Papaya season is almost here, and we’re always counting down the days until fresh papaya is available. What’s our healthy hack to enjoy this #GoodGut fruit all year long? Buy a ton while in season and freeze it! Then you can enjoy it in smoothies, nice creams, and more!
Papaya is a great low FODMAP, high soluble fiber fruit, which is incredibly easy to digest and soothing to the stomach. Can papaya benefit your IBS? According to a double-blind placebo-controlled study, the papain enzymes contained within the papaya concentrate Caricol, showed a statistically significant improvement in constipation & bloating.
The high antioxidant content of papaya has also been shown to increase populations of commensal (healthy) microbes within the GI tract and reduce inflammatory populations. Papaya can aide in digestion of carbohydrates and proteins due to its naturally-occurring protein & carbohydrate digesting enzymes papain, chymopapain and papaya protease III.
Clinical observations had revealed positive effects for patients with constipation, heartburn, and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and some small studies have identified antiparasitic compounds in papaya. The small black seeds are richest in concentration of the papain enzyme and can be consumed in small amounts (think 1/2-1 tsp), though they are bitter.
There are a few varieties of papaya available- Mexican papaya & Hawaiian papaya. According to @melissasproduce, “Mexican Papayas taste muskier and less sweet than papayas from Hawaii and have more of a green tinted skin. ... The most notable difference between these two varieties is the size; while an average Hawaiian Papaya weighs about 1 pound, Mexican Papayas may weigh up to 10 pounds! Word of caution- a majority of Hawaiian papaya is Genetically Modified (GM), so look for organic Papaya for your #BestGut”
Truthfully (because we always keep it real), neither of us loved papaya until the last few years. Once we dove deep in gut health and researched the benefits of papain for digestion, we developed appreciation with both the benefits and the flavor. Leila is not yet a fan, despite the dozens of times we’ve offered (never forces), but we will continue to offer to her!
One of our favorite ways to incorporate papaya is through our simple Papaya Nice Cream.
• 2 Cup frozen Papaya
• 1 Medium frozen Banana
• 1/2 Cup – Unsweetened Coconut Milk
1. If your papaya and banana are not frozen, freeze until solid.
2. Place frozen papaya chunks, banana, and coconut milk in a food
3. Pulse until ingredients begin to combine.
4. Blend until smooth and creamy.
5. Serve immediately as soft serve ice cream, or freeze 20-30 minutes for a more firm texture.
Who papaya may not be best for? Those struggling with histamine issues and those following a low fructose diet.
Are you a papaya lover or leaver? Have you experienced benefits of consuming papaya or taking papaya extracts or enzymes? We want to hear about your experience!
If you are interested in working with an RDN, we would love to support you! You can schedule a personalized visit with us and we would love to collaborate with you on your journey! We see clients from all over the world.
Suffering from gas, bloating, reflux, IBS, SIBO or more? Learn how we do it differently!
Claus Muss 1, Wilhelm Mosgoeller 2, Thomas Endler 3 (2012). Papaya preparation (Caricol®) in digestive disorders. Biogenic Amines Vol. 26, issue 1: 1–17.
Osato JA, Santiago LA, Remo GM, Cuadra MS, Mori A. (1993). Antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of unripe papaya. Life Sci 53: 1383–1389.
Zucker S, Buttle DJ, Nicklin MJ, Barrett AJ. (1985). The proteolytic activities of chymopapain, papain, and papaya proteinase III. Biochim Biophys Acta 828: 196–204.
Dominguez de Maria P, Sinisterra JV, Tsai SW, Alcantara AR. (2006). Carica papaya lipase (CPL): an emerging and versatile biocatalyst. Biotechnol Adv 24: 493–499
Jacquet A, Kleinschmidt T, Schnek AG, Looze Y, Braunitzer G. (1989). The thiol proteinases from the latex of Carica papaya L. III. The primary structure of chymopapain. Biol Chem Hoppe Seyler 370: 425–434.