The papaya has two types, the Hawaiian and the Mexican. What you commonly see in the supermarkets are the Hawaiian varieties. This fruit weighs about one pound and has a yellow skin when ripe. It is similar to the appearance of a pear, but only bigger. The flesh is generally pinkish or bright orange, with small black seeds in the center of the fruit.
The Mexican papaya variety is much larger than the Hawaiian papaya, since it can weigh up to 10 pounds and over 15 inches long. The flesh is usually orange, yellow, or pink. A ripe papaya tastes juicy and sweet, though the Mexican papaya is less intense than the Hawaiian type. Also, the seeds are edible which have a spicy flavor.
Referred to as “The fruit of angels” by Christopher Columbus, the papaya is a native of southern Mexico and neighboring Central America. It has been cultivated in Hawaii since the 1920s. Now, it is certainly present in all tropical and subtropical countries, but the largest producers of papayas are the United States, Puerto Rico, and Mexico.
The papaya is rich in alkaline-forming elements. This fruit helps the system by eating papaya to balance the acidity of our body. You can discourage the children from eating too much sugary foods by giving them papayas.
The health benefits of a papaya cannot be equated to the promise of nutritional pills and supplements. Nutrition experts always advise the intake of fruits for optimum health as they are loaded with all the health benefits. Fruits like papaya are a gold mine of vitamins, minerals, and fibers that is very ideal to consume a good amount of servings every day.
From the group of yellow and orange fruits, papaya is a recommended pick. It is rich in anti-oxidants, vitamin B, pantothenic acid, potassium, magnesium, folate, minerals, and fiber. All these nutrients work together to promote the health of the cardiovascular system as well as give protection from colon cancer. The beta-carotene found in the papaya has vitamins A and C are both needed for the correct function of the immune system. This makes papaya a healthy fruit choice for preventing recurring illnesses such as colds, flu, and ear infection.
The fruit and leaves which contain the unique protein-digesting enzymes papain and chymopapain help digestion, lowers inflammation, and improves healing from burns. A papaya that is ripe is easily digestible and is excellent in preventing constipation. Studies show that eating papaya for two to three days has a tonic effect on the stomach and intestines. The papaya juice helps in relieving colon infections and breaks down pus and mucus. The seeds are good for expelling worms. They are anti-helmintic and are usually given with honey.
The ripe papaya, in particular, may aid the prevention of cancer in organs and glands with epithelial tissue. The papaya’s fiber can bind to the cancer-causing toxins, thus keeping them away from the healthy colon cells. In addition, the papaya fruit is known to prevent nausea, including morning sickness and motion sickness.