Papaya â€“ the fruit of the angels
MANILA, Philippines â€“ Many of us love to take papaya for breakfast. The ripe fresh pear-shaped papaya with rich orange or bright yellowish color. For its sweetness and for its vitamin C content.
Little did I know until recently, based on information taken from the internet, that papaya, reportedly called the fruit of the angels, by Christopher Columbus â€“ has fantastic health and curative benefits. Beyond what many of us know.
Let me share with you some information taken from the internet about the deliciously sweet papaya that is available year-round in our country â€“ to encourage us to eat fresh papaya fruit rather than canned fruits.
â€¢ Do you know that papaya which reportedly originated in Southern Mexico and Costa Rica was brought by the Spaniards to Manila in the mid-16th century? Today, papaya is grown not only in the Philippines but in other places as well like China, India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, Central and Southern Africa, Australia and in some Pacific Islands;
â€¢ Do you know that papaya contains arginine which is essential for male fertility? It is ironic that many in the male gender avoid eating papaya because they are wrongly informed that papaya lessens their sex drive;
â€¢ Do you know that papaya is good for many digestive disorders and improves poor digestion? Papain is the enzyme in papaya that helps the body digest protein and starchy carbohydrate like wheat gluten/bread/cereals. This being so, those with celiac disease (a condition that damages the lining of the small intestine and prevents it from absorbing parts of food; the damage is due to a reaction to eating gluten, which is found in wheat, barley, rye, and possibly oats) should be encouraged to eat papaya. Papain is being extracted from papaya (unripe papaya has more papain content than the ripe one) and used as health supplement.
Papaya, one of Godâ€™s gift to man has surprisingly a beneficial tonic effect in the stomach and intestines. Thus, curing stomach ailments and indigestion.
â€¢ Do you know that papain is used to treat sport injuries and also trauma and allergies?
â€¢ Do you know that aside from Vitamin C, papayas are rich sources of beta carotene, folic acid (folates) vitamin B and flavonoids, soluble fiber potassium, magnesium, and pantothenic acid â€“ all of which help prevent different kinds of cancers in organs and glands and improve cardiovascular health and cure other diseases. Low folates, for example is reportedly related to Alzheimerâ€™s disease;
â€¢ Do you know that papaya is low in sugar and is therefore good for diabetics;
â€¢ Do you know that papaya juice helps relieve infections of the colon and prevents nausea (including morning sickness and motion sickness);
â€¢ Do you know that papaya juice has inflammatory properties due to its enzymes papain and chymopapain? Also, papaya hastens the recovery of one suffering from burns. Unknown to many, chymopapain is being used in the treatment of slipped spinal disc and pinched nerves;
â€¢ Do you know that papaya reduces the external and internal inflammation of diseases worsened by inflammation like asthma, arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteo-arthritis;
â€¢ Do you know that pregnant women are being advised to avoid papaya because it is a uterine stimulant (stimulates labor pains by increasing the intensity and frequency of uterine contractions). Also, people with the so-called â€œlatex allergyâ€ should consult their doctors before taking papaya because of possible allergic reaction to certain foods like fruits. In laymanâ€™s terms, latex allergy is allergy to natural rubber latex â€“ like elastic bands, rubber/latex gloves, balloons, clothes, shoes, and other things that contain natural rubber latex. There are some people with latex allergy who may also have an allergic response to some plant products like fruits (latex-fruit syndrome). Fruits (and seeds) like bananas, pineapple, avocado, mango, and strawberry should therefore be avoided by those with latex-fruit syndrome. Likewise, those taking blood thinning medication on a regular/maintenance basis (like aspirin) should consult their doctors before taking papaya because the fruit has anticoagulant properties;
â€¢ Do you know that the skin of papaya is an external treatment for wounds;
â€¢ Do you know that the black seeds of papaya with a peppery flavor is edible and are used not only to expel worms but also used in the treatment of cirrhosis of the liver due to different causes like alcoholism and malnutrition. Not many know that a tablespoon of juice extracted by grinding the seeds and mixing it with 10 drops of fresh lime juice taken once or twice daily for a month is already being used as a treatment of a patient suffering from cirrhosis. As an antihelmintic (drugs that expel parasitic worms from the body), the papaya seeds are chewed and swallowed (2 teaspoon of seeds) after each of the 3 principal meals;
â€¢ Do you know that as a home remedy for throat disorders like inflamed tonsils for diphtheria â€“ the fresh juice of raw papaya mixed with honey is used also as a treatment;
â€¢ Do you know that among the cancers treated by papaya is colon cancer? Simply because the fiber in papaya is able to bind itself with cancer-causing toxins in the colon and the fiber can distanced the cancer-causing toxins from the healthy colon cells;
â€¢ Do you know that some culinary aficionados rub slices of green papaya over tough meat to make the meat more tender? Especially in the rural areas where the pressure cooker (tenderizer) is an expensive cooking utensil which the rural folks cannot afford.