Yay Papaya! If I had the option, I would eat this extraordinary fruit every day.
I was obsessed with this fruit during my stay in Sri Lanka. We could have it as a meal for breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper, and as a snack in between. We loved it in any form and shape as fruit, juice, smoothies, and dry fruits. (a healthy form of it of course and without sugar)
Unfortunately, papaya smoothies and papaya juice in most places are served with added sugar.
The scientific name is Carica Papaya. It tastes really sweet and they have this really soft texture that many people like me find really appealing. The seeds are also edible; however, they taste quite bitter.
The delicious fruits are originally from Central America. These fruits grow best in regions with abundant rainfall.
The most common type of papaya in Sri Lanka is known as Red Lady (Ratna in Singhalese). It is very sweet and soft and its thick creamy texture just melts in your mouth. It is available throughout the year.
You can find them everywhere in local markets, supermarkets, and street stalls.
Above all, when you choose to buy, make sure that its skin colour developed to yellow with a tinge of orange and is soft to the touch. Then you’ll know it’s fully ripened.
You can also find green unripe papaya. This ingredient is mainly used in cooking curries and stews as well as in marinating and making pickles.
In addition, the stem and bark may be used in rope production.
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Amazing health benefits of papaya
This tasty fruit is loaded with antioxidants and enzymes. As a result, it is extremely beneficial for our health. The exotic fruit contains Lycopene which is an antioxidant that reduces the risk of developing cancers in many organs and retards the growth of the tumours.
Here are the main health benefits according to WebMD:
- Protection Against Heart Disease
- Rich in Antioxidants – Vitamins A, C and E
- High Amount of Fibre
- Rich in Folic Acid
Reasons for eating papaya fruit according to Timetimes of India:
- Improves Eye Health
- Aids Digestion
- Boosts Immunity
- Helps in Weight Loss
- Better Kidney Health
- Better Cardiovascular Health
Nutritional information for papaya
|Total lipid (fat)||0.377||g|
|Vitamin A, RAE||68.2||µg|
|Vitamin A, IU||1380||IU|
|Lutein + zeaxanthin||129||µg|
|Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)||0.435||mg|
|Vitamin K (phylloquinone)||3.77||µg|
|Fatty acids, total saturated||0.117||g|
How to choose good papaya?
When you choose to buy papaya, make sure that its skin colour developed to yellow with a tinge of orange and is soft to the touch. Then you’ll know it’s fully ripened.
Can you eat papaya seeds?
The seeds are not only edible but also highly nutritious, however, they taste quite bitter.
National Library of Medicine – Lycopene – antioxidant with radioprotective and anticancer properties. A reviewhttps://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25526570/
Sunday Times – Sri Lankahttps://www.sundaytimes.lk/170219/mediscene/the-power-of-papaya-228942.html
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE – Nutritional informationhttps://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169926/nutrients