I’m proselytizing that papaya often falls by the wayside in favor of its yellower, tropical counterpart – the mango – purely from lack of promotion, though I’d be remiss not to mention that, for some, papaya carries an acquired taste. But what papaya lacks… is well, nothing! In its many sunset-colored varieties, you’re sure to find one that wows the palette given proper research. And if you don’t (or won’t), papaya offers a plethora of other awesome benefits that don’t require the actual eating of it.
Papayas can work from the inside out or the outside in. When eaten, they cleanse and soothe the digestive tract, calming indigestion and gas and restoring balance to your intestinal bacteria. When plagued by nausea (morning sickness anyone?) or a tummy ache, reach for a papaya slice, squeeze a little lime on top, and enjoy the double whammy of deliciousness and gastric ease. Containing a breadth of vitamins, antioxidants, trace minerals, folates, fiber and more, all the goodness in papayas combines synergistically to reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease -among other boons – and all this coming in at just about 50 calories per cup!
Externally, papaya is used in anti-aging products, both the skin and pulp valuable healing agents. When I cut open a papaya and it’s a bit unripe to enjoy just yet, I rub the fruit over my skin. That might sound a tad odd, but it’s rich with enzymes that help uncover a radiant, fresh complexion. To treat acne, you can combine mashed papaya, yogurt and sea salt, cool it in the fridge, applying it to your face for about 10 minutes before washing off with cool water. Who knows, maybe the leftovers will make a nice afternoon treat too.