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Papaya has been used for centuries in a wide range of ways that go far beyond simply eating it – from promoting healthy and hydrated skin to tenderizing meat. Of course, papaya can also be enjoyed in all sorts of culinary dishes, with National Papaya Month providing the perfect background for any, or all, of these activities! 

History of National Papaya Month

Native to the tropics of America, papaya likely originated in southern Mexico as well as Central America. This tropical fruit was likely introduced in southern parts of what is now Florida in 300 AD, but it wasn’t until the 1500s that Spanish explorers brought papaya back to Europe. It was also around this same time that papaya made its way from the Philippines through Malaysia and to India – the place that has become the largest grower of papaya in the modern world.

While papayas can be found all year long in today’s world, their peak growing season is in early summer to fall, making September an ideal time to celebrate National Papaya Month. It is worth noting, however, that some unofficial sources show that papaya month may also be celebrated in June. But, honestly why is it necessary to choose? Perhaps it would be fun to celebrate both!

How to Celebrate National Papaya Month

Show some love and appreciation for this tasty and healthy fruit for thirty whole days during National Papaya Month! Get creative with ideas for celebrating, starting with some of these:

Enjoy Eating Papaya

This tropical fruit is definitely tasty when eaten on its own by cutting it in half and scooping out the seeds. But it can also be included in a wide range of different recipes and concoctions made in the kitchen. Include papaya chunks in a cut fruit salad, or consider some of these other recipe ideas in honor of National Papaya Month:

  • Papaya Bars on a Shortbread Crust
  • Papaya smoothie with Almond Milk 
  • Jerk Chicken Salad with Papaya
  • Papaya Bruschetta 

Learn (and Share!) Some Health Benefits of Papaya 

Get excited about not only the flavor of this delicious tropical fruit, but also take some time during National Papaya Month to learn a bit more about the different nutritional benefits it offers as part of a healthy diet. Then, be sure to share with friends and family members to get them involved too!

Check out some of these health facts about papaya to get started with:

  • High in Vitamin C for immune support

  • Filled with fiber to help with digestion and heart protection

  • Loaded with antioxidants that help reducing signs of aging

  • Antioxidants in papaya may also help reduce inflammation and prevent cancer

Other delightful days to celebrate throughout the year related to this one might include National Passion Fruit Day in August, Melon Day also in August, or National Eat More Fruits and Vegetables Day which is celebrated in early May.   

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