Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Powerful Pawpaw

The Pawpaw - AKA the papaya (or melon fruit) is a powerful digestive aide.  I'm sure most of us have over indulged (just a wee bit) this holiday season.  The papaya is a great food to infuse into your diet to help your digestive system stay nimble and quick. 

Pawpaw, Papaya, Melon fruit

Here are 5 reasons to befriend the powerful pawpaw:
1. High in vitamin C (100 g of pulp = 103% of RDA - recommended daily allowance)
2. High in vitamin A (100 g of pulp = 18% of RDA)
3. Contains an enzyme called Papain that loves to break down protein.  This enzyme is sold as a supplement, but it's better to eat the whole fruit where possible.
4. Can help with skin disorders like eczema and acne due to the high vitamin A content.
5. Aides in healing digestive disorders such as:
    a) Irritable bowel syndrome and ulcers due to it's antiseptic effect on digestive mucosa
    b) Helps ease gastric inflammation, heart burn, and hernia by neutralizing excess gastric acid
    c) Can take action against intestinal parasites

How I use the Pawpaw:
1. I mainly use it in smoothies.  Because of Caleb's digestive issues, I try and sneak it in smoothies I give to him.
2. Fruit salads (not as often as smoothies)
3. I also cut it up and freeze it if I can't use it all before it gets spoiled (I actually have some in the freezer now).

Fruit salad with papaya

I don't really like the taste of the papaya, but I know how good it is for me.  That's why I'm all about making smoothies with this awesome fruit (I can mask the taste). Even though it's winter, you can still find papayas in most grocery stores (thank God for global imports).  I prefer to eat it raw, as enzymes are very sensitive to heat and I want the ultimate benefit from this slightly smelly fruit.

I saw a cooking show that used the papaya in a barbecue sauce.  It looked good, but I'm sure the vitamins and enzymes were totally zapped.

So, while you are filling your belly with turkey, Tofurkey, ham, veggie loaf or pot roast, think about adding some blended up pawpaw to the holiday punch to give your digestive system a kick.

What other ways can I use this powerful fruit? 


Reference for this post: The Encyclopedia of Foods and Their Healing Power - Dr. Roger Pamplona