From glut to gut

Dietician Caitlin.

Staring out the window at the papaya picked up the garden centre, plonked in the ground and which is now covered in papaya – it’s easy to wonder what now and why did I do this in the first place?

The easy answer is – they taste great – but for many it might be because your doctor or health practitioner suggested them.

According to accredited practicing dietician Caitlin Reid, who has come up with some pretty tasty recipes for Papaya Australia, papaya is more than just the dark orange in your rainbow fruits salad.

Caitlin, has just finished a nutritional review on the fruit, adding papaya to your diet has the potential to improve your gut health, boost your immunity and even get a naturally healthy glow.

She said her latest findings shone a light on this unique yet versatile tropical fruit, and she is now encouraging Aussies to add more papaya to their diet.

“Papaya contains a unique bundle of vitamins, minerals and antioxidant carotenoids. These nutrients play a role in keeping the gut and eyes healthy, boosting the immune system and giving glowing skin. Results from several studies indicate diets high in carotenoid-rich fruit, like papaya, actually changes skin colour to give that desirable characteristic of skin yellowness,” said Caitlin.

“In just a single serve of papaya (150g) you’ll find more than double your daily vitamin C requirements (225%), almost a third of your vitamin A needs (30%) and more than a quarter of daily folate needs (28%).”

The nutrient boost that papaya provides may also be stronger than other fruits and vegetables. An intervention study indicated that the carotenoids in papaya may be more bioavailable than from other carotenoid-rich foods – including tomatoes and carrots – to better help the immune system fight the harmful effects of free radicals.

Packed with flavour and freshness (papaya is almost 90% water), papaya is the perfect natural snack, muesli topper or smoothie addition. It’s mild yet sweet flavour profile lends itself to both sweet and savoury dishes.

“Papaya pairs beautifully with seafood, coconut, passionfruit and lime. My favourite way to enjoy papaya is as a boat for breakfast, with a squeeze of lime or in a tasty curry,” Caitlin added.

Caitlin has identified six key health benefits of papaya which Aussies can enjoy:

● Gut Greatness – papaya is a source of dietary fibre and has a high water content, which plays an important role in keeping your digestive tract healthy and bowels regular.

● Immunity Boost – the unique combination of antioxidant carotenoids found in papaya help to support the immune system and fight the effects of free radicals in the body.

● Good Mood Food – a diet rich in vegetables and fruit like papaya promotes a better balance of gut microbiome, which plays a key role in improving mood.

● Glow Up – papaya helps maintain skin elasticity and glowing skin with each serve containing a unique bundle of skin-loving antioxidants such as vitamin A, C and carotenoids.

● Feeling Full – papaya is nutrient rich, low in fat and kilojoules and has a moderate GI making it a good choice to help satisfy hunger and keep you feeling full for longer.

● Happy Heart – keep your heart healthy and reduce the risk of coronary disease with a diet high in fruits like papaya, and vegetables.


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