Papaya and pineapple – aside from their notoriously tropical flavors, what’s the deal with these fruits?
One of the reasons these fruits are super-powered for human health is due to their enzymatic content. Naturally occurring enzymes in these fruits get to work in your digestive systems by helping breakdown food effectively and moving food through your digestive system.
Think about it as the enzymes infusing your body with a little extra “cleaning power” – helping efficiently separate nutrients from waste, putting the good stuff to work, and then motoring that waste right on out of your body. Helpful, right?
Pineapple contains the digestive enzyme bromelain which assists in breaking down proteins that you ingest and helps put them to good use as fuel for your body. Bromelain also helps sift out amino acids, which are useful for muscle growth and recovery as well as being essential for normal organ function. Helping your body break down and actually absorb the proteins is a huge benefit of digestive enzymes.
The caricain enzyme in papaya has been found to be effective in breaking down gluten, making it potentially useful if you find yourself sensitive to gluten. The papain enzyme in papaya supports human tissue growth and naturally helps protects tissue and muscle fibers within the body.
Papaya has a ton of fiber – also great for healthy and regular digestive function – as well as folate, and important B vitamin that supports the metabolic process, cell growth, and cell regeneration. In this way, joint health and tissue protection make papaya a great ingredient to consume for joint and muscle comfort and recovery, especially if you are maintaining an active exercise and mobility schedule.
In Thai cuisine, green papaya salad is a culinary staple. The green papaya is actually just an unripened papaya – still light green in color, not yet ripened and bright orange. The green or unripe papaya is actually even better for your digestion and even more full of enzymes. Papaya salad is usually consumed on an empty stomach or at the very beginning of a meal for maximum benefit! Still, a fully ripened papaya will still contain all of the excellent enzymes, but with a different texture and flavor. Ripened papaya you will find to be sweeter and softer than green papaya.
Papaya enzymes are even becoming increasingly popular in skincare in mask form, as the enzymes work to exfoliate and clear away dead skin. Not only do these papaya infused masks gently scrub your pores and skin clean, they also smell amazing!
Papaya and pineapple are also chock full of vitamin C, helping boost and protect your immune system. Easy to incorporate into smoothies or as a post-workout snack, I highly recommend these powerful fruits to anyone in need of digestion support, joint protection, or extra vitamin C!
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