About Papaya

  • Papaya – otherwise called pawpaw or papaw – is part of the Caricaceae botanical family.
  • Papaya is thought to have originated in Mexico and Central America, but is now grown all over the world in subtropical regions.
  • It can be found in grocery stores year-round in their ripe or unripe form.
    • A ripe papaya has yellowish skin with orange flesh. These are typically used in sweet dishes such as smoothies, salsas and salads.
    • Unripe papayas are green with a firm white flesh. These are typically cooked and  used in savory dishes since they don’t have the sweetness of a ripe papaya.
  • Select one that is firm to the touch with smooth skin. A ripe papaya should slightly yield under the pressure of your finger. Avoid those that are overly soft or have blemishes.

Nutrition Information

  • Papaya is an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin A and a good source of folate, potassium and fiber.
    • Vitamin C supports absorption of iron in the diet. Vitamin C is also involved in wound healing.
    • Vitamin A plays a role in immune function, vision and reproduction. It’s also essential in normal formation and maintenance of the heart, lungs, and kidneys.
    • Folate is used to make DNA and is essential for women who may become, or are currently, pregnant to reduce the risk of neural tube defects.
    • Potassium regulates fluid within the body and helps to maintain normal blood pressure.
    • Fiber helps you to feel fuller faster, which can help with weight control. Eating fiber rich foods also supports a healthy digestive system.
  • It contains the carotenoid lycopene in its flesh and lutein and beta-carotene in its peel. Carotenoids are antioxidants that may reduce your risk of disease including cancer and eye disease.

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Storing and Preparing

  • Store unripe papayas at room temperature for 2-3 days or until they are completely yellow to orange in color.
  • Store in the refrigerator once ripe and eat within a day to two for the best flavor.
  • To prepare, cut it in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. To remove the skin, use a vegetable peeler or paring knife. Cut papaya into wedges or dice into smaller pieces.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup diced papaya
Calories: 62 | Protein: 0.68 g | Fat: 0.37 g | Carbohydrate: 15.7 g | Fiber: 2.46 g | Calcium: 29 mg | Magnesium: 30.4 mg | Potassium: 264 mg | Folate: 53.6 µg | Vitamin A: 68.2 IU | Vitamin C: 88.3  mg | 


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