Monday, November 14, 2011

My Superfood: Papaya

     Papaya is one of the healthiest fruits you can eat. It contains many vitamins and minerals that prevent certain cancers and enzymes that aid in digestion. 

Snack on papaya for your skin and digestion

     Papaya is a tropical fruit which is very versatile. It that can be enjoyed either raw or cooked, ripe or unripened. In the Philippines, Filipinos enjoy it in various ways. When unripe (green papaya) we cook it with chicken to make a traditional soup called Chicken Tinola. When semi-ripe and still crunchy, we dip papaya in vinegar and enjoy it as a snack. When papaya is already ripe,  and it's nutrient-rich flesh is already vivid orange-pink, sweet and soft, we eat it after a meal as a dessert or mix it with other fruits as a salad. In some parts of the world, papaya is used as a meat tenderizer.

For Digestion
     Papaya contains papain, a vegetable pepsin that aids in digestion as it helps break down protein and supports the body in producing it's own digestive enzymes. It's great for cleansing the digestive system and has been used to cure acid indigestion and stomach ulcers. Green, or unripe papaya contains more papaya than the fully ripened fruit and some people juice it to cure worms. However, it is not advisable for pregnant women as it has contraceptive properties.

Green papaya contains more papain than ripe papaya

For Skin Care
     In addition to papaya's vast health benefits, papaya is also helpful in achieving beautiful skin. When applied topically, the enzyme papain helps smooth the skin and make it healthy and radiant. The Vitamin C in papaya helps produce the connective tissue collagen to increase the elasticity of the skin as well as fight free radicals. Papaya has been used to heal breakouts, dry skin, cellulite and premature aging.

For Weight Loss
     And of course, papaya is great for weight loss. Papaya contains only 39 calories per 100 grams and has a valuable fiber content. This fiber will fill you up easily and suppress the appetite. The enzymes help cleanse the digestive system and promotes normal bowel movement.

     I love eating papaya since I was small. I even used to rub the fruit on my skin to smooth it, as I have dry skin. I snack on papaya, eat it prior to a meal (as it is best eaten with an empty stomach to get the best effects of the enzymes) or after especially when I over eat (it helps break down the protein). Papaya is my superfood.

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