Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Wonder of Papaya

Papaya fruit is a source of provitamin A, carotenoids, vitamin C, folate and dietary fiber, all health boosting substances. It lowers cholesterol levels and helps prevent heart attack.

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature - School on Blog (avrotor.blogspot.com)
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) 
with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 Evening Class, Monday to Friday

Papaya (papaw, pawpaw) is scientifically known as Carica papaya, the sole species in the genus Carica of the plant family Caricaceae. It is native to the tropics of the Americas, perhaps from southern Mexico and neighboring Central America. Its cultivation is traced centuries back even before the emergence of the Mesoamerican civilizations (Aztecs and Mayans).

Today papaya is gaining popularity among tropical fruits worldwide. It is now ranked third of the total tropical fruit production, behind mango, and pineapple. Papaya has become a significant crop particularly to developing countries in Asia and Latin America. The fast increasing demand for papaya worldwide triggered by growing consciousness for healthy and safe food. 
Giant papaya, 3.5 kg,brings joy to the dining table.  At Home, QC 

Horticulture  of Papaya: 
Papaya plants come in three sexes: "male," "female," and "hermaphrodite." The male produces only pollen, never fruit. The female will produce small, inedible fruits unless pollinated. The hermaphrodite can self-pollinate since its flowers contain both male stamens and female ovaries. Almost all commercial papaya orchards contain only females. 

Farmers will plant three papaya seedlings where they want one tree. They wait for them to reach flowering age, and cut down any males, females, or extra hermaphrodites, leaving one hermaphrodite per planting spot. This usually works because due to being a dominant trait, hermaphrodites are the most common papaya sex, followed by females, with males being the rarest. (Published in Hawaii Homegrown Food Network Newsletter on April 21, 2014.)

24 Health Benefits of Papaya 

1. Papaya is rich in fiber; it lowers cholesterol levels; it helps prevent heart attack.

2. The antioxidants in papaya help in controlling premature ageing.

3. Seeds of papaya expel intestinal worms and parasites.

Papain is a digestive enzyme that helps in natural digestion. Papaya helps in preventing constipation and aids in digestion.

5. Papain dissolves dead cells, giving fresh and glowing skin as a result.

6. It helps cure skin infections and wounds that don’t heal quickly.

In some parts of the world, papaya leaves are made into tea as a treatment for malaria.

8. It is a good food for those who want to lose some weight.

9. It helps cure nausea and morning sickness suffered by of pregnant women.

10. Contains anti-inflammatory enzymes relieve pain from arthritis, edema and osteoporosis.

11. It possesses anti-cancerous properties that can help in preventing cancer

12. It is rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin C that boost the body’s immunity

13. It is made into shampoo to control dandruff.

14. Fresh papaya helps in controlling menstrual irregularities, and eases menstrual cramps.

15. Papaya juice helps in curing infections of the colon

16. It has anti-proliferative effects on the liver cancer cells, hence it slows down the growth of cancer cells of liver and helps in its cure.

Papaya can raise platelet levels in blood, it may also be used as a medicine for dengue fever.

18. It is high in nutritional value and low in calories making it ideal for those who want to lose weight.

19. Papaya is great for the skin and can be used as a face pack. It helps open clogged
pores, helps get rid of acne.

20. Papain is also applied topically to treat cuts, rashes, stings and burns. Papain ointment is commonly made from fermented papaya flesh, and is applied as a gel-like paste. 

Harrison Ford was treated for a ruptured disc incurred during filming of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom by papain injections.
21. Green papaya is an excellent meat tenderizer, so with its papain extract.

22. Papaya fruit is a source of provitamin A, carotenoids, vitamin C, folate and dietary fiber, all health boosting substances.

23. Papaya skin, pulp and seeds contain lycopene, polyphenols, and danielone a phytoalexin antifungal compound.

23. Male flower buds are made into salad (Manado Cuisine).

24. Antimalarial and antiplasmodial activity has been noted in some preparations of the plant.
Papaya contains enzymes that help prevent oxidization of cholesterol which helps to prevent heart attacks and because it is rich in fiber it helps to lower blood cholesterol levels.

The nutritional value of papaya are (per 100 grams) 
  • Energy- 163 kJ
  • Sugars- 5.90 gram
  • Calories- 39 kcal
  • Dietary fiber- 1.8 gram
  • Fat- 0.14 gram
  • Carbohydrates- 9.81 gram
  • Vitamin A- 328 micrograms (41%)
  • Vitamin B1- 0.04 milligram (3%)
  • Vitamin B2- 0.05 milligram (4%)
  • Vitamin B3- 0.338 milligram (2%)
  • Vitamin B6- 0.1 milligram (8%)
  • Vitamin B9- 38 milligram (10%)
  • Vitamin C- 61.8 milligram (74%)
  • Protein- 0.61 gram
  • Iron- 0.10 milligram (1%)
  • Calcium- 24 milligram (2%)
  • Phosphorus- 5 milligram (1%)
  • Potassium- 257 milligram (5%)
  • Magnesium- 10 milligram (3%)
  • Sodium-3 milligram
Acknowledgement: Data from Internet source 

GM Papaya - Treat or Threat  
The development of Genetically Modified Papaya appear to have succeeded in controlling the pandemic virus (Papaya Ringspot Virus) Two popular GM Papaya SunUp and Rainbow contain in their genes the foreign PRV DNA - permanently spliced, and therefore capable of transmitting the virus gene in the succeeding generations ad infinitum  on undiminished level, spreading out with the wind and insects - and man, the culprit agent of genetic pollution. 

It was claimed that in 2010, 80 % of Hawaiian papaya are produced from GM papaya. The success may be short- lived as more virulent PRV continue to mutate - at a very fast rate typical of any virus, overcoming ultimately the resistance of the passive GM papaya. This phenomenon - a race of Nature and technology - is a continuing and endless process. Nature, through biological specialization, will always find ways to preserve her own species, overcoming all obstacles natural or man-made. And Nature cannot be bias on man's demand, in fact, it may be the opposite. How far reaching can a GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) be? 

The biggest threat is the consequence of genetically modified food to human life in the long run which we may not be able to monitor immediately or even in our generation, and therefore we leave the consequential fear to our children and children's children. 

Now hear this, GMOs are orphans of Natyure.  They arte no longer part of the natural gene pool, They have changed poisions in the food web, and maybe eliminated in the food chain with man taking them out of the natural state and habitat. Orphans can never be self supporting in in the long run in the game of evolution.  Darwinian evolution applies to GMO even if thje great scientist had no idea that some day man will break the Code of Life - that is short cutting evolution on the molecular level.  The principal actors of evolution will remain for a long time, perhaps thousands or millions of years after the demise of Homo sapiens  to Homo faber to Homo tecnicus,  the technological man. 

Many people are staying out of GM product - at least to as far as they are aware of.  No Bt Corn.  No Golden Rice. No BT soya, No to SavrFlavr tomato, and No, GM papaya.

Thanks, we still have our native solo papaya. It is tender, sweet, juicy, and it came from our bacyard.  The green fruit gives us the most healthful food of the world - Chicken Soup (tinola) - food for the convalescent.  The tree lives for a number of years outliving any known foreign variety. And it bears fruits year round - in succession. It is like picking the green for tinola, or the manibalang for pickles, or the ripe ones direct from the tree.  It is still the sweetest of all papaya in the world. Our native papaya may not earn us dollars but it makes us and our children happy and healthy. ~


You can have your papaya tree tested if  GMO-free or Gmo-contaminated
IThe CTAHR Komohana Research & Extension Center in Hilo Hawaii tests papaya trees for being GMO at a cost of $3.00 per sample.

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