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Papayas Sicken Hundreds

Native to southern Mexico and Central America, papaya is now cultivated in most tropical regions, including Hawaii, where it was introduced in the early 1800s. Today, Hawaii is still the only U.S. state where papaya is commercially grown.

There are two different types of papaya: Hawaiian and Mexican. The most commonly found type in the grocery store is the Hawaiian variety. This is probably because the Hawaiian plants are shorter and the fruit slightly lighter, making them easier to harvest.

Mexican papaya fruit can weigh up to 10 pounds and be 15 inches in length. The fruit and seeds are edible. The papaya is juicy, sweet and tastes a little like cantaloupe, while the seeds have a spicy flavor suggestive of black pepper.

Most Hawaiian papaya, as well as papaya grown in China, is genetically engineered (GE), so it’s important to only purchase organic papaya to avoid genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Another reason to carefully monitor the source of your papaya was reported on by CNN. One fatality and hundreds of infections have been linked to salmonella from yellow Maradol papayas from Mexico.

This news and the proliferation of GMO varieties does not mean that the papaya should be totally disregarded. Papayas contain 212 amino acids and several enzymes, including papain, a proteolytic enzyme that has an anti-inflammatory effect on the stomach, including swelling and fever that can develop post-surgery. Papain helps proteins digest faster, which discourages acid reflux, and has demonstrated effectiveness in treating ulcers and even relieving irritable bowel syndrome. Papaya seeds have been used in folk medicine to treat parasite and ringworm infections.

However, consume papayas in moderation because they contain fructose, which may be harmful to your health in excessive amounts. Make sure you check out my nutrition plan for more leading edge nutritional information. It provides actionable information on how to craft a nourishing diet that can serve as the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle.


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