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Believed to be used by even Christopher Columbus on his discovery voyage, papaya is known as the angel of fruits. While it is not a taste that most usually enjoy the very first time, it can grow on you slowly and then stick on forever. The raw ones are used in salad and curries, the ripe can be eaten either in solid or liquid form, alone or in combination with other fruits.
Some of the wonderful benefits of papaya are listed below.
- Anti-inflammatory: The various minerals and vitamins (A, B, C, K) in papaya help improve immunity and prevents infections. It also promotes healing of burns and wounds.
- Cholesterol control: The antioxidants, flavonoids and fibre help in cholesterol/plaque accumulation in the arteries. The lipid and triglyceride content can also be reduced with regular consumption of papayas.
- Digestive benefits: The enzyme papain contained in papaya is quite effective in reducing the damage caused by eating junk and oily foods. It helps in breaking down proteins and is, therefore, useful as a home remedy for indigestion. It is also rich in fiber and helps relieve constipation.
- Diabetes: The high fiber content in papaya combined with the low calories (a medium sized fruit contains about 110 calories) is a boon to diabetes patients. They can eat to their full content without feeling guilty of the sugar levels. Some people also consume the flowers (sautéed in oil) to control diabetes.
- Arthritis: The various minerals (potassium, calcium, sodium, and magnesium) in papaya can help keep a check on arthritis and bone and joint pains in the long run.
- Weight loss/ cleansing/ detox: The various minerals and vitamins along with the rich fiber content ensure you get a good detox of the system. Papaya is one of the widely used fruits in people who want to lose weight.
- Antiaging effects: The antioxidants which reduce the rate of inflammation and the multiple vitamins help in looking younger by improving skin, hair, and overall immunity levels.
- Stress buster: Again, the antioxidants and vitamins (C in particular) is a good way to refresh your energy after a long tiring day.
- Anti-cancer effects: The flavonoids, phytonutrients, and antioxidants help to prevent free radical damage which is the main cause of cancer. They also contain beta carotene which helps control prostate and colon cancer.
- Eye health: The beta carotene, vitamin A, and lutein help in improving moisture in the eyes and controlling macular degeneration.
- Hair health: The scalp produces sebum which is rich in vitamin A. Papaya when applied to the scalp gives the same effect as sebum, which keeps the hair shiny, silky, and lustrous.
Berries are known to be extremely beneficial to health, and the strawberries, given their wide availability are more popular, especially in the Asian region. Whether as a raw fruit or in a salad, as a smoothie or an ice-cream, strawberries are liked by different people in different forms.
Read on to know some of the common benefits of these wonderful berries.
- Boost immunity: Rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, strawberries boost immunity significantly. A cup of strawberries is enough to get a complete day’s requirements of vitamin C.
- Controlled inflammation: The antioxidants and phytochemicals lower the ability of blood to develop higher cholesterol levels. They help reduce levels of C-reactive protein in the body system, which also controls inflammation. The risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke is reduced significantly.
- Digestive system: Given their high fibre content, it helps eat less and with reduced calories. It also promotes bowel movement and reduces intestinal inflammation. It also contains nitrate which improves blood flow and helps cleanse the system.
- Antihypertensive: Strawberries are rich in potassium, and this is highly beneficial in controlling blood pressure. Potassium and sodium act conversely, and by increasing potassium, sodium is reduced, which helps lower blood pressure.
- Controls cholesterol: The Ellagic acid and flavonoids are known to reduce low-density lipoprotein or LDL, which is harmful to the heart and overall health. They also reduce oxidative damage, which is a result of chronic inflammation leading to heart disease.
- Anti-aging properties: The biotin in the strawberries also improve skin and hair quality and also promotes tissue regeneration. They promote collagen formation, which reduces wrinkles and improve skin tone and texture. Vitamin C and A are also responsible for its antiaging benefits.
- Stress management: The antioxidants, improved immunity, and reduced inflammation also lead to improved stress management.
- Heart health: The colour of the strawberries comes from flavonoids, which are the main reason for their heart health.
- Eye health: Strawberries have been shown to improve eye health by reducing incidents of cataracts, reduces the degree of macular degeneration, and reduces damage from sun exposure. The vitamin C also strengthens the eyes lens and retina, further contributing to eye health.
- Anti-cancer agent: Strawberries are specifically shown to reduce the incidence of esophageal cancer with their rich content of flavonoids, antioxidants, vitamin C, and most importantly ellagic acid. These suppress cancer cell growth and reduce free radicals in circulation thereby providing protection against cancer.
- Weight management: Not just for people who want to lose weight, but even on a preventive measure, strawberries are good for weight maintenance. Those who want to prevent heart disease and diabetes should help themselves to strawberries.
There are many food items which would become stale after a few hours, but there are certain foods which may last forever without the need to can them or freeze or dehydrate. If an individual is new to the field of food storage, these staples can be an excellent way to begin.
- White rice: There are numerous researchers who have found that polished or white rice keeps up their nutrient content and flavour for almost 30 years if it can be stored in oxygen-free containers in temperatures that range below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Brown rice, on the other hand, doesn’t last more than six months owing to the availability of natural oils in the bran layer.
- Honey: Honey is preferably the only food that would last forever due to the perfect chemistry and the handiwork of the bees. The nectar extracted from the flower gets mixed with the enzymes present in the bees’ bodies which alter the composition of the nectar. The nectar is further broken down into simple sugars and is accumulated in the honeycombs. The processing, as well as sealing of the honey, is primarily responsible for the incredible shelf life.
- Salt: Since sodium chloride is a mineral which is taken from the natural components of the earth, its shelf-life should come as a natural consequence. It is used for centuries as a means of preserving other food products as it can extract out all the moisture. But this doesn’t indicate that the table salt would last forever. Experts say that the addition of the iodine to the table salt reduces the shelf life of the salt which means that if the label says that it is an iodized salt, it will not last over five years.
- Soy sauce: When left unopened, a container filled with soya sauce would last for a significantly long period. But it is also dependent on the type of soy sauce and the additives used. Even if the soy sauce has been opened, this salty condiment will last for many years if stored in the refrigerator.
- Sugar: Quite similar to many items, the storage process of the sugar determines whether the sugar is going to last for long or not. Granulated and powdered sugar must be kept under an airtight condition to steer clear of moisture. Although retailers are needed to provide the manufacturing dates of the sugar, manufacturers say that the sugar remains edible even if it has hardened and become brown.
- Pure maple syrup: Pure maple syrup, as well as commercial sugars such as granular sugars and honey, has an irresistible life owing to its shield against any kinds of microbial growth. Unopened maple syrup shall last forever, and in case there is the formation of mould, boiling it to a certain degree and skimming the surface and ultimately pouring it to a clean and air-tight container would eliminate all the problems.
- Clarified butter: This kind of butter is boiled unless the total moisture is extracted, which is the reason that it doesn’t go bad. As long as the clarified butter or ghee is stored in sealed container under cool temperature, it would last for about 100 years.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!