It’s been said that explorer Christopher Columbus called papaya the “fruit of the angels.” Whether that’s true or not, this orange-red melon-like fruit certainly seems heavenly – so soft, juicy and sweet. Did you know this tropical fruit is rich in nutrients that can boost eye health and protect against eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration (AMD)?
Eating Papaya Benefits
Studies show that eating three daily servings of fruit, like papaya, can help reduce your risk of AMD, a primary cause of vision loss in older adults. Adding papaya to your diet is a smart choice because it contains lots of antioxidants like vitamins A, C and E (even more than an orange!), as well as lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants protect cells against disease-causing free radicals and may help prevent degeneration of the retina.
If you’re already experiencing AMD symptoms, like distorted or blurred vision, a diet high in antioxidants can help slow the progression. Such a diet can also help slow the development of cataracts, another leading cause of vision loss as you age.
We’re focusing on men’s health this month; and men, you can start your own adventure by trying new recipes with the focus of improving your vision! These Papaya Lime Bars are a great way to put an exclamation point on dinner and get a huge dose of vitamin C and other antioxidants. Your family (and your eyes) will thank you! These are so delicious it’s hard to eat just one.
Ingredients (makes 16 bars):
- ¾ cup whole grain wheat flour
- ½ cup finely shredded coconut
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- 1 egg white
- 2 tbsp whole grain wheat flour
- ¼ cup cane sugar
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¾ cup papaya puree
- 3 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp shredded coconut
- Zest of 1 lime
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. Zest lime and set aside.
- Blend flour, coconut, and brown sugar in a medium mixing bowl with the softened butter. Once combined, add egg
- Press this crust into the bottom of the pan and an inch up the sides. Bake for 10 minutes.w
- For the filling, mix flour, cane sugar and sea salt in a large bowl. Whisk in the papaya puree, honey, lime juice and eggs until blended and smooth.
- Pour filling over crust and bake for about 25 minutes or until filling is set. Sprinkle shredded coconut and lime zest on top. Allow bars to cool for 30 minutes. Then cut into slices. Store in refrigerator.