Papaya (Carica papaya)
Posted 08/12/19

Also called papaw or pawpaw in Australia, is an exotic, tropical fruit with a juicy, sweet flavour. Papaya and pawpaw are the same species, however they look and taste different. In Australia, the red-fleshed sweeter fruit is called papaya, while the yellow-fleshed fruit is called pawpaw. From an Australian industry perspective however, the term papaya covers both fruit.

While predominately grown for the fresh fruit market, papaya is also used in beauty products and topical treatments for skin conditions, however, some people can have allergic reactions to papaya due to its latex content.

The possible health benefits of consuming papaya include a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, aiding in digestion, improving blood glucose control in people with diabetes, lowering blood pressure, and improving wound healing. It can be added to salads, smoothies, and other dishes.

Benefits

  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Asthma prevention
  • Cancer
  • Bone health
  • Diabetes
  • Digestion
  • Heart disease
  • Inflammation
  • Skin and healing
  • Hair health

Papayas are an excellent source of vitamin C, and one single medium fruit provides 224 percent of recommended daily intake.
One medium papaya has approximately:

  • 120 calories
  • 30 grams of carbohydrate – including 5 grams of fibre and 18 grams of sugar
  • 2 grams of protein

Papayas are also a good source of:

  • folate
  • vitamin A
  • magnesium
  • copper
  • pantothenic acid
  • fibre

They also have B vitamins, alpha and beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamin E, calcium, potassium, vitamin K, and lycopene, the powerful antioxidant most commonly associated with tomatoes.

When choosing or eating papaya, look for fresh papayas with reddish orange skin that are soft to the touch. Just cut like a melon, scoop out the seeds, and enjoy.

Papayas are an excellent source of vitamin C, and one single medium fruit provides 224 percent of recommended daily intake.

Simple methods of preparation:

  • Make a tropical fruit salad with fresh papaya, pineapple, and mango.
  • Muddle papaya into a glass of lemonade, iced tea, or water for a burst of fresh fruity flavor.
  • Make a fresh salsa with papaya, mango, jalapeno, red peppers, and chipotle pepper. Use as a topping for fish tacos.
  • Add a few slices of frozen papaya to smoothies. Combine with pineapple juice, half a frozen banana, and Greek yogurt for a sweet tropical treat.

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