Fresh, raw papayas refer to newly-harvested papayas that are in good condition, and have not yet succumbed to natural fruit decay. Jam-packed with powerful healing properties, these delicious fruits are extremely versatile, and can be used in a number of sweet and savory culinary preparations.
How to Consume Fresh, Raw Papaya
In order to consume a fresh papaya in its raw form, the fruit must first be cut open and its seeds should be removed. The flesh of the fruit can be sliced or separated from its skin using a sharp knife or vegetable peeler. Although some special care must be taken to clean away the latex from raw green papayas they can be safely prepared in a number of healthful recipes.
The main benefits of raw papaya can be obtained from healthful preparations such as the following:
Papaya drinks. Fresh papaya chunks are easily blended or pressed for tropical fruit juices, and raw papaya smoothies. They can also be brewed in hot water and later strained to make deliciously warm teas.
Papaya desserts. It's naturally honeyed taste is perhaps one of the most gastronomically-significant benefits of raw papaya. It is most commonly sprinkled with lime and eaten as a breakfast or dessert snack. In addition, diced papayas can add texture and flavor to fruit salads, and they also can be pureed to serve as a topping for yogurts, ice creams, and other frozen desserts.
Papaya entrees and sides. Because raw green papaya contains very little sugar, it can be prepared as a vegetable in roasted papaya boats, salads, curries, and other Asian-inspired dishes. Meanwhile fresh, ripe papaya pairs extremely well with chicken and seafood.
Benefits of Consuming Fresh, Raw Papaya
Its powerful antioxidant action is perhaps the most important of raw papaya benefits. Rich in vitamins and carotenoids, it lowers cholesterol levels in the body, which in turn helps to protect against cellular damage, and increases blood flow, thus preventing the plaque to build up inside arteries (atherosclerosis).
Thanks to their high content in vitamin C (60.9 mg per 100 g), as well as to their potent antibacterial and antiviral properties, eating raw papayas boosts the immune system and strengthens the body's natural defenses against infections such as the common cold and flu.
Furthermore, raw papayas benefit the digestive system by breaking down inactive proteins and relieving constipation after heavy meals. They also lower inflammation, and have been used to ease joint pain caused by arthritis.
The use of raw papaya is not a new concept. However, in recent years modern science has corroborated what traditional folk healers have known all along: not only is it a delicious fruit, but a medicinally-potent one as well. It may be high time to start thinking about how the benefits of raw papaya can transform your diet today!
- Health Benefits of Papaya for Cooking and Healing, pp. 19 – 23
- Home Remedies Rx
- Thai Cooking, p. 27
- Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease, A review on medicinal properties of Carica papaya Linn., 2015
- Journal of Innovations in Pharmaceuticals and Biological Sciences, Nutritional, medicinal and pharmacological properties of papaya (Carica papaya linn.): A review, 2016
- Purdue University, Papaya, Carica papaya L. | Carica papaya L.