Papaya on cutting board

How To Cut A Papaya

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Tamara
January 21, 2022
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If you love adding fresh papaya to your fruit salads or eating it on its own, you’ll know how delicious and satisfying it can be.

Papaya is a tropical fruit that has orange flesh which is sweet, and this is why it’s both a common and popular ingredient in many Caribbean, Indian, and Thai dishes. It’s also very healthy to consume.

What nutrients does papaya contain?

Papaya contains a large amount of vitamin A, C, and E, all of which are antioxidants that kill free radicals in the body and therefore prevent health conditions such as heart disease. 

That said, there are many things to know about papaya, such as how to cut it and how to enjoy it in a healthy diet. With that in mind, let’s explore this colorful, tasty fruit in greater detail. 

How To Cut A Papaya 

Using the right knife for cutting

Have you ever battled to cut a papaya?

This could have occurred because the papaya wasn’t as ripe as it should have been or you weren’t using the right knife. Since a papaya can be quite large, you want to ensure you have the right tools on hand to make cutting it and adding it to your dishes a breeze.

Here’s what you need to know about cutting a papaya properly. 

  1. Start by placing your papaya on a cutting board. Note that this fruit can leak a lot of juice, so make sure you have a dishcloth nearby to clean up any spills.
  2. With a sharp knife, cut off both ends of the papaya and throw these away in your compost bin. Make sure the knife is large so that you can comfortably hold it lengthwise across the papaya. You can also use a serrated bread knife to cut your papaya if that’s more convenient. 
  3. Cut the fruit lengthwise from top to bottom so that you have two halves. 
  4. With the use of a spoon, carefully remove all the seeds and pulp from both halves of the papaya. Make sure you avoid digging your spoon too deeply into the papaya flesh as this will remove some of the fruit, especially if the papaya is overripe.
  5. To remove the skin of a papaya, use a vegetable peeler or a knife. Now you’re ready to start cutting up the flesh so that you can add it to your dishes!
  6. An easy way to cut your papaya is to cut each half of the papaya lengthwise so that you have strips of the fruit.  
  7. Chop the strips of the papaya so that you end up with cubes. These are easy to add into meals. 

Is Your Papaya Ready To Eat? 

Make sure your papaya is ripe and ready to be enjoyed before you cut into it.

To ensure it’s ripened enough, you have to look at its skin. If it has started turning yellow, this means that it’s beginning to ripen.

When it’s almost completely yellow in color and feels soft when pressed, then you know it’s ready to be eaten and enjoyed. 

If you have a papaya that’s not ripe enough to eat, you can speed up the ripening process by storing it in a paper bag with fruits that produce ethylene, such as bananas and apples.

While some cuisines make use of unripened papaya because of its crunchiness, you generally want to avoid eating papaya that hasn’t ripened enough as it will have a sour flavor or lack flavor. 

How Healthy Are Papayas? 

Papayas are very rich with antioxidant

Papayas are very healthy, mainly because of their rich antioxidant content.

Here are some papaya health benefits to know about that originate from their antioxidants. 

Papayas keep the brain healthy

A study found that when people with Alzheimer’s disease were given a fermented papaya extract to eat for six months, they had a 40 percent reduction in a biomarker indicating oxidative damage to their DNA.

This, therefore, shows that papaya can help to protect the brain.

Papayas protect the body against cancer

papaya contains an antioxidant called lycopene

Since papaya contains an antioxidant called lycopene, it is said to reduce one’s cancer risk and studies have also shown that it can help people who are being treated for cancer. 

But, most interesting of all, papaya has an edge over other fresh produce when it comes to fighting cancer.

Research has found that, out of 14 fruits and vegetables that contain antioxidants, papaya is the only one that displays anticancer activity in breast cancer cells.

Papayas reduce inflammation in the body 

There have been various studies conducted on foods containing antioxidants and how they can help to lower inflammation in the body, therefore they contribute to decreasing one’s risk of various diseases.

Since papayas contain a range of antioxidants such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and beta-carotene, they are an excellent source of nutrients that reduce inflammation in the body.

Papayas contain a healthy enzyme

Papayas contain an enzyme called papain.

This enzyme is used in the manufacturing of various health-related products because it’s associated with health benefits that include wound healing, it’s a sore throat remedy, and it’s said to improve one’s digestion.

Papayas are healthy for the skin

Papayas are healthy for the skin

You don’t only benefit from papayas by eating them. If you use them topically, such as by mashing the fruit and applying it to your skin, this speeds up wound healing and can soothe burns.

This is thought to be as a result of papain and another enzyme papayas contain called chymopapain.

Papayas are good for hair health 

Since papaya is a good source of Vitamin A, which regulates sebum production, it can keep your hair soft and moisturized. Vitamin A also has other benefits, such as that it is required for the growth of healthy bodily tissues. 

Papayas improve the immune system 

Thanks to their high Vitamin C content, papayas can help to strengthen the body’s immune system. Eating a medium-size papaya gives your body double the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C that you need! 

Who Shouldn’t Eat Papaya?

Who Shouldn’t Eat Papaya?

While papayas are healthy additions to one’s diet, there are some people who should not consume them.

These include the following.

  • Pregnant women. Papaya contains latex that can cause uterine contractions to occur too early in one’s pregnancy. Its papain enzyme is something that the body mistakes for prostaglandins, and this can weaken the membrane supporting the fetus. 
  • People allergic to latex. If you have a latex allergy, you should steer clear of papaya. This is because the fruit contains chitinases enzymes that produce a cross-reaction between the food and latex, which results in side effects such as coughing, watery eyes, breathing difficulties, and sneezing.
  • People with kidney stones. Since it’s rich in Vitamin C, papaya can cause kidney stones, especially in people who already have a problem with them.
  • People with diabetes. Although papaya is a fruit that can lower your blood sugar so it’s healthy for people who don’t have blood sugar problems, those with diabetes should avoid eating it. 

Can you eat papaya seeds?

Can you eat papaya seeds?

While you might throw out papaya seeds, you can actually eat them. They are not sweet, though. They taste strong and a bit like black pepper. 

Can you freeze raw papaya?

You can freeze raw papaya. Here’s how. Cut the papaya in half and remove its rind and seeds. Cut it into slices or cubes, then put it in airtight containers or strong freezer bags. You can freeze papaya for almost a year.

How long does papaya last?

Papayas that you’ve bought from the store can last for two to five days at room temperature, but putting them in the fridge can increase their lifespan to about a week.  

Conclusion 

Papaya is a delicious and healthy tropical fruit that can be enjoyed on its own or with a variety of other foods.

It’s a common and popular ingredient in different types of Asian cuisines, and tasty in a variety of foods such as tropical smoothies and salads. Its beautiful bright orange color also adds a lovely appearance to foods, which makes them appealing.

In this article, we’ve looked at questions you might have about papaya, such as how best to cut a papaya, what you should do with its seeds, and what health benefits you stand to gain from eating it.  

Sources:

Tamara

Tamara is an avid foodie and successful restaurateur. She has dedicated a large chunk of her life to researching healthy food recipes and diet plans, and also teaching people how to improve their eating habits. Using Eatomology, Tamara shares the very best diet plans, cookbooks, and more. Also, for those on a quest to improve their kitchen, Tamara shares some awesome and high-quality kitchen equipment recommendations as well as buying guides on her website.