Deliciously sweet with a soft with a butter-like consistency, it is no wonder the Jamaican Papaya was reputably called the “fruit of the angels” by Christopher Columbus. Once considered quite exotic, they can now be found in markets throughout the year. Although there is a slight seasonal peak in early summer and fall, Jamaican Papaya trees produce this fruit year round.
The versatility of the Jamaican Papaya can never be over emphasis. Its usefulness has been showcased in the innovative ways that only we Jamaicans can, and never seize to amaze, such as in jelly, added to stews and curries which are sumptuous. My grandmother used green Papayas when cooking beef, because of the papain enzyme which is an integral ingredient in meat tenderizer.
I’m sure you can pick a few of these reasons to look forward to the Jamaica’s summer Papaya season:
- Supports Your Immune System
Papaya isn’t just rich in flavor; it’s also rich in both Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Both help to boost your body’s immunity to nasty illnesses such as colds, fevers, and the flu.
- Protects Against Macular Degeneration
No-one wants to lose their sight as they age! Data reported in a study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology indicates that eating at least three servings of fruit per day may lower your risk of age-related macular degeneration, which is the primary cause of vision loss in older adults.
- Great for Your Skin
Papaya doesn’t just have to be ingested for you to reap the benefits. Applying it to your face as a mask is actually incredibly good for your skin. It helps to get rid of acne and skin infections due to assisting in opening up clogged pores. The fermented flesh of papaya, the papain, also helps to dissolve your dead skins cells, which leaves your skin fresh and glowing.
- It’s is a Good Anti-Aging Remedy
Papaya contains antioxidants that fight the free radicals in your body that cause aging. As such, the fruit helps you look younger for longer.
- Promote Healthy Digestion
The fruit contains enzymes that assist your body to digest proteins by breaking them down. As such, it helps to keep you regular, and can be particularly helpful if you’re feeling constipated. It also made into tablets which are marketed as a remedy for digestive disorder
- Protect Against Heart Disease
The nutrients and vitamins found in papaya can help to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol. This is important, because it’s only when cholesterol becomes oxidized that it’s able to stick to, and build up, in blood vessel walls. It’s at this point that it can form dangerous plaques that can eventually cause heart attacks or strokes.
- Is a Great Anti-Inflammatory Agent
Papaya contains several unique protein-digesting enzymes, including papain and chymopapain. These have been shown to help lower inflammation, as does the vitamin C and beta-carotene contained within the fruit.
- Fights Rheumatoid Arthritis
Research indicates that food with high quantities of vitamin C, such as papaya, can aid in protecting against inflammatory polyarthritis, which is a form of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Plays Well with Green Tea
Papaya contains an antioxidant compound called lycopene, and research has shown that regular consumption of green tea combined with lycopene rich foods can have a highly effective synergistic result. They work well together. In this case, green tea and papaya have been shown to reduce a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer by up to 86%.
- Helps With Menstrual Pain
The nutritional benefits of papaya continue to be more useful for women, as the leaves also works as a cure for menstrual pain. Simply take the leaf, tamarind, salt, and some water, and allow it to work its menstrual cycle pain relief magic.
- Prevents Blood Clotting
An active enzyme called fibrin that can be found in papaya can assist in preventing unnecessary blood clots. It can also act as a healing reagent for external and internal bodily wounds.
- Is Great For Your Hair
You might notice that some shampoo contains papaya extract. This is because it has been proven to control dandruff. Plus, it smells awesome.