Papaya is the fruit from the Carica papaya tree, a herbaceous perennial. It is also known as pawpaw or papaw in the land down under. However, it originated in Central America and Southern Mexico but is now grown in many other parts of the world including here in Thailand.
These tropical trees are very easy to grow and can reach a hight of over 30 feet tall and can live for 30 years although plantation trees are cut down after about three years to maintain high yields. The fruit, seeds and leaves have many beneficial health benefits. So let’s jump into it…
What is Good about Papaya?
- Papaya is an incredibly healthy, tropical fruit that contains antioxidants known as carotenoids, particularly one type called lycopene. A reduction in oxidative stress is attributed to papaya’s lycopene content and its ability to remove excess iron, which is known to produce free radicals.
What’s more, your body absorbs these beneficial antioxidants better from papayas than other fruits, so they effectively reduce inflammation, fight disease and help keep you looking young.
Furthermore, studies have also shown that the fermented fruit can reduce oxidative stress in older adults and people with pre-diabetes, mild hypothyroidism and liver disease.
Papaya are low in calories and high in Vitamin A, B9 and C as well as potassium and trace amounts of calcium, magnesium, B1, B3, B5, E and K.
2. Carica papaya is considered a tree although the centre of the trunk is hollow and not woody as most trees are. The make up of the trunk is similar to bamboo in that inside there are a series of hollow segments.
3. The trees are either male, female or hermaphrodites and have even been known to change sex under stress.
4. Papaya can be eaten when green or ripe. When green, it is used as one of the essential ingredients to a spicy Thai salad – som tam. The ripe fruit is sweet and orange in colour. It’s best eaten cold and makes for an ideal breakfast accompaniment with natural yogurt. Squeeze a fresh lime to papaya to add a zing to the fruit!
5. The black seeds found in the cavity of the fruit can be easily grown in warm and tropical climates. Often, simply casting them across the ground will result in new tress popping up.
6. If you don’t have the room to grow papaya trees of your own, don’t throw away your seeds. Papaya seeds, although bitter to taste, are edible, highly nutritious, contain a variety of essential micronutrients and to help rid your body of parasites such as intestinal worms.
7. Trees grown from seed will produce fruit in its first year. You can grow a papaya tree in a pot, in a sunny spot or near a wall but avoid frosts if you live in colder climates. It’s a tropical plant that loves the sun.
8. Papaya leaf extract is now being widely used as a treatment for Dengue fever.
What’s not to like about papaya with its powerful antioxidant effects for improve heart health and its ability to help you stay looking young and wrinkle free. Eat more fresh beyond organic fruit, your health is your wealth!
Are you growing a papaya tree at home for fun or eating the delicious, fresh fruit for all it’s amazing health benefits as part of your daily diet? Share your thoughts in the comments below and follow us on Instagram.
8 Incredible Facts About Papaya Trees and Fruit