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The Benefits of Paw Paw (Papaya)

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Last Updated Jul 29, 2020

Paw Paw (or papaya) is a soft, fleshy fruit that grows and being cultivated in tropical regions and is easily available throughout Australia. Most Australians enjoy eating paw paw because of its delicious taste but increasingly, research has shown that its health benefits may be even greater that its delicious taste. As a matter of fact, paw paw and paw paw based products are being used for various medicinal and therapeutic purposes both by natural health practitioners and in conventional medicine.

The Benefits of Paw Paw

No one is questioning the health benefits of the fruit, but Paw paw is special because of the large quantities of major vitamins and minerals in it which include dietary fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, and E. It also carries small amount of riboflavin, calcium, iron, niacin, and thiamine. It is also rich in antioxidant nutrients, flavonoids and carotenoids, high in vitamin C plus A, and low in calories and sodium.

Apart from these, paw paw is rich in important antioxidants and high in dietary fibre. At the same time, paw paw is low in sodium and calories. If these reasons were not enough for the fruit to be a part of your diet, it also contains unique ingredients that are not found or found in limited concentrations in other fruits. Papain, and chymopapain are enzymes found in the fruit that help in breaking down proteins and converting them into amino acids, making the fruit an excellent digestive aid and indigestion.

Paw paw also has anti-inflammatory properties that may help in reducing the severity of the symptoms brought by rheumatoid arthritis and in the recovery from sport injuries or other conditions caused by  or exacerbated by inflammation. These include properties in treating the common cold to more serious diseases.

Continuing studies also reveal that paw paw and paw paw based medications show promise in providing relief from the side effects of cancer treatments such as difficulty in swallowing and mouth ulcers as well as providing a boost to the production of immune system cells.

Paw Paw and Antioxidants

papaya antioxidant

The antioxidants found in the fruit are extremely beneficial to your health and are said to be among the most important reasons why you should make fruits and vegetables to be a large and regular part of your diet. Antioxidants have shown to scavenge the free radicals that are pivotal in the development of life threatening diseases such as cancer that have become prevalent in modern society, where processed and unhealthy foods have become a large part of our life.

In other words, the health benefits of paw paw are potentially enormous. There are benefits both from the natural fruit and the natural paw paw supplements. While many health care professionals have recommended consulting a holistic doctor with knowledge of both natural and conventional medicine for existing or suspected diseases, taken regularly, paw paw may play an important role in preventing those diseases from occurring.

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Originally published on Jan 05, 2018

FAQs About Paw Paw or Papaya

How do you eat papaya?

Papaya is often served ripe and sweet. Unripe papaya is hard and impossible to bite into, so it has to be cooked first. To eat the fruit, slice it down the middle lengthwise then remove the black seeds. Next, cut both sides of the papaya into thick slices and remove the skin before eating.

Can dogs eat papaya?

Yes. Papaya is rich in fiber which aids digestion. However, be sure to remove the seeds of the papaya, which can cause bowel obstruction, peel and cut it into cubes before feeding it to your dog.

What does papaya taste like?

The taste of papaya really depends on the state of the fruit. If it's orange yellow in colour, your papaya fruit is ripe and sweet. On the other hand, if it's green and hard, it's unripe and bland. But that's not to say that unripe papaya doesn't taste good. In fact, it's palatable when cooked as a vegetable or mixed in stew.

Can papaya be frozen?

Yes. Although ripe papaya does not last long, its shelf life can be extended when it's placed in the freezer. Before freezing the fruit, slice it down the middle, remove the seeds and then peel it. Next, cut it into cubes, put them in a ziplock plastic bag or airtight container, and then freeze at 0 degrees Celcius.

Can papaya cause miscarriage in early pregnancy?

Eating ripe papaya is beneficial to pregnant women and their babies. However, unripe papaya should be avoided at all costs as it contains a substance called latex that could cause uterine contractions and miscarriage.

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