Herbal Healing – Papaya

Papaya

Aid in digestion, Prevent heart disease and cancer

On the outside they look like yellow or orange avocados. On the inside, you will find beautiful yellow-orange flesh that tells of the healing power within.

Papayas are packed with carotenoids, natural plant pigments that give many fruits and vegetables their beautiful hues. But carotenoids do much more than look pretty on the plate. They can, literally, save your life.

The carotenoids in papaya are extremely powerful antioxidants. Studies after studies shown that people who eat the most carotenoid-rich foods like papayas have significantly lower risk of heart disease and cancer.

Many fruits and vegetables contain carotenoids, but papayas are way ahead of the pack. In one study, German researchers rated 39 foods according to their carotenoid content. Papayas came out on top, with half a fruit providing almost 3.8 milligrams of carotenoids. By contrast, grapefruits have 3.6 milligrams, and apricots 2.6 milligrams.

Papaya also contains a number of protease enzymes, such as papain, which are very similar to enzymes produced naturally in the stomach. Eating raw papaya after a meal makes it easier for the body to digest proteins, which helps to ease an upset stomach.

Papaya plays role in preventing ulcers as well. Recent German study confirmed that people were less likely to get ulcers when they were given papaya for several days. This particular study concluded that having a little papaya each day helps counteract the irritating effect of aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs.

When buying papayas remember that it should smell sweet and fragrant, even before they cut. If the smell is weak, the taste will be disappointing also. When it needs a little time to ripen, its best to store them in a cool, dry place. But don’t put them in the refrigerator, since cold literally kills the flavor.

You can add papayas to fruit salads, but not to gelatin based fruit salads. It’s not a good idea to combine papaya with gelatin. The enzymes in the raw fruit will break down the proteins in gelatin – just eat it fresh while preserving vital nutrients of papayas.

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