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Papayas are fruits that remind us of the tropics, the regions of the world in which they are grown. Once considered an exotic fruit, papayas' rise in popularity has made them much more available.

Papayas are spherical or pear-shaped fruits that can be as long as 20 inches. The ones commonly found in the market usually average about 7 inches and weigh about one pound. Their flesh is a rich orange color with either yellow or pink hues. Papaya has a wonderfully soft, butter-like consistency and a deliciously sweet, musky taste. Inside the inner cavity of the fruit are black, round seeds encased in a gelatinous-like substance. Papaya's seeds are edible, although their peppery flavor is somewhat bitter. The fruit, as well as the other parts of the papaya tree, contain papain, an enzyme that helps digest proteins. This enzyme is especially concentrated in the fruit when it is unripe. Papain is extracted to make digestive enzyme dietary supplements and is also used as an ingredient in some chewing gums.

Health Benefits
Papayas offer not only the luscious taste and sunlit color of the tropics, but are rich sources of antioxidant nutrients such as carotenes, vitamin C and flavonoids; the B vitamins, folate and pantothenic acid; and the minerals, potassium, copper, and magnesium; and fiber. Together, these nutrients promote the health of the cardiovascular system and also provide protection against colon cancer. In addition, papaya contains the digestive enzyme, papain, which is used like bromelain, a similar enzyme found in Pineapple, to treat sports injuries, other causes of trauma, and allergies.

Vitamins and other Nutrients
Papaya is an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids) and vitamin C. It is a very good source of Folate. In addition, it is a good source of dietary fiber, magnesium, potassium, copper, and vitamin K.
In addition to the nutrients highlighted in our ratings chart, an in-depth nutritional profile for Papaya is also available. This profile includes information on a full array of nutrients, including carbohydrates, sugar, soluble and insoluble fiber, sodium, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and more.

Food Rating System Chart

Papaya, fresh
1.00 medium
276.00 grams
Calories: 119
GI: medium
World's Healthiest
Foods Rating
Vitamin C
168.08 mg224.134.0excellent
102.12 mcg25.53.9very good
4.69 g18.82.8good
Vitamin A
131.10 mcg RAE14.62.2good
57.96 mg14.52.2good
502.32 mg14.42.2good
0.12 mg13.32.0good
Pantothenic Acid
0.53 mg10.61.6good
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