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Rejuvenate Your Skin from Sun Damage with Papaya

This is a guest post from our recipe blogger, The Kitchen Vixen. This week she shares about the amazing health benefits that come from the papaya fruit.

Try a papaya for post workout protection! When you spend time outdoors partaking in your invigorating walks, jogs or runs, you're bound to be exposed to potential free-radical sun damage. Fortunately, you can protect your skin by loading up on antioxidant rich whole foods such as papaya.

Vitamin A, particularly its beta-carotene precursor, as found in foods such as papaya, acts a free-radical squelcher when interacting with sun-damaged skin. The effect works best from the inside out so eat up and enjoy the taste of anti-aging.

The benefits don't stop with the meat, or pulp, of the fruit; the seeds also posses antifungal and antioxidant properties. Those peppery seeds offer anti-fungal activity against the fungus that grows on peanuts and corn causing severe allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Anti-fungal effects are also found for those who are sensitive to yeast infections. Don't let any part of the papaya go to waste. Rubbing the interior part of the papaya skin on a wound, has been shown to aid in the healing process because antioxidant levels tend to be higher in the pulp of the fruit that is closer to the fruit's skin.

Here are some tasty ways to replenish and rejuvenate while using all parts of the papaya.

Papaya Salsa with Chili Rubbed Dover Sole


  • 1 small papaya, seeded & chopped, yields about 1 cup (reserve the seeds for a peppery dressing)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp minced red onion
  • 1 Tbsp brown rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 pound Dover sole/Flounder or other thin, white fish
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsps garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Papaya Salsa

  1. To a medium size mixing bowl, add brown rice vinegar, olive oil, honey & sea salt.
  2. Whisk with a fork.
  3. Add papaya, garlic, onion and cilantro. Toss ingredients. Cover and refrigerate while you prepare the fish.

Chili Rubbed Dover Sole

  1. Heat a large oven safe skillet on medium high heat.
  2. Combine the chili powder, garlic powder and black pepper in a small mixing bowl.
  3. Rinse the fish under cool, running water. Dry with an unbleached paper towel.
  4. Rub the spices on the fish and add to the heated skilled.
  5. Once all of the fish has been added to the skillet, place the skilled in the oven.
  6. Set the timer for 4 minutes.
  7. The fish should flake with a fork when done.

Peppery Papaya Seed Dressing


  • Papaya seeds (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup brown rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard

While the fish cooks, add the papaya seeds and any bits of papaya, to a blender. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend on high until the dressing is creamy smooth. There will be black flecks in the dressing from the seeds. Use as a sauce for the fish or to top salad greens such as mesclun greens, arugula or baby Swiss chard. Add chopped cilantro to your greens to help balance the peppery dressing.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
1/2 of the fish & 1/2 of the salsa, 223g
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat

Total Fat

Total Carbohydrates

Dietary Fiber
% Daily Value*
Maganese 10% Copper 5%
Phosphorus 24% Magnesium 13%
Iron 7% Selenium 56%
Folate 11% Riboflavin 9%
Niacin 41% Potassium 21%
Zinc 5%
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet


  1. Invest Dermatol. 2005 Feb;124 (2): 428-34. beta-Carotene interferes with ultraviolet light A-induced
    gene expression by multiple pathways. Wertz K, Hunziker PB, Seifert N, Riss G, Neeb M, Steiner G, Hunziker W, Goralczyk R.

  2. DSM Nutritional Products, 205/217A, PO Box 3255, Department of Human Nutrition and Health,
    CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland. karin.wertz@dsm.com
  3. Institute of Food, Nutrition & Human Health, Massey University, Private Bag 102-904, Auckland,
    New Zealand.

  4. Pak J Biol Sci. 2010 Jun 15;13(12):596-603.
    Efficacy of papain-based wound cleanser in promoting
    wound regeneration. Ajlia SA, Majid FA, Suvik A, Effendy MA, Nouri HS.

  5. J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Dec 27;54(26):10151-8.
    Pigments in avocado tissue and oil.
    Ashton OB,
    Wong M, McGhie TK, Vather R, Wang Y, Requejo-Jackman C, Ramankutty P, Woolf AB.

  6. Indian J Pharm Sci. 2011 Jul;73(4):447-51.
    Phytochemical and antifungal profiles of the seeds of
    carica papaya L.
    Singh O, Ali M.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you may like The Kitchen Vixen's nutritious condiments.