December 19, 2011

Papaya...Accidental Brilliance Superfood + Supplement Series

Over the last few months I have been working on a project that has me traveling to a more tropical climate and weekends I find myself out on a long bike ride ending with a delicious smoothie in a favorite new health food restaurant. With a combination of coconut milk, dates, frozen banana and papaya nectar it is for sure a splurge but totally worth it. Although I eat fruit without fail everyday, papaya is not normally in the rotation. As I was sipping my smoothie this past weekend I started to look up the benefits of papaya and realized that I should be fitting it into my diet a bit more often. An excellent source of dietary fiber, folate, vitamin A,E, and one of the highest sources of vitamin C,  it is also rich in antioxidant nutrients, flavonoids and carotenes. It is a perfect source of enzymes and as we get older we produce less digestive enzymes so eating papaya or enzyme rich foods becomes important. Eaten after a meal it makes for better digestion, prevents bloating and chronic indigestion. It can also lower the inflammation in the body, alleviates the pain and edema caused by sport injuries. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, can relieve the severity of Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Because of its high antioxidant content, papaya can also prevent cholesterol oxidation and can be used in  preventative treatments against atherosclerosis, strokes, heart attacks and diabetic heart disease. Sort of seems a bit silly to not grab one next time you are at the store right ? And I guess it gives me a good excuse to keep ordering my favorite decadent smoothie !

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