Read about the nutrition facts, health benefits, nutritional value and calories found in Papaya

Papaya Nutrition

Whether you eat it raw, process it as a smoothie or blend into delicious milkshake, papayas are soft, creamy and succulent. It is due to its pear-shape, rich colour, heavenly taste and availability that papayas were nicknamed as ‘the fruit of the angels’ by Christopher Columbus. The cerise orange-coloured flesh with its unique juicy aroma adds to taste when added to other foods too. A native to the tropics, papaya is considered amongst the healthiest and most nutritive fruit that can be consumed. With an average length of about 7 inches and weighing 1 pound in weight, papayas come in orange, yellow and pinkish hues. The inner cavity of this fruit is a gelatin-like substance that consists of black, rounded seeds, which exude a peppery and bitter flavour, although sometimes edible. Originally from Central and South America, papaya is botanically known as Carica papaya and belongs to the Caricaceae family.



Papayas are native to tropical America, ranging from southern Mexico through the Andes of South America. They were first discovered by the Spanish chronicler, Oviedo in 1526 along the Caribbean coast of Panama and Columbia. Spanish and Portuguese explorers took this wholesome fruit to various other subtropical lands including India, the Philippines and parts of Africa. It was later introduced to regions in Europe and other Pacific Islands. By 1650, papayas were found in all tropical regions and by the end of 18th century, they spread to Hawaii as well. Till date, this coastal country is the only state in the US producing papayas commercially. In the first half of the 20th century, a small industry was initiated in Florida but it came crashing down due to the introduction of viral diseases, which still threaten the papaya population in other parts of the world. The largest commercial producers of papaya include the United States, Mexico and Puerto Rico.


Health Benefits of Papita (Papaya)


  • Papayas contain papain, a digestive enzyme, which helps in the breakdown of food. Hence, it is essential for breaking meat (larger proteins) into tiny pieces called peptides and amino acids.

  • Rich in dietary fibers, papayas are important in the regulation of bowel movements and thus, prevents constipation. Besides this, the dietary fibers absorb toxins in the digestive tract and hence, prevent colorectal cancer and other gastrointestinal diseases.

  • Papayas are packed with three essential powerful antioxidants: vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin A. These, when combined, prevent the oxidation of cholesterol that dangerously turn into plaques when oxidized, thereby leading to heart attacks and strokes.

  • Antioxidants are significant in getting rid of free radicals in the body, which otherwise, damage cells and cause cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, premature ageing and other diseases. Including papayas in the diet are highly beneficial.

  • Folic acid is required for the breakdown of homocysteine, a harmful amino acid that can damage blood vessels. Papaya is enriched with folate, which helps in reducing the levels of this protein in the blood and lowering the risk of cardiac arrests.

  • Papaya contains carotenoids, such as lutein and beta-carotene, which are essential in maintaining the health of our eyes. They also macular degeneration, an eye disease which that causes loss of vision in elders.

  • Being a rich source of lycopene, a compound that provides protection against prostate cancer, papayas are the best way to prevent the incidence of other cancers too. Studies reveal that men, who consume fruits and vegetables rich in lycopene, are less likely to develop prostate cancer as compared to those who don’t.

  • Smoking is responsible for reducing the vitamin A content in the body, as this vitamin is involved in the elimination of toxins caused due to the cigarette smoke. Due to a deficiency of this nutrient, lung inflammation or emphysema can occur. Therefore, foods such as papaya need to be consumed in order to prevent the risk of lung diseases.

  • Due to the presence of digesting enzymes such as papain and chymopapain, papayas help in lowering inflammatory responses and speed up the healing process of burns. They even reduce common symptoms of acute inflammation like arthritis and asthma.

  • Rich in antioxidants like B vitamins, folate and pantothenic acid, minerals such as potassium and magnesium and fibers, the delicious papaya promotes the health of the cardiovascular system and provides protection against colon cancer.

  • Papaya is used in prevention of illnesses such as recurrent ear infections, colds and flu.

  • Boosting the immune system, encouraging the renewal of muscle tissue, preventing cataract formation, curing nausea and constipation and alleviating pain and edema caused due to sport injuries are some of the other health benefits related to consumption of papayas.


Nutritional Value & Calories In Papaya 

Amount: 1 cup

Total Weight: 140 g


Basic Components

658 mg
124 g
0.9 g
Total Calories
Calories From Carbohydrate
Calories From Fat
Calories From Protein
Total Carbohydrates
15 g
Dietary Fiber
2.4 g
11 g

Fats & Fatty Acids

Total Fat
364 mg
Saturated Fat
113 mg
Monounsaturated Fat
101 mg
Polyunsaturated Fat
81 mg
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
66 mg
Omega-6 Fatty Acids
15 mg
Vitamin A
1330 IU
Vitamin C
85 mg
Vitamin E
420 mcg
Vitamin K
3.6 mcg
32 mcg
38 mcg
500 mcg
Vitamin B6
53 mcg
52 mcg
Pantothenic Acid
267 mcg
8.5 mg
28 mg
350 mcg
29 mg
14 mg
255 mg
11 mg
112 mcg
63 mcg
56 mcg
0.84 mcg

How many calories in papayas (per 100 gm)

Papayas have about 39 calories per 100 gm of weight.

How to Buy Papayas


  • Choose papayas with a reddish-orange skin and slightly soft to touch, if you intend to consume them within 2 days.

  • As a general rule, pick up yellow papayas with green patches and let them ripen at home. When fully ripe, the skin exudes a bright yellow colour.

  • Ripe papayas are those which are firm but soft, have a smooth skin with no blemishes and are heavy.

  • As long as papayas are free from cuts and bruises and a few black or moldy spots, they do not affect the flavour of the flesh.

  • Check the sweetness and ripeness of papayas by smelling them. Ripe papayas exude a sweeter aroma.

  • Green and hard papayas must be chosen until if you intend to make a cold Asian salad out of it.


Papaya Storage Tips


  • Ripe papayas should always be refrigerated in order to slow down the ripening process further. When left at room temperature, papayas ripen quickly, within a few days.

  • If you wish to speed up the process of ripening raw papayas, store them in a paper bag, along with a banana.

  • Once ripe, papayas tend to turn into turn into mush, if not handled properly. Hence, refrigeration and consumption within one or two days is essential to enjoy their flavour and taste. Alternatively, place the whole papaya in a plastic bag into the refrigerator.

  • Freezing papayas is another way of storing them for longer periods. To do this, peel the papaya, slice lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Chop into pieces and place in heavy duty plastic freezer bags. Cover with a 30% sugar solution (made from 4 cups water and 2 cups sugar) and freeze for up to 10 months.

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