There is nothing like fresh fruits and vegetables during peak season. Check out our “Eat Seasonably” feature where we will share health tips, preparation tricks, and new recipes featuring the best of the season’s produce. This month, we are featuring papaya. This tropical fruit is packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and the right amount of sweetness to curb your sweet tooth. With only 60 calories per serving, this fiber-filled fruit is bursting with health benefits. Read on to discover just why you should be adding papaya to your diet!
Contains Papain: An enzyme proven to aid in digestion.
Rich source of antioxidants: Research suggests antioxidants may aid in cancer prevention.
Boost mood and immune system: One serving of papaya will provide all the recommended Vitamin C for a full day! Vitamin C not only boosts your immune system, but may also boost your mood.
Helps keep you full: As with other fruits, papaya is a good source of fiber, which helps to keep you full and satisfied.
How to select and store
Papayas can be as long as 20 inches, but those found in stores typically average 7 inches.
If you want to eat papaya within a day of purchase, choose papayas that have reddish-orange skin and are slightly soft to the touch. Those that have patches of yellow color will take a few more days to ripen. Avoid those that appear bruised or overly soft.
Ripe papayas should be stored in the refrigerator and consumed within a few days.
If mixing into a fruit salad, add just before serving as it softens quickly.
Papaya seeds are edible, though they have a peppery, bitter flavor. They can be eaten whole or blended, to be added to a salad dressing. Check out more here!