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Papaya - The
By Vaishali Parekh
Papaya – For Health
The papaya or paw paw is
native to tropical America, but it is now grown in most tropical and
sub-tropical regions of the world. The large pear shaped fruits grow
up to 8 inches in length approximately. Some varieties remain green
when ripe, but most turn deep yellow and orange. Papayas have deep
salmon pink flesh, with an abundance of grey-black seeds in the
central cavity, which are edible. The soft, juicy sweet flesh tastes
like a cross between melons and peaches.
The Goodness of Papaya
Papayas are rich in Vitamin
A and Calcium and contain large quantities of the enzyme papain, which
breaks down protein and can be used to tenderize meat. Papain also
makes this fruit very easy to digest.
How to Buy
Choose uniformly yellow
fruit. Sniff them, the scent should be delicate. Do not buy papayas
with damaged or shriveled skins since they bruise easily. If the fruit
is not ripe, check the skin around the stem end, it should be yellow,
otherwise the papaya will never ripen. Ripe papayas should be eaten
immediately. Fruit that is not quite ripe should be left at room
temperature until soft and yellow.
How to Cook
Simply cut the papayas in
half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds from the cavity. You can eat
the seeds (they have a peppery flavor), but they are not particularly
pleasant. Squeeze a little lime or lemon juice on the flesh before
serving. Papayas can be used in the same way as melons, served solo
with a squeeze of lime or sprinkled with ground ginger and served with
meat. The cubed flesh can be added to fruit salads, made into
ice-creams and fruit drinks or served with yogurt. Finely chopped
papaya is perfect with chilies in fresh salsa. The skin can be used to
tenderize cheaper cuts of meat. The papain however, prevents gelatine
from setting, so do not attempt to make a fresh fruit jelly, cold
soufflé or mousse with papaya. Papayas which are not fully ripe can be
used in salads, while fruit that is still hard is ideal for relishes
1. Consumption of ripe fruit
is good for the treatment of ringworms, green fruit treats high blood
pressure and is used as an aphrodisiac.
2. The fruit can be directly
applied topically to skin sores.
3. The seeds are
anti-inflammatory and analgesic and they are used to treat stomach
ache and fungal infections.
4. The leaves are used as
heart tonic, analgesic and for the treatment of stomach ache.
5. The roots are used as
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About the Author
Vaishali Parekh: I am a Nutritionist by profession and a foodie by
nature. The prime object of my website.