Pawpaw is a sweet tasty fruit which comes in different sizes and contains soft, easily digestible flesh with a good amount of soluble dietary fiber (4.7grams) and water content which helps prevent constipation, ease bowel movement and promotes a healthy digestive tract.
It has approximately 120 calories, 30 grams of carbohydrates and 2 grams of protein. They are a good source of foliate, magnesium, pantothenic acid, vitamins A, B, C and K, copper, calcium, fiber and beta carotene, but low in calories and sodium. This wide variety of benefits make pawpaw wonderful altogether.
Pawpaw is rich in chymopain enzymes that break down protein into amino acids which is responsible for all what happens in our mental and physical health. In fact, we are advised to eat pawpaw after meals for better digestion, to prevent bloating and indigestion.
That’s why it’s a total fruit that deals with our overall eating pattern and most importantly, prevents diseases and achieves good health.
Studies even suggest we increase the consumption of plant foods like pawpaw because they help to promote healthy complexion and hair. Besides, they increase energy but reduce body weight and decrease the risk of obesity, diabetics, heart disease and overall, mortality. It has long been associated with reducing the risk of many lifestyle-related health conditions.
Research has shown that a higher intake of all fruits reduces the risk of age-related macular degeneration. But the antioxidants found in pawpaw filter harmful blue light rays and play a protective role in the eye and ward-off damages. It also has beta-carotene that reduces the risk of asthma and on the other hand boosts the immune system.
Pawpaw has vitamin K that helps reduce the risk of bone fracture by modifying the bone matrix protein, improving calcium absorption and may also reduce urinary excretion of calcium. It also contains vitamin A which is great for the hair and growth of other body tissues.
It is an excellent source of vitamin C and one fruit which provides about 224 percent of your daily need which is more than that of orange or lemon. It is good for the skin and healing of external wounds. It can also be used to prevent infection on burned areas of the skin. In other words, it can be used as ointment to treat decubitus ulcers or bedsores.
Pawpaw has powerful antioxidant beta-carotene that plays a protective role against prostate cancer; this makes it necessary for young men. Besides this, it fights colon cancer. It also lowers blood glucose level, this makes it safe for people with diabetes type 1 and 2.
Its seeds are not left out, they are actually edible but have a bitter-peppery taste. They are proven to have natural remedy for treating stomach upsets, ringworm infections and some other aliments in traditional homes.
The leaves are also used in traditional homes to treat some health conditions like fever and tooth aches. They can also be locally used as scourging powder to wash utensils and aluminum surfaces.
Consumption of pawpaw
Pluck, if you have, or buy slightly ripe pawpaw without bruises. Wash in running water, peel off the outer skin and remove the black seeds in the centre hollow of the fruit then cut into cubes and serve. It can also be added to fruit salad or used as wedge or better still as pawpaw juice that can be taken or eaten any time of the day. Some people prefer slightly ripe pawpaw that is crumpy in the mouth and so they throw away the over-riped one not knowing that it can be used to make pawpaw jam and eaten with bread.
Fruit jam is much better than the conventional fat spread (butter).
NOTE: Pawpaw has white latex that makes it not safe for people with latex allergy thus may be allergic to pawpaw as well.
How to prepare pawpaw jam
Get a very ripe pawpaw fruit and blend to fine. Ginger is optional, cut and blend (small quantity, please). Heat your frying pan without oil or water. Pour the blended pawpaw into the hot frying pan and stir so that it does not stick to the pot. Add your blended ginger and keep stirring until it is elastic like well-prepared pap. Add sugar (if you desire) and mix again. Don’t stop until it has turned orange-brown. Allow to cool before using with bread.
Culled from The Authority