Papaya is a fruit native to Central and South America. The plant is now cultivated in most countries with a tropical climate but the fruit is still not very popular and not available at some grocery stores.
The taste of papaya is vaguely similar to peaches and pineapples but much milder, without the tartness. The Papaya fruit makes delicious desserts and is also used for salads, salsa and even some cooking recipes, such as chicken papaya.
Papayas are a rich source of fiber, antioxidant nutrients, minerals, vitamin A, C and E, beta-carotene and lycopene. The fiber found in papayas may help with the symptoms of those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome.
Papaya is known to aid digestion. Papayas are the only natural source of papain, an effective natural digestive aid, which breaks down protein and cleanses the digestive system.
Papain helps to digest food and can help people trying to lose weight. Papain is extracted to make digestive enzyme dietary supplements. Moreover, it is used as an ingredient in combination with other enzymes in multiple products to improve the digestive system.
Papaya supplements are also used to treat sports injuries as the enzyme papain has been shown to help lower inflammation and support muscle recovery as well.
In addition, the folic acid found in papayas is needed for the conversion of a substance called homocysteine into benign amino acids. If unconverted, homocysteine can directly damage blood vessel walls and is considered a significant risk factor for a heart attack or stroke.
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