Papaya nutrition is a subject few people know about. The main reason for this is it is only grown in tropical climates and has just in the last few years started to make an appearance in more and more super markets in other areas of the world. Along with the availability of this exotic fruit, also comes an increased interest in its nutritional values and papaya health benefits.
If you saw a papaya plant, you would probably think it was a tree, but you would be mistaken. The papaya is actually a perennial, overgrown herb. A mature papaya has a yellowish golden skin with a very smooth, deep orange fruit beneath it. The center cavity has a number of small black seeds which have a pepper flavor that are a nice addition to salads or salad dressings. Papayas are considered a large fruit which can grow up to 20 inches long. There are however smaller varieties. Papayas have a texture similar to melons, but they have an elongated appearance instead of round. The flesh has a delicious sweet taste like no other.
Papayas are becoming very popular for their natural digestive attributes, fiber content, and their huge vitamin concentration. Papaya have over 30% more vitamin C and 50% more potassium than oranges with less calories. They are also an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin E and carotenoids.
One of the more interesting papaya nutrition facts is probably its papain content. Papain is a natural digestive aid which is found no where else in the world in its natural state except in the papaya. This is an enzyme so powerful that it can digest up to 200 times its own weight in protein. Studies have found that individuals who regularly consume papaya fruit have a very noticeable reduction in digestive problems.
Some of the other health problems papaya nutritional benefits are used for include protection against intestinal disorders, heart disease, and emphysema. It can be blended into a smoothie with other fruits or made into a juice, but is most often eaten fresh when the fruit is available.
If you think papaya nutrition is something you might be interested in, check at your local supermarket to see if they stock them. If you have a hard time finding the fresh fruit, you might check the internet for available papaya health products.
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