There are many types of fruits in which Pawpaw is among them. The value and importance of Pawpaw cannot be over emphasized. The botanical name for Pawpaw is Carica Papaya. It is a native to central America and southern Mexico.
Pawpaw is a perennial plant with single trunk that can reach up to 30 feet at maturity. It takes Pawpaw seeds about 14 days which is about 2 weeks to germinate . Pawpaw seeds tend to be slow and erratic. Pawpaw tree has male, female and bisexual plants. The male one does not bear fruits.
The female and bisexual plants are the only ones that produce fruits. Pawpaw fruit is small to medium, round to large oblong shape. The skin is green when unripe while fruit flesh is generally yellow, although some red and orange colour types exist as well.
The fruit has black seeds which are edible but bitter. Every part of the fruit is useful; the leaves and the seeds help to cure High Blood Pressure (BP) and malaria.
Pawpaw is very rich in valuable nutrients and minerals. It contains dietary fibre, folate, vitamin A, C and E. It is good to know that the vitamin contents in pawpaw is more than that found in Orange.
It also contains small amount of calcium, iron, riboflavin, thiamine and niacin. It has low content in calories and Sodium. Pawpaw is very rich in antioxidant nutrients, flavonoids and carotene. It is also referred to as the fruits of the angels.
One small Pawpaw about 152 grams contains the followings:-
Calories – 5 grams
Carbohydrates – 15 grams
Fibre – 3 grams
Protein 1 gram
Vitamin C – 157 %
Vitamin A – 33 %
Floated (vitamin B9) – 14%
Potassium – 11%
Trace amounts of calcium, magnesium and vitamin B1, B3, B5, E and K.
Pawpaw contains an enzyme called papain which can break down the tough protein chains found in muscle meat. Because of this, people have used pawpaw to tenderize meat for thousands of years.
Pawpaw also has powerful antioxidant effects. It contains healthy antioxidants known as carotenoids particularly one type called Lycopene. Our body absorbs these beneficial antioxidants better from pawpaw than other fruits and vegetables. These antioxidants can also neutralize free radicals. Fermented pawpaw can reduce oxidative stress in older adults and people with pre-diabetes and liver diseases.
The reduction in oxidative stress is attributed to pawpaw’s Lycopene content and ability to remove excess iron which is known to produce free radicals.
However, pawpaw has anticancer properties. It is beneficial for people who are being treated for cancer. It reduces cancer risk by eliminating free radicals that contribute to cancer.
Among 14 fruits and vegetables with known antioxidant properties, only pawpaw demonstrates anticancer activity in breast cancer cells.
Adding more pawpaw to your diet boost one’s heart health. The antioxidants in it protect the heart and enhance protective effects of cholesterol. It reduces risk of heart disease.
Pawpaw is high in carotenoids like I stated above, that can reduce inflammation. Chronic inflammation is at the root of many diseases unhealthy foods and lifestyle choices can drive the inflammatory process. So taking pawpaw helps to reduce inflammatory markers.
It helps in digestion of food. The papain Enzyme in pawpaw makes protein easier to digest. Pawpaw is considered to be a remedy for constipation and other symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The seeds, leaves and root are also he’d to treat Ulcers.
In addition to keeping your body healthy, Pawpaw can also help our skin look more toned and youthful. It protects against skin damage.
The vitamin C and lycopene in papaya ( pawpaw) protect the skin and help to reduce as well as defend the body against wrinkle, sagging and signs of aging. The powerful antioxidants in pawpaw help the skin recover from sun damage as well.
In all the points I tried to emphasize above, Pawpaw is a delicious fruit that is best enjoyed ripe. It can be eaten alone or can easily be combined with other foods. It has a unique taste that many people love.
An unripe pawpaw can taste very different from a perfectly ripe one. However, unripe pawpaw should always be cooked before eating especially during pregnancy as the unripe fruit is high in Latex which can stimulate contractions. When optimally ripe, pawpaw should be yellow to orange-red in colour.
Like an avocado, it’s skin should yield to gentle pressure.
Pawpaw’s flavour is best when cold, so it is a good idea to keep it refrigerated whenever possible. It can also be taken as breakfast, appetizer, salsa, smoothie or desert.
I hope you enjoyed every bit of this piece? You can try out this fruit, and give us feedback on your experience.
You can also use the COMMENT section below for suggestions.