Papaya Popsicle Recipe – Improves Digestion & Response to Heat Stress
I live in Tampa. So for me and the rest of the northern hemisphere, we’re well into the warmest season of the year: Summer. And, Nothing screams summer like a popsicle. Am I right?
Think About It
On a sweltering day in July (it’s 85 plus degrees on the regular in my neck of the woods!) when even just wiggling my pinky makes me break a sweat, it makes sense that I instinctively want to load up on foods that both energize and hydrate me. As it so happens is the case with most of us. It seems to be one of those built in, primal instincts that’s stuck with us even in our modern surroundings.
Enter Summer Fruit
Fruits, especially tropical fruits like papaya use in the popsicle recipe below, have a high water content and natural sugar (in this case fructose) content. So since, of course, it’s sunny and gorgeous and we’re all spending more time doing recreational activities outdoors (and if you’re not already, here’s more than five ways to work it in right now) and; therefore, have to meet a higher metabolic demand, fruits serve as a way to do exactly that. They not only replenish our increased energetic needs, but quench our heat induced thirst by cooling and refreshing us. Oh, and did I mention they’re chock-full of vitamins and digestive enzymes?
Take the Papaya From Our “Papaya Popsicle” For Instance
Or, should I say “fruit of the angels” (as it was apparently dubbed by Christopher Columbus according to Spanish chronicler Oviedo). Whether it’s from Central America, Hawaii or “the angels”, I certainly agree that it’s an ambrosia of sorts.
One word: PAPAIN.
Papain is an enzyme, a proteolytic one to be precise, that’s unique to the papaya leaves and fruit. If you’ve ever picked up a bottle of digestive enzymes, you’ll likely see it listed as one of the ingredients. It’s a big deal beccause it catalyzes the breakdown of proteins. In other words, it’s a MEAT TENDERIZER and it allows you to digest proteins better and faster. Because it does both of these things, it’s in turn been reported to do all four of these things:
- Soothe stomach inflammation
- Discourage acid reflux
- Treat ulcers
- Relieve IBS
In other words, eating a little papaya with a meal (especially in the form of a popsicle, because…well, why not?) can be pretty beneficial for your digestive system. Maybe I should rename these “papain pops”. What do you think? Anyways..
By the way, did you know… In folk medicine, Papaya seeds have been used to treat parasites and ringworm?
No? Me neither! But, keep that little fact in your back pocket, especially if you travel to around the world often.
Moving on…It’s High in Vitamin C
According to Dr. Mercola, papaya provides a whopping 144% of the daily recommended value per serving. But make sure you’re eating it raw to cash in on the Vitamin C pump because apparently this Brazilian study (PDF) found that Vitamin C levels in freeze-dried tropical fruits (like mango, pineapple, guava, and papaya) went down by 37%.
AND JUST SO YOU KNOW, FREEZE-DRIED IS NOT THE SAME AS FROZEN! THE PAPAYA POPSICLE RECIPE BELOW IS LOADED WITH VITAMIN C.
Anyways, all of that matters because Vitamin C is an incredible immune booster (this is why we drown ourselves in it when we get sick) and helps flush out free radicals (which can be damaging to your tissues and cells).
In addition, papayas have a hefty dose of Vitamin A and essential B Vitamins (i.e. the ones your body has to get from an outside source because they can’t be produced from within), as well as, soluble and insoluble fiber (linked to decreasing high blood pressure and healthy bowel movement regulation).
Obviously, all great reasons to make and eat the papaya popsicle recipe below 🙂
But Most Importantly, At Least in the Context of This Post
Since we’re talking about summer and fruit and heat and all, its worth mentioning that Vitamin C “…helps the body physiologically respond to heat stress.” Maria Trimarchi, HowStuffWorks (Thanks for turning me on to this!)
Studies going back as far as the 1930s have shown that Vitamin C plays a part in helping you cool off in the heat. Here’s why:
- it makes you less likely to suffer from a heat rash and heat exhaustion
- it helps you acclimate to hot environments faster (by increasing sweat gland endurance and lowering your body temperature)
- it’s antioxidants may help internally sheild your skin from sun burns and sun damage, including photoaging
Consume a papaya popsicle, potentially ward off the heat. Not bad, eh?
Basically, papaya cools you off, helps you digest your proteins better, packs in some very important vitamins and, in a sense, acts as an internal sunscreen. Not to mention, it tastes really darn good!
So Really, The Question Is…
Why haven’t you made this papaya popsicle recipe yet?!
PS – If the only thing stopping you is not knowing how to pick one out, here’s a quick video that shows you just how!
- 1 organic and/or Non-GMO papaya, chopped
- 2 C water
- 3 limes
- 1 large handful of mint
- 2-3 TBS raw honey
- Blend it all together in a food processor.
- Pour it into the molds.
- Freeze the popsickles for 20-30 mins.
- Put in the wooden sticks and allow the popsickles to freeze for at least four hours before digging in.
- Put your own spin on it and use this recipe as a base for your own creation! I love the way papaya tastes with these fruits: mango, pineapple, kiwi, passion fruit, star fruit, guava, and coconut. Pick one or a few, blend them up with the recipe above and see what you get. Share your take on it in the comments section below!