knew you needed. 

This tasty fruit comes from Southeast Asia, it can be thrown into a salad for a quick and easy meal that adds a dash of variety-and health- to your mealtime. 

It may not get the attention of some of the more common fruits, but papaya packs a punch. A tropical fruit, it’s chock full of antioxidants that can lower inflammation, fight disease, and help keep you looking young. Yasss, I’ll have another.

Before sharing a few ways to incorporate the pap, take a look at the benefits. You’ll ask yourself why you it took you so long to discover this colorful fruit.

1- Powerful punch of antioxidants. The carotenoids found in papayas, can neutralize free radicals. Fermented papaya may be even better at it.  Studies find fermented papaya may reduce oxidative stress in older adults and people with prediabetes, mild hypothyroidism and liver disease.

2- Cancer foe.  There is research suggesting that the lycopene in papaya can reduce cancer risk. And positively impact people who are being treated for cancer. In particular papaya leaf extracts used in teas. The University of Florida studied it and gives this a big thumb’s up. 

3- Inflammation fighter. Inflammation fuels many of our serious diseases and conditions. Nutrients found in papaya significantly decrease inflammation markers.

4- Boost digestion. It’s the papain enzyme in papaya that helps us digest protein easier. It’s also considered a natural way to combat constipation and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) 

5- Beauty booster.  Papaya is known to improve skin. You can thank the vitamin C and lycopene in papaya for protecting your skin and reducing signs of aging.

If you want to make some room for papaya in your life, here are a few simple ways.

Breakfast: mix raw papaya in your Greek yogurt, along with nuts and berries.

Snack: Cut papaya into strips and wrap it with slightly salty ham or prosciutto. 

Salsa: Chop papaya into your fave salsa ingredients. Tomato, onion, cilantro, white onion and lime juice. Feel free to invite mango.

Salad: Try this as a specialty salad. The Thai way: Peel and grate the papaya. Grate a carrot, chop a tomato, slice red onion. Add minced garlic, sliced red chili peppers. Make sauce with fish sauce, lime juice and brow sugar.

Dinner: Chop papaya along with avocado and put over greens. Add diced, grilled chicken dressed with oil and vinegar for a meal.

A delicious fruit, papaya may just expand your palate and better your health, one bit at a time.

What do you think?

Pam Anderson: Hep C Survivor

Are We Becoming Sedentary Fish?