Papaya is a tropical fruit that may be difficult to obtain fresh in our area, but can be purchased frozen, as well as in capsules and freeze-dried powder form. The enzyme referred to as papain is extracted from the raw fruit and made into supplements specifically for improving digestion and reducing pain and inflammation.
Dried papaya is also available. Make sure to purchase dried fruits that do not contain sulfur dioxide or other preservatives. You can sun dry your own or dry in a food dehydrator. Un-sulfured, organic, dried papaya “spears” (easy to hold chunks of dried papaya) make excellent teethers for older toddlers.
Here are some of the health benefits of papaya:
- boosts the immune system
- improves digestion
- helps with weight loss
- fights cancer
- regulates menstrual cycle
- improves kidney & liver health
- protects eye health
- helps maintain healthy cholesterol
- moisturizes & nourishes skin & hair
- can be helpful in preventing arthritis
- helps maintain blood sugar levels
- renews muscle tissue.
The nutrition profile of papaya is: Vitamins C & A, folate, potassium, magnesium, calcium and fiber; as well as antioxidants that prevent oxidization and fight free radicals which can prevent and help treat diseases. One large, fresh papaya provides 235 mg of Vitamin C.
Be Well and God Bless You!