Betty Wedman-St Louis, PhD, RD, LD

Licensed Nutritionist & Environmental Health Specialist

Archive for the ‘papaya’ tag

Papaya Sauce

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PapayaFifty-one million Americans visit doctors and hospitals annually with digestive system disorders, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A papaya fruit preparation could greatly reduce bloating, diarrhea, reflux and constipation based on the principles of traditional Chinese medicine.

Papayas were called the “fruit of the angels” by Christopher Columbus, according to historical accounts of these yellow-orange fruits indigenous to Central America. Today, papayas are grown throughout the world. In Vegetables, Herbs and Fruit, authors Matthew Biggs, Jekka Vicar and Bob Flowerdew write that growing your own tree is as easy as sowing several black seeds in a hole and weeding out the weaklings. Because one male tree is needed to pollinate 20 female trees, a garden should have several trees. Each sex produces different flowers so both need to be represented. Be sure to select non-GMO papayas, not the 7-inch commercial dwarf, for planting seeds.

Unripe papayas keep for many days and can be cooked to release health benefits. Food for Health: A Nutrition Encyclopedia describes papayas as rich in antioxidants, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, copper and potassium.

A study in Archives of Ophthalmology by E. Cho et al found that papaya lowers the risk of age-related macular degeneration, a primary cause of vision loss in older adults.

Papayas can help prevent oxidation of cholesterol, according to a 2002 study in Atherosclerosis Thrombosis Vascular Biology. It is one of the richest food sources of folate, which reduces homocysteine in the blood and improves mitochondria energy production.

The highest amounts of papain from the papaya are obtained from slow cooking the fruit over low heat until a puree forms. Traditional Chinese medicine recommends papaya be cooked eight to 10 hours. The accompanying recipe results in a weaker concentration of anti-inflammation compounds than the slow cooker method, but Dr. Burkhard Schutz of Biovis Institute of Naturopathic Diagnosis and Preventive Medicine in Germany showed that both techniques yield healing properties for digestion.

Several years ago I visited John Burns, better known as Johnny Papaya, at his Sarasota home, which is surrounded by papaya and citrus trees. His fresh fruit salads always include papaya and he recommended a wedge of papaya at each meal. A spoonful of papaya sauce as a topping for a salad or fruit cup would provide even more benefits.

Betty Wedman-St Louis is a licensed nutritionist and environmental health specialist in Pinellas County who has written numerous books on health and nutrition. Visit her website at

Papaya Sauce

2 cups fresh or unripe papaya cubes
1 ripe banana, cut into pieces

Peel and seed papaya. Cut into cubes and place in saucepan. Add banana pieces. Heat over low temperature until a soft puree forms, about 15 to 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Mash, then pour into bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

Makes 2 cups.

Nutrition information per tablespoon: 52 calories, 1g protein, 8g carbohydrates, 0g fat, 37mcg sodium.

Written by PFAdmin

October 19th, 2015 at 3:04 pm

Fresh Fruit & Vitamin C

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fresh-fruit-and-vitamin-cFresh fruit salad needs to be a staple choice in menu planning to provide adequate Vitamin C in the diet, especially when short winter days and sneezing friends can alter your immune status. A healthy fruit salad enhances natural killer cell and lymphocyte production in the body. Vitamin C and the peroxide produced in your body can kill microorganisms and even destroy some bacteria like pneumococci.

Pass on the waldorf salad and choose fruits high in Vitamin C like kiwi fruit, strawberries, papaya, oranges and mango. Even star fruit or carambola has more Vitamin C than blueberries, apples, and bananas. Instead of sending canned fruit cocktail (5 mg Vitamin C), add a tangerine (22 mg Vitamin C) to the school lunch. Forget snacking on grapes to drown out the dinner hunger, eat 1/2 grapefruit or an orange.

Vitamin C is one of the least stable vitamins in our food supply so canned fruits or vegetables have virtually lost their ascorbic acid content. The less processed diet of our forefathers contained more Vitamin C than our currant foods which may be contributing to chronic diseases. Fruit juices that are pasteurized are poor sources of this critical nutrient. Fresh squeezed juices are becoming more readily available and home juicers may even be making a comeback.

Guinea pigs, apes and humans somewhere or somehow in the evolutionary process lost their ability to convert glucose into ascorbic acid in the liver. Some Vitamin C is stored in the body – adrenal glands, pituitary, brain and eye- but not sufficient for meeting daily needs. Those who smoke, take antibiotics, aspirin or pain medications and have environmental toxin exposures to lead, mercury or cadmium may need 2 to 3 times more Vitamin C.

Linus Pauling, Ph.D. a two time Nobel prize winner, stressed the importance of Vitamin C as a means of treating and preventing the common cold. Studies used to prove Dr. Pauling’s hypothesis prescribed ascorbic acid too low to be effective in any medical condition but many researchers now believe his biochemical expertise outweighs the doubters.

The aging population needs to take special heed to including fresh fruit salads in their diet because Vitamin C is crucial to the formation and maintenance of collagen in skin, ligaments, joints, capillaries, bones and gums. Ascorbic acid heals wounds, reduces bruising, and maintains healthy blood cells. Add to that, Vitamin C stimulates dopamine and epinephrine for stress hormone management in a fast changing world.

Ascorbic acid is one of the best antioxidants available in food and as a dietary supplement. Those wanting to select non-GMO supplement choices need to look for tapioca or cassava based Vitamin C because most Vitamin C is produced on corn.

Fresh Fruit with Mango Vinaigrette

2 kiwi fruit, peeled & sliced
1 orange, peeled & sliced
1/2 cup papaya cubes
1 carambola, sliced
10-12 strawberries
1/2 cup sunflower oil
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 green onion, chopped
1 small garlic clove, peeled
1 tablespoon each fresh parsley, basil, cilantro
1 mango, peeled & cubed

Arrange fruit on serving dish. Combine oils, vinegar, salt, green onion, garlic, herbs and mango in blender. Puree. Serve 2 tablespoons vinaigrette over fruit salad or garnish with plain yogurt. Makes 4 servings.

Calories 98 (no dressing), 188 (with dressing)
Protein 1 g
Carbohydrates 17 (no dressing), 23g (with dressing)
Fat 0 (no dressing), 9 g (with dressing)
Sodium 10 mg (no dressing), 55 mg (with dressing)

Written by bwsl

February 9th, 2015 at 8:01 pm