The benefits of eating papaya
December 14, 2006 12:38am CST
Papaya is thought to bring about a reduced risk of colon and cervical cancer. It is a rich source of beta-carotene, which the body can convert to vitamin A. It also contains beta-cryptoxanthin. How much papaya should you eat? Papaya can be eaten just as is, or mixed into fruit salads. Maximizing the benefits of papaya As beta- cryptoxanthin is best absorbed by the body when eaten with fat, it is a good idea to eat papaya as part of a meal, rather than on their own.
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15 Dec 06
Papaya is rich in an enzyme called papain (a protease which is useful in tenderizing meat) and other proteins. Its utility is in breaking down the tough meat fibers and it has been utilized for thousands of years in its native South America. It is included as a component in powdered meat tenderizers. Papaya enzyme is also marketed in tablet form to remedy digestive problems. Caution should be taken when harvesting, as papaya is known to release a latex fluid when not quite ripe, which can cause irritation and provoke allergic reaction in some people. The papaya fruit and leaves also contains carpaine, an anthelmintic alkaloid which could be dangerous in high doses.
14 Dec 06
The papaya, also known as mamão, tree melon, fruta bomba, lechosa (Venezuela, Puerto Rico, the Philippines and the Dominican Republic), or pawpaw is the fruit of the tree Carica papaya, in the genus Carica. It is a small unbranched tree, the single stem growing to 5-10 m tall, with the spirally arranged leaves confined to the top of the trunk; the lower trunk is conspicuously scarred with the leaf scars of where older leaves and fruit were borne. The leaves are large, 50-70 cm diameter, deeply palmately lobed with 7 lobes. The flowers are produced in the axils of the leaves, maturing into the large 15-45 cm long, 10-30 cm diameter fruit. The fruit is ripe when it feels soft (like a ripe avocado or a bit softer) and its skin has attained an amber to orange hue.