Saint Mary is a parish located in the northeast section of Jamaica. With a population of 114,227 it is one of Jamaica's smallest parishes.
On a beautiful hill in this small parish, my family is no stranger to the beautiful array of fruits that are natural to the Caribbean. Of these fruits, the Papaya is particularly special.
Papaya is a low-calorie sweet-tasting fruit that’s full of vitamins and minerals. The flesh, skin and seeds all have their own wonderful health benefits.
Whether you want to lose weight, feel better, or just live healthier, Papaya is a versatile fruit that can do more than just satisfy your taste buds.
Let’s look at 3 amazing benefits of this super-food!
*There are so many more than 3*
In the Caribbean, Papaya is considered to be a natural remedy for constipation and other bowel and digestion symptoms. This remedy is passed down through generations of people. With science, it was found that an enzyme, the papain enzyme in Papaya can make protein easier to digest. In addition to that, the fiber and high water content allow for a better flow within the digestive tract.
“Choline is a very important and versatile nutrient found in papayas that aids our bodies in sleep, muscle movement, learning, and memory. Choline also helps to maintain the structure of cellular membranes, aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, assists in the absorption of fat, and reduces chronic inflammation.” Medical News Today
Most fruits, due to the vibrant color and water content, can aid in inflammation.
Aid in Lowering Blood Sugar
Concerned about your A1C (a two- to three-month average of your blood sugar levels)? Some studies have found that papaya has a hypoglycemic effect on the body, decreasing blood glucose levels.
Although the sweet flavor in papayas does come from sugar, there is a significant difference in natural sugar vs artificial sugar.
The vibrant color of fruits like the papaya comes from phytonutrients. Phytonutrients, also called phytochemicals are chemicals produced by plants. Foods with phytonutrients have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Plants use phytonutrients to stay healthy. Antioxidants, including the carotenoids found in papayas, can neutralize free radicals.
Antioxidants found in Papayas have the ability to aid in the health of the entire body by fighting these free radicals.
After washing it well, you can cut it in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and eat it out of the rind with a spoon, like cantaloupe or melon.
Breakfast: Cut it in half and fill each half with and top with a few blueberries and chopped nuts. If you consume dairy, some yogurt may add to this dish.
Appetizer: Cut it into strips and wrap a slice of turkey around each strip.
Salsa: Chop papaya, tomatoes, onions and cilantro, then add lime juice and mix well.
Smoothie: Combine the diced fruit with coconut milk and ice in a blender, then blend until smooth.
Salad: Chop papaya and avocado into cubes, add diced cooked chicken and dress with olive oil and vinegar.
Dessert: Combine the chopped fruit with 2 tablespoons (28 grams) of chia seeds, 1 cup (240 ml) of almond milk and 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla. Mix well and refrigerate before eating.