Benefits of Papayas
The papaya or, papaw, or pawpaw is the fruit of the plant Carica papaya.
1. What is Papaya
The papaya, a previously exotic and rare fruit, is now readily available at most times of the year. Papayas grow in tropical climates and are also known as papaws or pawpaws. Their sweet taste, vibrant color and wide variety of health benefits are just a few reasons to add them to your diet.
2. Tree of Life
Papaya enjoys a rich history, and has been used since very long for medicinal uses in day to day life. The Mayans used to worship papaya trees and called it theTree of Life. It is said to be one of the favourite fruits of Christopher Columbus. The story goes that when his crew landed in America after a long sea voyage on meager meal, the native people welcomed them with extravagant feast, which caused digestive problems. The natives took the voyagers to the forest and offered them papaya and they got cured.The leaves, seeds and the milk of the papaya tree are used to cure intestinal problems and kill intestinal worms and parasites.
Papayas are fruits that remind us of the tropics, the regions of the world in which they are grown. Once considered an exotic fruit, papayas rise in popularity has made them much more available.Papayas are spherical or pearshaped fruits that can be as long as 20 inches. The ones commonly found in the market usually average about 7 inches and weigh about one pound. Their flesh is a rich orange color with either yellow or pink hues. Papaya has a wonderfully soft, butterlike consistency and a deliciously sweet, musky taste. Inside the inner cavity of the fruit are black, round seeds encased in a gelatinouslike substance.
Papayas, native to Central America, have been long revered by the Latin American Indians. Spanish and Portuguese explorers brought papayas to many other subtropical lands to which they journeyed including India, the Philippines, and parts of Africa. This revered tropical fruit was reputably called the fruit of the angels by Christopher Columbus.
5. Health Benefits
Papayas offer not only the luscious taste and sunlit color of the tropics, but are rich sources of antioxidant nutrients such as carotenes, vitamin C and flavonoids; the B vitamins, folate and pantothenic acid; and the minerals, potassium, copper, and magnesium; and fiber. Together, these nutrients promote the health of the cardiovascular system and also provide protection against colon cancer. In addition, papaya contains the digestive enzyme,papain, which is used like bromelain, a similar enzyme found inpineapple, to treat sports injuries, other causes of trauma, and allergies.
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SuperFood - Dates
Archaeologists have found evidence that date palm trees were being cultivated in eastern Arabia as long as 8,000 years ago. Such a long agricultural history has allowed many varieties of dates to be developed, in three main types: soft, semi-dry, and dry. All three types are relatively low in water content. However, dates that have been allowed to ripen and dry on the tree lose most of the vitamin C that is present in fresh dates that are harvested before drying. Although dates are grown throughout the Middle East and are a major export of Iraq, they are also grown in California and Arizona—primarily the medjool, which is a soft date, and the deglet noor, a semi-dry.
Dates are very sweet, with one 24-gram medjool date providing 66 calories and almost 16 grams of sugar. The smaller deglet noor, at 7 grams, is still more than half sugar by weight.
A 2008 summary of research on dates showed that they are a significant source of ten minerals, including selenium, copper, potassium, and magnesium—and that 100 grams of dates would provide over 15 percent of the recommended daily allowance for them. The review also found that dates are a good source of antioxidants, primarily carotenoids and phenolics. In addition to the four minerals listed above, dates contain boron, calcium, cobalt, fluoride, iron, phosphorus, sodium, and zinc, as well as 23 types of amino acids, which is unusual for a fruit. Unfortunately, many of the dates’ proteins are in the seeds, not the flesh, so it may take new and creative uses of the seeds for dates to realize their role as an ideal food.Nutritional Facts
Five dried dates with pits removed provide 114 calories, 30 g carbohydrate, 1 g protein, 0 g fat, 3 g dietary fiber, 21 IU vitamin A, 0.9 mg niacin, 5 mcg folic acid, 1 mg sodium, 270 mg potassium, 13 mg calcium, 16 mg phosphorus, and 14 mg magnesium.