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Discover the Health Perks of Papayas

Discover the Health Perks of Papayas

When it comes to consuming fruit, virtually any choice is a good one. Some specific fruits, however, don't land on people's plates as often as they should. Papayas fall in this category because not only are they downright delicious, but they also are brimming with good-for-your-health benefits.

That's why ATRIO Health Plans is using the occasion of September being designated National Papaya Month to spread the word that this colorful, tropical fruit should be reached for at every opportunity.

Health Perks of Papayas

Papayas are available throughout the year, and that's a good thing because –in addition to getting a thumbs up from your taste buds – these green-and-orange wonders also can help:

  • Lower cholesterol–The dietary fiber in papayas, along with the vitamin C and antioxidants they contain, work to ward off cholesterol build up in your arteries.
  • Shed pounds–Not only are papayas low in calories and free of fat, but their high fiber content creates a feeling of fullness that can prevent overeating.
  • Increase immunity–Papayas deliver more than the daily requirement of vitamin C. Consequently, while this fruit can't shield you from every illness or disease, it can lessen immune-system deficiencies.
  • Satisfy a sweet tooth–Papayas serve up a rare combination of tasting very sweet, yet being low in sugar content. For people who need to avoid sugar – such as diabetics – papayas can satisfy your sweet tooth without being detrimental to your health.
  • Preserve eye health– Papayas contain vitamin A, which contributes to eye health and protects from damaging free radicals. Papayas also are a rich source of antioxidants that can help prevent retina degeneration, cataracts, and macular degeneration.
  • Improve digestion–Keeping your digestive system at its optimal functioning level contributes significantly to overall health. Papayas come equipped with the enzyme papain – which, in conjunction with a papaya's fiber content – markedly enhance digestion.

Low-Fat Papaya-Coconut Muffins

Now that you know the many health benefits of papayas, why not cook up a guilt-free papaya treat.


  • 1 cup papaya purée
  • 2 cups 100% whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp melted butter or margarine


  1. Preheat oven to 325°.
  2. Puree papaya in a blender until smooth.
  3. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl.
  4. Mix well.
  5. Add coconut and mix to combine.
  6. In a medium bowl, mix eggs, melted butter, vanilla, and puréed papaya.
  7. Add to the flour mixture and stir until just blended.
  8. Pour batter into prepared muffin tins and bake at 325° for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Cool for 10 minutes.