Papaya Boats and Vitamin C

Start your day in a delicious and colorful way with Elle’s Papaya Boat recipe! Did you know that one medium papaya contains 313 % of your daily value (DV) of vitamin C?! It is also a very good source of folate (29% DV) as well as potassium (22% DV).

 

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water soluble vitamin. That means that it is a vitamin that dissolves in water. Water soluble vitamins are easily carried to the body’s tissues but are not stored in the body. This is important for you to know because these vitamins should be replenished regularly by your diet to meet your body’s nutrient needs. In fact, there are nine water soluble vitamins in the human diet:

Vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6, vitamin B7 (biotin), vitamin B9, vitamin B12 (cobalamin) and vitamin C.

Vitamin C is a main antioxidant in the body and is required for the biosynthesis of collagen, L-carnitine, and is involved in protein metabolism.  As an antioxidant, vitamin C can help to regenerate vitamin E (another antioxidant touted for its ability to boost the immune system, widen blood vessels, and reduce blood clotting factors) in the body. There is research being conducted on vitamin C for its potential benefit to prevent or delay the development of certain cancers, heart disease, as well as others where oxidative stress (free radical damage that antioxidants fight against) plays a role.

Collagen is the main protein in connective tissues. Collagen protein and supplements have become very popular recently and are touted for their ability to reduce the effects of aging on skin by supporting the skin to be firmer, increasing smoothness and helping the skin cells to keep renewing and repairing continuously. Collagen is also necessary to help the body heal wounds. By now collagen is starting to sound like the fountain of youth! Let’s also keep in mind that vitamin C is necessary to help the body to produce collagen.

Vitamin C also plays a role in the production of L-carnitine, which is an amino acid (or a building block for protein). L-carnitine helps the body to produce energy and is important for heart and brain function, muscle movement, and other body processes. If you are an athlete, getting adequate amounts of vitamin C can be of use for you.

When it comes to cold and flu season, many will gravitate to vitamin C supplements (i.e. airborne, emergen-c, etc.) to alleviate their symptoms or act as a preventive measure and boost their immunity. According to a meta-analysis, preventative intake of vitamin C  may slightly reduce the duration of the illness in healthy persons but does not affect its incidence and severity. This is due to several of the immune system cells, such as phagocytes and t-cells, that need adequate amounts of  vitamin C to perform their tasks. Those with a vitamin C deficiency have a weaker immune system than those with adequate amounts of vitamin C in their diet. So what are you waiting for? Try out Elle’s delicious Papaya Boat Recipe and start reaping the benefits!

Looking for a personalized approach to your nutrition? Contact Elle!

Papaya Boat Recipe

By Eleanor Baker, MS, RD/N, LD/N Try this delicious and simple recipe that brings together tropical breezes and nutrient density to make your new favorite breakfast or snack!
Cuisine Tropical
Prep Time 8 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes
Servings 2 people

Ingredients

  • 1 medium ripe papaya
  • 1 cup low fat greek yogurt (I like the plain from Wallaby!)
  • 1 cup blueberries and strawberries
  • 1/4 cup homemade granola

Instructions

  1. Rinse the papaya before slicing it in half. Scoop the seeds out from the inside with a spoon and discard in a compost bin or garbage bin.
  2. Cut the tops off of the strawberries and quarter them into bite sized pieces.
  3. Fill each half of the papaya with the yogurt and top with berries and granola. Enjoy!
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