June 8, 2021
Written by Melanie Swackhammer B.A.
Why Birds Love Papayas | National Papaya Month & Body Confidence
September is National Papaya Awareness Month and in case you’re thinking this is just another blog about the health benefits of a fruit, it’s not.
Get ready to expand your mind about this tropical fruit that looks like a squash but has a bright internal orange color that just screams out beta carotene! (That same stuff you get in orange carrots) and seeds that look like slimy alien fish eggs, but have benefits that are, dare I say it, out of this world!!
Stay tuned for that goodness, but this is also going to give you a whole new perspective on a movement having to do with @thebirdspapaya that I am loving and want to help support. Her movement is changing how you, me and we see the world.
Honor the papaya, like the birds do, read ‘till the end and share with all of your sisters and brothers, mothers and fathers!
Papayas Are For The Birds
Some people don’t like papayas and believe that they are solely for the birds. As they blossom in tropical trees much as the banana does, these fruits of the tropics are well known to get pecked as they’re one of the favorite foods of parrots.
Bird love papayas because they are a superfood. They provide the body with ample nutrients with a taste so divine – kind of like a mix between that fatty feeling you get in your mouth with avocados and sweet juiciness like a watermelon.
With high levels of healthy fats, protein, magnesium, fiber, calcium, and phosphorus, they pack a nutritional punch unrivaled by other fruits.
Do The Health Benefits Translate To Humans?
Birds even eat the seeds because, in nature, the seeds are a well-known anti-parasitic and have been studied for reducing intestinal parasitosis in humans. In fact, they have been studied in Africa as an effective tool for mass de-worming programs for children, by adding the seeds to porridge in schools. They are also an excellent source of the digestive enzyme, papain.
All of this makes the papaya a perfect partner to help you poo too! You all know how much I talk about the importance of pooping so this is just another reason the birds and I are so in love with the papaya!
Of course, papaya is great for humans too, and there are a few ways that I encourage people to eat them that help not only with pooping but also with your digestion.
How Do You Like Your Papayas?
Most people eat papaya on its own, in a papaya salad, smoothies or simply cut up with tart lime juice and salt to smooth it all down. They are so delicious this way. I like to add the seeds into my smoothies to help with digestion as well.
But there is another way I like them because when speaking of improving digestion we first must understand exactly what digestion is.
Defining Our Digestion
Digestion is the most important physiological function that goes on in our body. We must take in nourishment, utilize it, then get rid of what no longer is needed. However, it isn’t only the ability to digest, absorb and eliminate food. There is also a very emotional energy connected to digestion.
Whether or not you digest well, depends not only on the types of foods you are eating. Whether they are “healthy” I put this in quotations because healthy food choices depend on the individual. Remember, a superfood for one can be a poison for another. The way foods are combined, and the time of day they are eaten are also big factors. These aspects all matter, but what matters more than anything is this simple fact that isn’t often talked about.
How we digest our food is symbolic of how we are digesting life.
How we are digesting the world.
Say these powerful words one more time with me – Digestion is how you are digesting your LIFE!!!!
How We Digest Life
Digestion is about taking something from the outside world, like food, and processing it so that it works for us. But if what we intake, whether food or something else (stimulus like violent tv shows, judgments of other people, social images that make you feel less-than), goes against our true nature and our soul’s purpose, these external stimuli does our body no good and it will resist. The sequelae is we will have problems with our digestion. Acid reflux, gas, bloating, indigestion, constipation, and diarrhea to name just a few.
So many of us have an internal struggle going on within where we don’t accept ourselves for how we are naturally. We work to constantly fix how we digest by taking digestive enzymes (like papain), supplements that coat the gut, and fiber to help us poo.
The Little Known Cause of Digestive Problems
But did you ever think that maybe, just maybe, your digestion problems are caused by elevated stress levels due to your inability to accept yourself, in the constant pursuit of achieving other people’s ideals of you? Do you not think that inherently this is going to affect your digestion?
Of course, it does, no different than when you can’t poo (which symbolizes an inability to let go of emotions). Or if you have diarrhea, it’s a sign of excess burden and stress in your life, and the need to force-quit out of situations. It’s about being conscious of the messages that our body is telling us. Getting in touch with our gut feelings, being conscious and confident in our bodies is the key!
Another Kind of Papaya
So where am I going with this? Well, papayas are an excellent natural source of good stuff for our bodies. I usually like my papayas with freshly squeezed lime juice and salt!
But beyond this, is another kind of papaya that I feel is so good for our heart, body, mind, and souls. This special papaya can be found on Instagram at @thebirdspapaya. I love her posts, her podcast @thepapayapodcast and her blog www.thebirdspapaya.com because she is starting a movement to LOVE our bodies, to be confident, understanding and accepting of them wherever we are in our healing journeys.
Her story is real, it’s raw (like a papaya) and it is ripe and ready for picking! I highly encourage you to follow her, because she is a leader in this amazing movement that I am literally addicted to. Just like papayas!
She became a leader by accident, as she began by simply sharing her story of her 111 lbs of weight loss, relationship struggles, financial struggles and every other struggle of human experience in a totally honest and incredibly relatable way. What truly struck a chord with me was her stories of being judged by others and judged by herself for not fitting the societal mold of ‘perfection’. She generously shares her life experience as she paves the way for us all to think differently. I’ve been following her for over a year and I have to say I think differently than I did before I met her. She preaches how to show up in your life, and I’ve learned a lot about showing up in mine in my true skin.
So she, just like my hot yoga, hot pilates, healthy diet, mindset molding, soul meditation, castor oil pack practice, gratitude practices and sleep hygiene, are all part of my daily practices that keep me expanding and inspired to do the work that I do.
What she has helped me to realize and connect to is that her, like my patients and like myself, have all experienced judgments (oftentimes from ourselves) to live up to the status quo. To roll with the Jones’s, whoever they are. To be part of the ‘cool people’, the ‘in-crowd’ or the popular clique, ugh feels just like high school and I’m so over that, finally.
Body Confidence Through Understanding
Her food for thought is all about a movement known as the body confidence or body positivity movement. I really prefer confidence because the energy of that simply feels less judgemental. I am vibing to her message because I feel what I do is so similar. I want to empower people to be body confident by being conscious of what their body is telling them. This can start with your poo, getting to understand the clues that it gives you about the state of your health. (If you haven’t downloaded the 50 Shades of Poo yet this is a great place to start) And later we will delve deeper and deeper so that you have a vast understanding and love for yourself that allows you to own your throne, as I say.
The understanding that you are gifted by the divine with conscious thought, we are the only mammal with this ability! This beautiful tool/gift that we have been given works for us only when we are focused on the present and in our hearts, taking all the signs and symptoms as blessings. Yes, even the beautiful cellulite on your things. I love that cottage cheese look so much. Or your wrinkles, or how you go to the bathroom. These are all signs to acknowledge and address in a way that is healthy and life-promoting for us so that we can live each moment showing up for ourselves and our loved ones, with the ability to digest our lives with ease and grace.
Inspiration Feeds the Soul
I feel it’s important for me to share who is inspiring me, because like I share what food is good for my body, A.K.A. papayas, more importantly, I want you to know what is feeding my soul.
So my dear friends as you dive into your journey of enjoying some lime-bathed, salt-sprinkled papaya, leave some for the birds too. Join these movements with us. You can do so by following on Instagram, subscribing to her podcast and sharing us with all those you love (wouldn’t it be nice if you loved everyone you know? You can – it’s simply a choice)!
You Have a Choice
Speaking of choice, don’t you think it’s high time you choose confidence and consciousness in who you are, why you are here, and bring on the gifts that we have been given so we can serve the whole world?
It’s time and it goes like this. You either decide to be the designer of your destiny, by allowing stimulus that enlightens you, entertains you, helps you grow, helps you fall deeper and deeper in love with yourself every day no matter what type of package you come in, OR you choose to fall into the proverbial rabbit hole like Alice in Wonderland, falling into your fate, losing who you really are and feeling like there is no hope.
Stop the digestive upset with food and how you are digesting the world. It’s papaya time! Love and share this now!
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Bruno Levecke,1 David J Buttle,2 Jerzy M Behnke,3 Ian R Duce,3 and Jozef Vercruysse Cysteine proteinases from papaya (Carica papaya) in the treatment of experimental Trichuris suis infection in pigs: two randomized controlled trials. Parasit Vectors. 2014; 7: 255. Published online 2014 May 30. doi: 10.1186/1756-3305-7-255 PMCID: PMC4049439
M. Kugo, L. Keter, A. Maiyo, J. Kinyua, P. Ndemwa, G. Maina, P. Otieno, and E. M. Songok Fortification of Carica papaya fruit seeds to school meal snacks may aid Africa mass deworming programs: a preliminary survey. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2018; 18: 327. Published online 2018 Dec 7. doi: 10.1186/s12906-018-2379-2 PMCID: PMC6286506