What is Papaya? This wonderful fruit comes from a tree like plant. You can eat the Papaya seeds, fruit, skin, and leaves and even brew the leaves as a tea.
Papaya Health Benefits include:
- Lower your cholesterol
- Boost metabolism
- Boost the immune system^
- Improve liver health
- Prevent heart disease
- Improve eye sight
- Prevent Macular degeneration
- Prevent gastric ulcers
- Heal minor stomach problems
- Cures nausea and morning sickness for pregnant women
- Treats constipation
- Eases menstrual cramps for women
- Prevents free radical damage*
- Used to treat diabetes, papaya extracts have also been found to reduce lipid and triglycerides in patients with diabetes.
- Protects against arthritis and is good for those who have arthritis. Papayas have naturally anti-inflammatory properties so can be used to treat any inflammation within the body.
Eating just one papaya a day (or Green papaya supplements for improved digestion) can improve your digestive system and prevent aging as it contains antioxidants that prevent free radical damage. It is great for improving skin and hair also.
*In preventing free radical damage and thereby possessing anti-aging properties, papaya has been shown to protect against prostate and colon cancer in a recent study done by Harvard. Papaya has been used to treat cancer as well.
As an anti-parasitic, papaya is effective at flushing out worms within the body.
^Papaya is an ideal fruit for those with colds, flu, or fevers. The juice is highly effective in treating those with dengue fever as it helps increase the platelet count within the body.
Papaya Contains: Fiber, Vitamin C, Antioxidants, Vitamin A, Flavonoids, Papain, Vitamin E, Phytonutrients, Calcium, Potassium, Riboflavin, Thiamine
Can you eat Papaya Skin?
Why YES you can and you should (if it’s organic)! Similar to grapefruit, watermelon, bananas, oranges, limes, and lemons – the peel carries cancer fighting nutrients that are excellent for you! These include cancer fighting polyphenols found within the skin or fruit. According to Leicester University’s professor Will Steward, head of clinical oncology, “Polyphenols have at least 100 effects on cancer cells which look to be beneficial, like the antioxidant effect.”
The peel is bitter so I don’t suggest eating Papaya peel by itself although I have done this with citrus fruits such as oranges as I like the taste of the peel with the fruit. But the peel can be shredded and blended in smoothies, sauces, curries, etc. or sprinkled in custards and gravies. Don’t be afraid to use the peel! And store any leftover peel in the fridge or freezer. The peptin in Papaya skin can even be used to tenderize meat.
Dr. Marilyn Glenville, a nutritionist and expert on women’s health, says that eating a wider range of fruit peels is beneficial to our health.
“Most of the antioxidants contained in fruit are found within the peel or the pith rather than in the pulp itself. The recommendation now is to eat a rainbow of different colours across fruit and vegetables to get a greater variety of antioxidants in our diet.”
What to be Cautious of when Consuming Papaya
Pregnant and breast feeding women should avoid eating green papayas and seeds from papaya as the Papain is the highest in this and can induce a miscarriage. A fully ripe fresh fruit is low in Papain and okay for pregnant women. Do not take if you are already taking medication for cholesterol or ulcers. The Papain enzyme has blood thinning properties so may effect medications such as Warfarin and other anticoagulants, including daily aspirin so do not take if you are on these medications. Do not take if you have any blood clotting disorders, such as thrombosis and hemophilia. Do not take if you have a latex allergy.
Directions on Preparing Papaya
How to Prepare Papaya Seeds: Papaya seeds are zesty and can be eaten as is, with raw honey, or ….
- Wash the gelatin casing off around the seeds.
- Crush the seeds.
- Use a mortar and pestle to crush up to 1 tsp (5 ml) of papaya seeds at a time, grinding them into a fine or coarse powder. …
- Use a grinder to grind the seeds…
- Use crushed papaya seed whenever you would use crushed peppercorn or as a pepper replacement in any dish.
- Try seasoning meat with papaya seeds (delicious!).
- Make a papaya seed salad dressing.
- Eat with protein as this will maximize the benefits from the proteolytic enzymes in the seeds improving digestive health.
Directions on Preparing Papaya as a Tea: it is best to use flash boiled water poured into the teapot, as if to rinse, and quickly pour it out.
- Pour 16oz of hot water into the rinsed and heated teapot over two teaspoons of dry papaya loose leaves and cover with the lid.
- Let it sit for about 8 minutes.
- The leaves can be consumed with the drink if preferred, or strained if not required.
- Sweeten with sugar, sweetener or honey if desired.
- For iced tea, allow to cool, put into glass container and place in fridge until needed. Drink within 3 days.
Directions on Preparing Fresh Papaya: It is difficult to eat raw. The green papaya has a mild flavor while the ripe papaya is sweet. Ripe Fruit will have a slightly yellow blush to it and will be soft to the touch when pressed on.
- Cut the papaya in half lengthways.
- Using a teaspoon, scoop out the black seeds and discard OR save these in the fridge to be eaten later. The seeds can even be grinded up and used in place of black pepper.
- Use a small sharp knife to cut the flesh away from the skin of each half.
- Discard the skin (or keep and blend into smoothies/sauces for its cancer fighting nutrients) and slice the flesh of the fruit and Enjoy! 🙂
Papaya may be eaten as is or placed in curries, dals, soups, chutneys. Green papaya can replace potatoes in recipes as well. Papaya may be juiced and drank as is or mixed in with other juices.
Add Papaya powder to a smoothie, sprinkle on salad or soups, or create your own salad dressing with it.
How to treat parasitic worms: papaya seeds with raw honey 30 to 40 minutes before a meal.
Where to Buy Papaya? If you’re like me and don’t live in a warm climate and Papaya is only sold seasonally in the grocery stores, but you still want to reap the benefits of consuming Papaya everyday – the best Papaya products I’ve found are at Herbal Papaya. They carry ALL sorts of Papaya from powder to extract and from the fruit, leaves, and seeds of the plant. I encourage you to check out their site! Click Here to save on non-GMO, Organic Green Papaya Powder and Supplements