Eating dried papaya is a good way to boost your nutrient intake and serves as a delicious mobile snack!
What is Dried Papaya?
Dried papaya is the dried form of the papaya fruit, scientifically known as Carica papaya. Native to the American tropics and central America, papaya fruit can be eaten raw, but it is popularly dried so that it can be stored for longer periods of time. In some parts of the world, this fruit is known as papaw or pawpaw. The fruit is composed largely of water (approximately 88%), but when it is dried, it becomes a nutrient-dense snack that can be energizing and beneficial for your health. Packed with various enzymes, minerals, and antioxidants, this papaya can be unsweetened or sweetened.
Dried Papaya Nutrition
When it comes to nutrition, papaya has a high level of vitamin C, pectin, vitamin A, soluble fiber, B vitamins, zinc, copper, magnesium, calcium, and iron. In a 50-gram serving of this dried fruit, you will take in more than 125 calories, including 33 grams of carbohydrates and 2 grams of protein.
The top health benefits of dried papaya include the following:
- Increasing weight gain
- Boosting energy
- Improving vision
- Strengthening cellular function
- Preventing macular degeneration
- Skin care
- Improving digestion
- Lowering cholesterol levels
- Lowering risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, coronary heart disease, and other cardiovascular problems
The high levels of carotenoids and antioxidants present in dried papaya help in the lowering the risk of many diseases. If you are recovering from an injury or illness, these dried fruits can be a good way to gain your weight back and provide an energetic boost. Skin health will also benefit from the antioxidants and vitamins, while the high level of soluble fiber will normalize digestion. Some studies have also found that eating this dried fruit can help to lower overall cholesterol levels.
How to Make Dried Papaya
You can make your own dried papaya by following these basic steps:
- Step 1: Wash and peel the papaya.
- Step 2: Slice it in half and scoop out the seeds.
- Step 3: Cut the fruit into thin pieces.
- Step 4: Lay the slices on a cookie sheet.
- Step 5: Cook at 100 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-12 hours.
- Step 6: Once they are completely dried out, store them in an airtight container.
Dried Papaya vs Fresh Papaya
- Water content: The only difference between dried and fresh papaya is the water content of the latter.
- Nutrition: Once the water is removed, the food can be eaten in larger quantities without getting full, and the nutrient intake will be much more efficient. This is why dried papaya is more nutritious than the fresh fruit.
- Sweetness: Dried papaya is also sweeter than fresh papaya.