Now that summer is around the corner, its a great time to start thinking about new fruits to incorporate into your diet. Papayas are a sweet and juicy tropical fruit that do so much more than give a dish great flavor. Full of vitamins, phytonutrients, and antioxidants, papayas can help stimulate the immune system, ease digestion, improve skin and eye health, and protect against carcinogens. Here’s how:
- Immune Health – Papayas contain almost a three day supply of Vitamin C, helping to promote a healthy and active immune system.
- Digestion – Ripe papayas help ease digestive problems due to their high fiber content. They also contain high levels of the digestive enzyme papain, which acts like the enzymes already found in our stomach.
- Skin and Eye – The vitamins C and E, found in an abundance in papayas, are antioxidants that protect your skin from harmful free radicals which otherwise leads to wrinkles and other signs of aging. Other antioxidants and the compound folate promote healthy cell growth in addition to protection against free radicals.
The vitamin A in papayas (which comes from beta-carotene) is important for good eye health. Phytochemicals lutein and zeaxanthin in papayas are delivered to the eye where they protect against UV damage.
With the increase in exposure to UV rays on the horizon, now’s a great time to increase your intake of papayas. Protective against UV rays, and free radicals, papayas will help to keep your skin and eyes healthy throughout the spring and summer months. So throw them into a springtime fruit salad, or make a sweet salsa for taco night, and leave the rest up to the nutrient-packed papaya!