Fruit for Thought: Papaya
Papaya is considered one of the favorite fruits that abound all year round, offering us not only its sweet luscious melt in your mouth flesh but also providing us with oodles of health benefits.
Botanical name: Carica Papaya; also known as Paw Paw, Papaw.
Native to: Southern Mexico, Central America, Thailand, Africa and Asia also growing well in Australia. History records showed that Spanish explorers carried seeds to the Philippines about 1550.
Description: It usually has an oblong shape, normally greenish yellow or orange color. Grows in a large tree often weighing up to 2.5 Kg.
Below is a summary of the healing properties of papaya:
- Increases quality of proteins in whole organism.
- Revitalize the human body and maintains energy and vitality.
- Encourages the renewal of muscle tissue.
- Supports cardiovascular system.
- Boosts the immune system.
- Helps with the digestive system, by breaking down the proteins and supporting production of digestive enzymes.
- Papaya can be use also externally as a treatment for skin wounds that don’t heal quickly, for this you can use papaya peel or ointments made out of papaya. Can also be used in the treatment of cuts, rashes, stings and burns.
- Prevents cataract formation as it is loaded with vitamin A, potassium, folate and fiber. It also contains lutein and zeaxanthin—substances which help protect our eyes from age-related blindness
- Due to high vitamin A content, it lowers the risk of emphysema in smokers and passive smokers.
- Alleviates inflammation.
- Helps with the nausea and constipation.
- Can benefit people suffering from colon cancer and other forms of cancers (It's the only fruit with the enzyme Papain- currently being studied for possible relief of cancer therapy side effects and rheumatoid arthritis) and aliments of cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems.
- Helps in the prevention of atherosclerosis, diabetes and heart disease.
- Aids in the treatment of ulcers, dissolve membranes in diphtheria and reduces swelling, fever and adhesions post-surgery.
CAUTION: In relation to Papain supplements: Pregnant woman should only use them under medical supervision. But ripe papaya is safe to eat during pregnancy.
Lastly, Papaya has 33% more vitamin C than oranges!!
Recipe: Cumin-Grilled Tofu with Papaya Salsa
Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 151 Calories (kcal); 6g Total Fat; (30% calories from fat); 10g Protein; 18g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 402mg Sodium; 3g Fiber. Weight Watchers 3 Flex points (should be Core, except for agave).
- 1 pound tofu
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 2 cups papaya, cut into cubes
- 2 tablespoons red onion, finely diced
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 hot pepper, seeds removed and minced
- 1 teaspoon mint, minced
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 pinch cayenne freshly ground black pepper — to taste
1. Slice the tofu into 8-10 slices and press each one lightly between paper towels (or tea towels) to remove some of the moisture.
2. Mix the remaining tofu ingredients in a small bowl. Put the tofu into a large zip-lock bag, add the marinade, and turn to coat. Turn the bag every now and then, letting it marinate for at least 1 hour while you make the salsa and prepare the grill. (You can marinate it in a long baking dish, of course, but the zip-lock bag is easier.)
1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
2. After marinating the tofu, cook it on a barbecue grill until lightly browned on both sides. (Or, heat a non-stick skillet, lay the tofu in a single layer, and cook, turning once, until brown on both sides. Just before removing from heat, add the marinade and cook until it’s absorbed by the tofu.)
Serve tofu topped with papaya salsa.
Liliana Galvis was born in Bogota, Colombia. She was drawn to health and movement thanks to an active lifestyle starting with Ballet and exposure to a well-balanced diet. Her love for dance and movement translated into a career as a Yoga teacher, Ayurveda therapist and writer. Her experience can be orchestrated under the umbrella of wisdom of the ancient medical system: AYURVEDA.
Website: Lily Pod Yoga
Facebook: Lily Pod Yoga Ayurveda