Rumor has it Christopher Columbus called it the "fruit of the angels." And it's entirely true — papaya is this beautiful tropical experience, whether you choose the Mexican or Hawaiian (shown above) varietal. They contain enzymes called papain that help in the digestion of protein. You can buy the enzymes (usually mixed with bromelain from pineapples) at most health food stores — even Trader Joe's. They taste like candy! I take them (or a little slice of actual papaya!) when I have a heavy meal or eat out.
Papaya's boast of a huge dose of VITAMIN C (side note: remember that singer, circa 1999?), some folate and fiber + a wealth of other trace minerals. The papain is also inflammation-lowering and has been shown to improve healing in burns.
Lastly, EAT THE SEEDS! They're a tad peppery and include lots of good phytochemicals too. Their unique properties are often used to kill intestinal parasites.
Here is a tasty anti-parasitic smoothie you can drink if you're trying to cleanse your intestines of possible intruders.
"Take the seeds from an average size papaya and grind them in your blender. Next, add a tablespoon of organic virgin coconut oil. Then add about a cup of coconut milk and the rest of the papaya. Finally top it off with some organic honey and blend until smooth. Drink the smoothie each morning for at least 7 consecutive days."
Recipe courtesy of The Oz Blog.