Food For Thought: Papayas Can Help You Breath Easier

Subscribe to this Blogger's RSS feed

Papayas are rich in beta carotene that’s what gives it its rich orange color. Beta carotene is converted into Vitamin A and provides anti-oxidant protection. They are an excellent source of natural vitamin C and Vitamin E and all these nutrients are good at reducing inflammation in the body such as you find in arthritis or asthma.

And if you are concerned about lung health, perhaps you are a smoker; foods rich in Vitamin A such as the papaya have been studied and shown to protect the lungs. Studies where Animals were fed a Vitamin A rich diet, tended to not get emphysema even after being exposed to cigarette smoke. Now Im not saying you can continue to smoke and be protected by eating papayas or other Vitamin A rich foods, but just want to point out that the best nutrients are from our colorful foods.

Papayas are also rich in the enzyme Papain that helps us digest proteins. Supplements are often made from the papaya fruit just for this enzyme, which is so very helpful in digestive issues.

Normally you think of throwing away the seeds, but you can use the seed of the papaya in place of pepper. You can chew on the seeds, or let them dry and crush them in place of pepper. They taste like pepper.

Peak season for papayas are early summer and into fall. They have a long season. Now choosing a ripe papaya is easy. You cannot rely on smell for this fruit. They should have a yellow-orange color and if they are more yellow then it will take a couple of days to ripen. But you can press into the fruit and if it gives in slightly its ripe. You want to avoid bruised or very soft papayas.

Just cut and slice a papaya like you would a melon. They are great in smoothies, mixed in a tropical fruit medley with coconut and mango or pineapple. Papaya salsa is a great alternative for those with allergies to tomatoes. I’ve included a recipe for salsa that is phenomenal on fish, shrimp, or pork.

Ginger Papaya Salsa
1 Medium diced Papaya
1 TBS lime juice
1 TBS minced cilantro
1 tsp fresh grated ginger

Mixed and use to top Fish, Shellfish, or Pork

About Karen Roth

Hi. My name is Karen Roth, and I’m a Holistic Nutritionist. Okay, I know what you’re thinking… quick, hide the food; the snack police is here! No need to panic. I describe myself as a “practical” nutritionist, one who doesn’t go to extremes one way or the other and understands that life is challenging enough without having to torture yourself by cutting out many of the things you enjoy. Most of us have limited time to shop for food and to cook healthier meals. And a one-size-fits-all approach does not work when it comes to what and how we all eat. Trust me, I get it.

In my early years out of college when I was bartending, my eating and drinking habits were anything but healthy. But, then you grow up and start thinking about the bigger picture and listening more to what your body is telling you. My pre-nutritionist days were on the corporate treadmill where stress and snacking at the desk was part of my daily routine. Never enough hours in the day and proper eating was always at the bottom of my list.

It wasn’t until I broke my jaw in a freak accident that my food life really changed. When you’re wired shut for two months and denied the food you need for your very existence, you begin to look at the world a little differently. When I healed myself, primarily by creating my own foods I could sip through a straw, I decided to pursue something that was always of interest to me… nutrition. Pulling the plug on the corporate treadmill, I went back to school for three years to get my Masters Degree in Holistic Nutrition. I then opened a practice in Valencia, California, and I’m pleased to say that over the years I have helped so many people improve the quality of their lives by helping them make simple changes in their diets and lifestyle.

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be time-consuming or tasteless, and it is my intention to bring you practical tips each week on how to fit in nutrition one bite at a time. In addition to being practical, I’m also positive so you don’t have to worry that I am going to be Debby Downer and tell you that everything you put in your mouth is going to kill you. Instead, I will offer you easy to implement, simple strategies to help you improve your health. I’ll be introducing new foods (that taste good – because I don’t eat anything that tastes like sawdust or is unappetizing) and new habits that are realistic. I hope you’ll join me as a regular reader and together we’ll build the healthier you with FOOD FOR THOUGHT.

(Karen Roth, MS, NC is a graduate of Hawthorn University’s Master of Science in Holistic Nutrition training program. She helps her clients to take control of their health with foods choices that best support their specific health condition and specific metabolic type and believes that every ill health condition can benefit and possibly improve from a solid foundation of healthy foods choices. Visit her website at