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Papaya the Beautiful Fruit! - How to Buy & Prepare Papaya + Health Benefits

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Step #1: How to Choose a Ripe Papaya.
Papayas for sale with one cut in half to show the inside of the fruit, at the farmer's market
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Step 1: Papayas come in various shapes and sizes: the Hawaiian variety are smaller and are pear-shaped, while Carribean and Asian papayas are long and large, like the one pictured here. Both are delicious.

Shopping Tips: When shopping for a ripe papaya, look for skin that is turning from green to yellow. Parts of the papaya may look bruised - this is normal. You should be able to press your thumb into the flesh. If it's too soft or mushy, or if it has a sweet smell to it, the papaya is overripe. If you buy a firmer, green-skined papaya, it will ripen within approx. 1 to 3 days on your counter.

Health Benefits & Nutritional Information: Papaya was called "fruit of the angels" by Christopher Columbus, and for good reason. One of nature's wonders, fresh papaya improves digestion and prevents heart disease, arthritis, lung disease, and eye disorders. And with it's antioxidants, flavoniods, plus loads of vitamins and minerals, papaya will help you fight off cold and flu viruses and help keep you healthy through the winter. Papaya is high in: vitamins C, A, K, E, plus magnesium, folate, beta carotene, and lutein, and more.

For information on buying green papaya for making green papaya salad or other Thai/Asian dishes, see my: Thai Green Papaya Salad Recipe.

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