Though summer is slowly coming to an end, it’s not too late to bask in the sun and soak up whatever this hot season has left to offer. And it has a lot to offer: no school, beach bonfires, exotic travel locations, and delicious, tropical fruits that you can’t get any other time of year.
This summer, skip out on totally overrated watermelons and pineapples and reach for a papaya.
I know what you’re thinking. A papaya? Really? Yes really. Eating papaya won’t only please your tastebuds, but also your body. Even one slice offers health benefits that you wouldn’t say no to.
For example, spending all those days of summer lying out on the beach not only leaves a tan (that fades faster than the silly bands trend), but also mars the skin with sunburns. Enter papayas, loaded with enzymes such as papain and chymopapain, which are proven to lessen inflammation as well as help heal burns.
Known as one of the world’s boldest super fruits, papayas also contain Vitamin A and Vitamin C which strengthen your immune system and keep you from having to bail on road trips with your friends. It also helps in digestion—a must-know tip after all that tasty summer fast food you ate in the sun last weekend.
The variety of nutrients in papaya—a combination of minerals, acids and vitamins—all work together to safeguard the body from colon cancer. The super fruit’s folic acid also assists the body in the conversion of malignant amino acids into harmless ones. Crazy, right? Columbus didn’t declare it the “fruit of angels” for nothing.
It’s also super easy to incorporate into your diet. One way to try the glorious papaya is to make a Thai green papaya salad. It’s a customizable dish, but some classic ingredient options include shrimp, garlic, tomatoes, and peanuts. Papaya can also be an ice cream topping or blended with milk and honey to create a creamy beverage that is perfectly refreshing for hot weather.
In this day and age where fast food is a reigning monarch, it is important to care for our bodies. French author François de la Rochefoucauld once said, ‘To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.’ Eat intelligently. Eat a papaya.