The Food Coach

Healthy Food Database - Yellow Papaw

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The name papaw is given to the larger melon-like fruit with a smooth yellow-orange skin and less-sweet yellow flesh. Different to papaya though often called by the same name, papaws have a distinct yellow flesh and are rounder and larger than papaya.

Papaw contains papain, an enzyme that helps digest proteins. Papain is especially high when the fruit is unripe and may be beneficial to those with digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome. Papain is also often extracted from the fruit to make digestive enzyme dietary supplements.

Papaw is a good source of vitamin C, folate, potassium, vitamins E, C, A and K as well as antioxidants such as beta-carotene, lutein and lycopene.
Category: Fruit
In Season: all year
To Buy: Choose papaws that are almost fully yellow and slightly soft to touch if you are going to eat them straight away. If not, select fruits with a yellow-green skin and allow them to ripen at room temperature for a few days before consuming.
To Store: Papaws can be ripened at room temperature and are ready to eat when the skin is yellow and slightly soft to touch. They can be stored in the fridge for a few days once ripe.
Tips & Tricks: Papaws are often sliced and eaten on their own, and can be drizzled with fresh lime or lemon for extra flavour. The fruit is also perfect as an ingredient in a variety of recipes, including breakfast and brunch. Aside from its health benefits, papain is also used in the following ways:
  • As a meat tenderiser
  • As an agent to filter and purify beer
  • To cleanse, soothe and heal the skin
  • As a home remedy for the treatment of jellyfish, bee and wasp stings when made into a paste with water.
  • Nutrition (100 Grams):

    Weight (grams): 100
    Carbohydrates, g: 0.1
    Fibre, g:
    Fat (g): 0.1
    Monosaturated Fat , g: 0.0
    Vitamin C: Antioxidant, anti inflammatory and immune-boosting, this vitamin has a range of uses. Is essential for collagen formation, therefore plays a role in wound healing. Fights infection and protects against free radical damage. Vitamin C helps maintain normal cholesterol levels, promotes the absorption of iron and counters the effects of stress as it is concentrated in the adrenal glands.

Large doses can cause diaorrhea or gas.
    Vitamin K: Vitamin K is used in the body to control blood clotting and is essential for synthesizing the liver protein that controls the clotting. It is involved in creating the important prothrombin, which is the precursor to thrombin - a very important factor in blood clotting. It is also involved in bone formation and repair. In the intestines it also assists in converting glucose to glycogen, this can then be stored in the liver. There are some indications that Vitamin K may decrease the incidence or severity of osteoporosis and slow bone loss. 

Be careful not to take too much Vitamin K in the last stages of pregnancy, since it could be toxic for the baby.
    Salicylates: Naturally occurring plant chemicals found in several fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs and spices, jams, honey, yeast extracts, tea and coffee, juices, beer and wines. Also present in flavourings, perfumes, scented toiletries and some medications.

For those with sensitivities, low foods are almost never a problem, moderate and high foods may cause reactions, depending on how sensitive you are and how much is eaten. Very high foods will most often cause unwanted symptoms in sensitive individuals. Very low
    Energy (kJ): 141
    Moderate GI 55 - 70: Glycaemic Index refers to the rate at which carbohydrate rich foods are converted to glucose for energy by the body; A moderate GI will release glucose into the bloodstream at a moderate rate.
    Protein (g): 0.4
    Saturated Fat, g : 0.0
    Vitamin A: Often called the "anti-infective" vitamin, it protects the mucous membranes of the body, reducing chance of infection and enhancing the immune system's response. Necessary for growth and maintenenance of bones, teeth and body tissues and healthy foetal development, this vitamin is also important for night vision.

Taken in excess will accumulate in the body.
    Vitamin E: A powerful antioxidant and immune system stimulator, this vitamin is composed of a group of compounds called tocopherols. Protects the body from free radicals, improves oxygen and blood supply to the muscles and heart for better stamina, reducing blood pressure and imroving circulation. Prevents the oxidation of harmful LDL cholesterol and inhibits scar tissue formation in arteries and skin, and counters the effects of ageing.

Taken in excess may cause toxicity. Not advised for patients taking Vitamin K or anti-coagulant medicine as it may counter or exacerbate effects.
    Potassium: Needed for normal growth and muscle and nerve contraction. Together with sodium regulates water and fluid balance in the body.
    Amines: Amines come the breakdown or fermentation of proteins. High amounts are found in cheese, chocolate, wine, beer and yeast extracts. Smaller amounts are present in some fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, avocados, bananas.

For those with sensitivities, low foods are almost never a problem, moderate and high foods may cause reactions, depending on how sensitive you are and how much is eaten. Very high foods will most often cause unwanted symptoms in sensitive individuals. Moderate
    Glutamates: Glutamate is found naturally in many foods, as part of protein. It enhances the flavour of food, which is why foods rich in natural glutamates such as tomatoes, mushrooms and cheeses are commonly used in meals. Pure monosodium glutamate (MSG) is used as an additive to artificially flavour many processed foods, and should be avoided, especially in sensitive individuals as it can cause serious adverse reactions. n/a


    Cooking Tips: Combining milk with papaw to create a nutritious breakfast smoothie such as a Papaw Lassi can lead to an increase in the amount of beta-carotene absorbed from the fruit.

    Benefits the Following Health Conditions:*

    Cold and Flus
    Digestive Disorders
    Irritable Bowel Syndrome
    Low Energy

    * This information is sourced by a qualified naturopath. It is non prescriptive and not intended as a cure for the condition. Recommended intake is not provided. It is no substitute for the advice and treatment of a professional practitioner.

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