TROPICAL FRUIT - PAPAYA




PAPAYA FRUIT  - Non-Seasonal Type

The scientific name of exotic papaya plant is 'Carica Papaya' and  they grown abundantly in the tropical regions. Papaya trees start bearing fruits in less than 12 months, after reaching maximum height. Hence, papaya fruits are available in the market all the year round.  They need to be re-planted when they become less productive after a few repeated cycles of bearing fruits.

The papaya fruit looks like the elongated shape of a pear, spherically round at the end portion. The size and weight of the fruit depends more on the soil quality and improvements of agricultural research developments. The fruits are usually plucked when they reached the size of more than 15 inches. Besides human beings, birds and large insects also prey on papayas for food.  The colour of the unripe fruit is dark green and will be left in dark areas to ripen by itself. The skin colour turns to orange hue when completely ripe for consumption.

Numerous black seeds are seen when the fruit is cut, and only the orange-red coloured flesh is edible. Papaya trees are germinated from seeds. Quality papayas are succulently firm with sweet flavour.

 

Papaya Fruit Nutrition

The tropic fruit is known for its whitening and exfoliating properties which can help  reduce wrinkles with its collagen-producing effect.  It has been used as natural skin care by rubbing thin slices of papaya pulp on the skin and allowing it to dry off after 5 minutes or more, before rinsing with water.

 

Papaya fruit contains low calories but no cholesterol ;  and is rich in minerals and vitamins. The dietary fibre of the fruit is easily digestible, so helps in reducing constipation by increasing frequency of eliminating toxic waste from the bowels when the fruit is eaten regularly. The rich nutrients found in papayas are vitamin -A, flavonoid like beta carotenes, vitamin -C and vitamin B-complex group nutrients. The nutrients of vitamin B-complex group are folic acid, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin, thiamine (vitamin B1).


The vitamins present in papayas have antioxidant properties which can help the body neutralise harmful radical cell growth so the body organs can function properly. Besides vitamins, minerals like potassium and calcium are also present. Calcium will help in strengthening the bones while potassium is required for proper functioning of the heart and control blood pressure. Traditional practitioners are known to have used papaya seeds to treat ringworm infections and stomach-ache.

 

Papaya Fruit Preparation And Serving Papaya

The outer skin layer of the ripe papaya must be removed with a knife and the seeds scraped off before eating. Alternatively, the fruit can be eaten by scraping the flesh with a spoon after getting rid of the seeds.

Cut papayas when complemented with other tropical fruits creates an appealing and colourful mix of fruits when served on the table as dessert. Papayas blended with milk and ice is a very popular drink in the drinks menu.

Semi-ripe papayas can be cut into slices and preserved with vinegar and sugar as appetising pickles.
They are also used as a main ingredient in cooking soup. 

 

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