10 Reasons To Eat Papaya For Breakfast
“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” these famous words by William Shakespeare are absolutely true in case of the breakfast fruit of the season – papaya. Papaw, pawpaw, tropical Carica, papita, or fruta bomba, call what you might, the fact remains that to eat papaya for breakfast equates to having a dozen vitamin supplements at the same time! These fruits, however, fail to excite the taste buds of many for a variety of reasons. If you are among those who prefer to pass this healthy treat then here are a few reasons why you should be eating papayas for breakfast, along with a few recipe ideas to make it more palatable for you…
Benefits of eating papayas for breakfast
1. Trove of vital nutrients
Papitas are a rich source of over 30 vital vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A, Vitamin B, and Vitamin C, and minerals such as potassium, iron, calcium, and phosphorous. Each of these nutrients plays an important role in the upkeep of the organ systems of our body. Having papaya for your morning meals helps keep these organ systems in their best condition, fit enough to get you through the day.
2. Promotes vision and eye health
The deep yellow color of these fruits comes from beta carotene - the precursor of Vitamin A, an important nutrient in upkeep of vision health. Apart from beta-carotene, papayas contain several trace metals as well that help improve vision. Moreover, the phyto-nutrients present in the fruits prevent free-radical related aging of the retina and prevent age related macular disease, stress myopia, and cataract risk.
3. Aids digestion
Green unripe papaya is used as a meat tenderizer for a reason. These fruits contain a unique proteolytic (protein breaking) enzyme called papain, which breaks protein links and acts as a natural chemical tenderizer in cooking. The same enzyme when consumed as a part of the fruit acts in tandem with stomach acids and promotes faster digestion of proteins.
4. Prevents mild allergies
Most allergies are caused by long presence of long chain protein in the food. Papain helps break these into shorter chains, which helps prevent certain mild cases of allergies. However, a word of caution, people with known cases of allergies must think of introducing the allergen in their diet along with papaya only under medical supervision.
5. Improves GI health
Apart from papain, Papaws are rich in dietary fiber and contain the right amount of simple sugars. Moreover, they are loaded with phytonutrients and trace elements and micronutrients like Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Regular consumption of papayas has shown to help improve probiotic quality in the large gut, enhance gut motility, and villi cell health. What’s more, these effects are best seen when the fruit is consumed between 4.00am to 10.00am.
6. Ideal for weight loss diets
Unlike the popular belief that these fruits are fattening, papayas promote weight loss. About 80% of the fruit is water and it is rich in dietary fiber. The water and fiber add to the satiety value of the breakfast, making you eat less for the morning meal. Moreover, the fiber content also helps enhance metabolic rate of the body, which promotes fat mobilization.
7. A potent weapon against daily toxins
Christopher Columbus called the papaws “fruits of angel” and rightly so. These are rife with several natural detoxifying agents including flavonoids, carotenes, polyphenols, and more. These help remove and/or neutralize the toxins in the liver and thus aid detoxification of the body. The simple sugars present in the fruit promote live health, which in turn enhances the natural toxin removal process carried out in the liver.
8. Protects brain and nervous system from degenerative diseases
Degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease can be prevented and in certain rare cases reversed by regular morning consumption of papayas. The antioxidant agents and brain health promoting micro nutritents papayas have shown promising effects in keeping these morbid brain conditions at bay in animal studies. Also, papain has shown some promise in reversing Alzheimer’s disease by acting upon the bio-markers of the ailment.
9. Powerful anti-carcinogenic agent
As mentioned earlier, these tropical fruits are rich in anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory agents along with nutrients like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, selenium, potassium, flavonoids, carotenoids, and more. These help prevent free radical damage of the cells, prevent cell mutation, and in the long run prevent formation and/or progression of cancer cell formations.
10. A skin friendly fruit
Last but not the least, these fruits are a rich source of almost all skin friendly nutrients including zinc, Vitamin A and C, B vitamins, and more. Papti pulp is regularly used in commercial cosmetic products. Regular consumption of papaya for breakfast helps prevent acne, prevents germ build up in the pores, and gives you a rich and glowing skin.
Tips to include papayas in breakfast
Eating papayas as is might be the best and easiest way to consume papayas during breakfast. However, many find the smell and taste of the flesh a bit overwhelming. To help you with this task here are some scrumptious ways to include them in your 1st meal of the day
· Fresh Papaya juice or sorbet: Juice is the perfect breakfast drink and one of the easiest to prepare as well. In the ,morning all you need to do is remove the loose seeds, scoop put the flesh and blend in with some water or crushed ice and you are ready.
· Papaya crepes: Fill your traditional crepes with some exotic yet healthy papaya sauce. You can prepare this by cooking papaya puree with sugar, butter, and spices, or use readymade sauce.
· Quick crispy papayas: A tropical version of fruit crumble, all you need to do is mix whole-wheat flour with butter and molasses. Next cover a layer of papayas with this mixture and bake for 10 mins, your crispy and delectable breakfast will be ready.
· Papaya yogurt: This is probably the simplest recipe to prepare, just blend plain yogurt with mashed papayas and you are ready to dig in. The papayas will add enough sweetness and extra sugar is usually not needed.
· Papaya and oatmeal porridge: Bored of the same old oatmeal preparations, add a new zing to the dish with some colorful papaya cubes. You can add cubes of the fruit at the end of the preparation, or mix in some yellow puree for delightful splash of color in your morning meal.
With so many benefits and even more ways to enjoy this fruit in the morning, papayas truly are the best tropical fruits to be had for your breakfast. These fruits, with a mildly sweet taste are not only delicious but healthy too. If for nothing else, have a slice of these tropical delights for a prefect start to your day.
Image credits: ifood