The tropical papaya,
sometimes called pawpaw, is
extremely high in carotenes,
which are linked with cancer
prevention and healthy lungs
and eyes.

The papaya flesh is high in fructose (fruit sugars) and relatively high in calories, so it’s good as a hungerbeating snack or dessert. The flesh is also high in carotenes, which can help prevent cancer, and it is a good source of fiber. In addition, it is one of the richest fruits in potassium and much higher in calcium than most other fruits. Papaya is also extremely high in vitamin C, and has a reasonable source of magnesium and vitamin E. It contains the enzyme papain, which breaks down protein and tenderizes meat.

  • Rich in beta-carotene, which can help prevent prostate cancer.

  • A good source of the carotenes lutein and zeaxanthin, which can help protect eyes from macular degeneration.

  • Rich in beta-cryptoxanthin, which can help maintain healthy lungs and may help prevent arthritis.

  • Excellent source of vitamin C and fiber.

  • High soluble fiber content helps control blood sugar levels by slowing sugar absorption.

Practical tips:
When a papaya is ripe, its skin is orange, rather than green. It can be added to a
casserole to tenderize the meat. In a fruit salad, add just before serving—the papain in
it can oversoften other fruits. The papain also prevents gelatin setting, so avoid using it
in gelatin desserts. Lime juice sprinkled on the fruit brings out its flavor.


Papaya seeds can be dried in an oven on low heat and used like peppercorns.

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