Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pump It Up With Papaya

When you want something tropic, go for something other than mango or coconuts. While the two are certainly popular, there are tastier tropical fruits around. One of them is papaya. Papaya, sometimes referred to as pawpaw, does more than stimulate the taste buds.

Ripe papayas contain nearly a three-day supply of vitamin C and a significant amount of vitamins E and A (the latter generally comes in the form of beta-carotene, which contributes to the oblong fruit's bright color). These powerful antioxidants are associated with a decreased risk of heart disease, some cancers, and the chronic ailments related to aging. Papayas may also help improve skin, strengthen nails and hair, and, when applied topically, fade freckles.

Choose slightly soft papayas with reddish-orange skin. Yellowish fruit will take several days to ripen. To speed the process, place the papaya in a paper bag with a banana and leave it on the counter. Green papayas, while delicious in Asian-style salads, have not developed this fruit's characteristic juicy flavor. Ripe papayas will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator. They are particularly good served during breakfast or mixed with milk in a smoothie.

1 comment:

  1. I know nothing about this fruit.... Of course, I rarely see it here in France but, maybe, when I go to the 'city' this week I can find it. We eat so much fruit and right now is a 'between' time - citrus is done, stone fruits not ready yet.