Greatness of Organic Papaya

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The papaya is believed to have originated in Southern Mexico. Since the discovery of America, the Spanish and Portuguese have successfully introduced seeds of the ‘fruit of angels’ into most tropical countries worldwide.

The fruit is an excellent source of the powerful anti-oxidants vitamins C, E & A, the eye-saving carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, and lycopene. It also contains flavonoids, B vitamins, folate and pantothenic acid, the minerals, potassium and magnesium and fibre. Together, these nutrients promote the health of the immune system, support the cardiovascular system and also provide protection against intestinal cancer.

The seeds are peppery, slightly bitter and an acquired taste, they have bacteriostatic, bactericidal and fungicidal properties.

For maximum benefit the fruit is best eaten raw, usually minus the skin and seeds although both have healing properties. Here are a few recipes to add to the fun of eating it.

Morning Sunshine
Using a Blendtec blender on the ‘Smoothie’ setting blend

You will need:

1 ripe Zenxin organic papaya (deseeded)
1 lemon (juice)
6 calamansis (juice)
3 tbsp raw honey
2 tbsp plain acidophilus yoghurt
Add pure mineral water to the 16 fl oz mark on the blender.

This smoothie is great for folks with digestive problems as the papaya is high in proteolytic enzymes, which enable the digestion of protein. Papain, which is the most important of these enzymes in the papaya, is actually extracted, dried and used as a digestive aid. It is also used as a meat tenderizer as the enzyme helps break down the fibres in the meat.

Or

Fresh Papaya Salad with Feta cheese
This is a delicious dish at any time of day.

You will need:

1 ripe Zenxin organic papaya
100g mild Feta cheese
6 organic Calamansi limes

De-seed and peel papaya, cut into bite-size pieces. Squeeze the Calamansi juice over the papaya being careful to exclude the seeds, then crumble over the Feta cheese, mix and eat.
Or

Healthy Som Tam Thai
This is a Thai favourite.

You will need:

1/2 an unripe Zenxin organic papaya
1 organic cucumber
10 organic cherry tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic
1-2 organic red chilli peppers (depending on desired heat)
2 limes (juice)
2 tbsp organic raw sugar
3 tbsp Thai fish sauce or soy sauce
1 tbsp pounded dry shrimps or 1 tsp organic dry fermented black beans
A handful cashew nuts (chopped)
Fresh organic coriander (chopped)

Crush the garlic and de-seed the fresh chilli peppers chop finely. Mix together the dark raw sugar, lime juice and fish sauce and add the pounded dry shrimps. Julienne the papaya and cucumber and add with the halved tomatoes into a serving bowl.  Add the sauce, mix together well and garnish with cilantro and cashew nuts. Chill for around 30 minutes and serve.