Why papaya?

During many weeks of my pregnancy I wasn't able to eat a lot of fruit due to acid reflux and nausea. Since I embrace a healthy lifestyle I did some research and tried all kind of different fruit. Since papaya is quite expensive in Switzerland I always bought them on sale, chopped and froze it.

But why papaya? 

  • Papayas help overcome morning sickness. 

  • The papaya fruit is very low in calories (just 43 calories/100 g) and contains no cholesterol; however, it is a rich source of phyto-nutrients, minerals, and vitamins.
  • Papayas contain soft, easily digestible flesh with a good amount of soluble dietary fiber that helps to have normal bowel movements; thereby reducing constipation problems.

  • Fresh, ripe papaya is one of the fruits with the highest vitamin-C content (provides 60.9 mg or about 101% of DRI, more than that of in oranges, or lemons). Research studies have shown that vitamin C has many important functions like free radicals scavenging, immune booster, and anti-inflammatory actions.

  • It is also an excellent source of Vitamin-A (provides 950 IU/100 g) and flavonoids like ß-carotene, lutein, zea-xanthin and cryptoxanthin. Vitamin A is required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is essential for healthy vision. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties; help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes. Consumption of natural fruits rich in carotenes has known to protect the body from lung and oral cavity cancers.

  • Papaya fruit is also rich in many essential B-complex vitamins such as Folic acid, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin, and thiamin (vitamin B-1). These vitamins are essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish and play a vital role in metabolism.

  • Fresh ripe papaya also contains a good amount of potassium (257 mg per 100 g) and calcium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids and helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure countering effects of sodium

But:
Papaya must be completely avoided in the early stages of pregnancy. When the placenta is formed, as even a small amount of latex can harm the womb. 
Although there is no scientific evidence to this, people in many countries believe that eating papaya during early pregnancy can induce early labor or even miscarriages. Try and ensure the papaya is fully ripe before you eat it. Eating papaya seeds is not recommended.
>> to be honest: I think I ate papaya during the first weeks.. haven't even thought about that it could harm. 

here are two of my current favourite papaya recipes as inspiration. 
firstly the papaya boat. this might be a way to win kids to try the exotic fruit. 

papaya boat (serving size: 1)
+ 1/2  papaya
+ 1/2 lime
+ fresh fruit
+ seeds, dried fruit, nuts
+ granola (optional)
+ honey (optional)

cut the papaya lengthwise into half. remove the black seeds (which shouldn't be eaten during pregnancy > read above). Drizzle lime juice over it. 
Fill the papaya with your choice of yogurt (I usually go for a plain, low in fat Greek style one).
Now top it with your choice of fruit. I like berries - a lot. But since it's winter time, I always get them frozen. Sprinkle nuts, seeds, dried fruit, granola over it. Whatever you like!
And maybe you want to add some honey. 
Enjoy! 

chia parfait with papaya-apricot layer (serving size 2)

parfait: 
+ 1 cup almond milk
+ 1/4 cup chia seeds
+ 1 tea spoon powdered vanilla

layer: 
+ 1/2 cup frozen papaya
+ 6 frozen apricots
+ 1/4 cup coconut water
+ 1/2 lemon (juiced)

for the chia parfait: 
make ahead the chia pudding (ideal would be over night). Combine the milk, seeds and vanilla stir very well and put in an air tight container. Place in your fridge! 

for the layer: 
put all the ingredients into your blender, and blend until you got a creamy consistency. it's should be like a sorbet. 
my hint: don't pour all the coconut water inside. better: little by little, to ensure the mass not to be too runny.

top with your favourite kind of granola! 
I'll provide you with my current fave later on this week! 

xx
M.