This article on papaya facts deals with Carica Papaya which is cultivated throughout the world as a tropical fruit tree.
Papaya can be eaten unripe, or it can be eaten ripe. There are many health benefits of eating papaya. Want to learn?
Hold on! Before we begin with the list of papaya facts, we will like to divert our attention to its scientific classification.
Papaya Facts: Scientific Classification
|Binomial Name||Carica papaya|
Papaya Facts: Nutritional Value
Let us take a look at the nutrient analysis of papaya for every 100 grams of serving. This table below is taken from USDA National Nutrient Database.
|Component||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||0.26 g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber||1.70 g||4%|
|— Folates||37 µg||9%|
|— Niacin||0.338 mg||2%|
|— Pantothenic Acid||0.218 mg||4%|
|— Pyridoxine||0.038 mg||3%|
|— Riboflavin||0.027 mg||2%|
|— Thiamin||0.023 mg||2%|
|— Vitamin A||950 IU||32%|
|— Vitamin C||60.9 mg||102%|
|— Vitamin E||0.30 mg||2%|
|— Vitamin K||2.6 Âµg||2%|
|— Sodium||8 mg||0.5%|
|— Potassium||182 mg||4%|
|— Calcium||20 mg||2%|
|— Iron||0.25 mg||3%|
|— Magnesium||21 mg||5%|
|— Phosphorus||10 mg||1%|
|— Zinc||0.08 mg||0.5%|
|— Carotene-β||276 µg||—|
|— Crypto-xanthin-β||761 µg||—|
|— Lutein-zeaxanthin||75 µg||—|
Now that we have the classification table and nutrition analysis, we can quickly move on to the facts list…
Papaya Facts: 1-5
1. The papaya is a tropical fruit tree. It is also known by the names Pawpaw and Papaw.
2. The Carica papaya is actually one of the 22 different species that fall under the Genus Carica.
3. Experts believe that papaya originated in the tropical regions of the Americas, most likely in Southern Mexico and Central America.
4. There was a time when papaya was considered as an exotic fruit because it was found in Mexico and Central America. Today, however, it is one of the most widely produced fruits across the world.
5. We usually refer to the papaya plant as a tree. However, the reality is that the ‘tree’ is actually a gigantic herb.
Papaya Facts: 6-10
6. The papaya fruit is actually a large berry. It usually takes a spherical shape or the shape of a pear.
7. The papaya tree grows anywhere between 5 meters and 10 meters or 16 feet and 33 feet.
8. It is a fast growing tree and can bear fruits within 6 months to 12 months from the date of planting the tree.
9. The papaya is a sparsely branched tree. It has a single stem and the spirally arranged leaves are placed usually on the trunk top.
10. The lower trunk is full of scars. These scars are left behind in places where leaves and fruits were borne by the tree.
Papaya Facts: 11-15
11. The leaves of the papaya tree are large and green. Each leaf has 7 lobes. Because of their location on the tree, the leaves produce an umbrella-like structure.
12. Papayas are flowering plants. They produce white flowers that have five petals each. The flowers are highly dimorphic.
13. In case of males, the stamens and petals remain fused together but in case of females, a superior ovary is noticed with petals remaining connected to the base loosely.
14. The flowers of the papaya tree have a sweet scent, and they open up during the night. They depend on moths for pollination.
15. People usually eat only the brightly colored flesh of the papaya. However, that’s not the only edible part of the fruit.
Papaya Facts: 16-20
16. Did you know that even the small black seeds of the papaya are edible? They actually taste pretty much like black pepper and there are countries where the papaya seeds are used as black pepper alternative.
17. The fruit, when unripe, will have green skin. However, when the fruit becomes ripe, the skin will turn yellow-green or amber. The flesh of a ripe papaya has an orange-pinkish color.
18. There are usually two variants of the papaya that are cultivated and sold throughout the world. The first one is the Hawaiian papaya and the second one is the Mexican papaya.
19. The Hawaiian papaya is smaller and has a pear shape. The maximum weight it attains is 1 pound. The Mexican variant on the other hand is pretty heavier and can attain the weight of 10 pounds.
20. The papaya tree will not have branches. Only time when a branch will appear is when the tree has been hurt or injured.
Papaya Facts: 21-25
21. The leaves of the papaya tree will grow on petioles that are nearly horizontal. The petioles can reach the length of anywhere between 1 foot to 3.5 feet.
22. The papaya leaves are pretty large. They usually have a diameter of 50 centimeters to 70 centimeters. Each leaf is divided into seven lobes. They are deeply palmately lobed.
23. A single papaya leaf will have a lifespan of anywhere between 4 months to 6 months.
24. Papaya plants can be male. They can also be females and again, some of them can be hermaphrodite.
25. Male plants will always produce pollen. They will never produce fruit. Female plants on the other hand will produce fruits whether pollinated or not.
Papaya Facts: 26-30
26. When not pollinated, female plants will produce fruits that are very small and not at all edible. They will produce edible fruits only when they are pollinated.
27. Coming to hermaphrodite papaya trees, they are pretty unique in the sense that their flowers contain both female ovaries and male stamens. This means that hermaphrodite papaya trees are capable of self-pollinating and hence, more widely used in commercial production.
28. Papayas are perennial plants. In the wild, they can live up to 20 years.
29. Every part of the papaya tree has latex. Though this latex is not really harmful, it can cause some serious problems for people with allergies and those who are highly sensitive.
30. There is an enzyme called papin in unripe green papaya fruit and even the papaya leaves. Apart from several medical benefits, this papin is known to be a natural meat tenderizer. Today, commercial meat tenderizers have papin in them.
Papaya Facts: 31-35
31. Moisturizes skin: The fruit is rich in papain – an enzyme. It can help to keep your skin moisturized. Apply mashed papaya on your skin to keep it hydrated and gentle because papain will remove dead cellular debris by dissolving them.
32. Removes pigmentation and scars: Uneven pigmentation and scars left by acne are serious concerns for women. Papaya is known for being a skin-whitening agent capable of removing pigmentation and scars. Added benefit comes from beta carotene and other phyto-nutrients responsible for promoting skin fairness. It can also make skin lighter by dissolving dead cellular debris.
33. Wrinkle Reduction: Again papain comes to rescue by dissolving dead cell debris and thereby removing age spots and wrinkles. The enzyme helps to smoothen out the fine lines and also stimulates production of elastin and collagen.
34. Removes dark circles under eyes: Dark circles can make us look ugly. One effective way to get rid of it is to use papaya pulp. Take the pulp from an unripe papaya. This pulp acts as a natural bleaching agent and helps to erase the dark circles.
35. Gets rid of psoriasis and eczema: Papaya is known for exfoliating skin and removing impurities. This is done by the enzyme called papain. This enzyme thus plays a vital role to prevent itching caused by skin problems like eczema and psoriasis. One of the best ways to treat eczema and psoriasis is to apply papaya juice over the affected area.
Papaya Facts: 36-40
36. Treats melasma: It is a weird skin problem in which gray-brown patches occur on the face specifically in areas such as the chin, forehead, cheeks, nose bridge and right above the upper lip. This can be treated with papaya pulp. Applying the pulp on the affected area will bleach the skin and impart even skin tone.
37. Controls breakout of acne: Papain enzyme present in the papaya is responsible for not only treating acne but also helps in preventing future breakout. Applying papaya mask on affected areas will reduce inflammation and soreness and reduce scars and blemishes left by acne.
38. Stimulates growth of hair: Papaya is a good source of folic acid. This particular component is known for improving blood circulation to hair follicles and thereby promotes or stimulates hair growth.
39. Dandruff control: If you don’t like eating papaya seeds, you can still use them. Grind them well with papaya pulp and make a smooth paste. Use it on your scalp to treat dandruff problems. The reason is simple. The seeds have antifungal properties and dandruff is basically a fungal infection.
40. Helps in conditioning hair: Rich in vitamin A, papaya is a perfect way for conditioning your hair. Vitamin A is known for stimulating sebum production. Sebum is nothing but our body’s natural oil with one of the several uses being conditioning the hair. You can use papaya to make a nice shampoo, or you can just eat the damn fruit!
Papaya Facts: 41-45
41. Keeps heart healthy: Rich in vitamin A and vitamin C, papaya helps in preventing oxidation of cholesterol. Since cholesterol cannot oxidize, it cannot clog blood vessels that eventually lead to strokes and heart attacks.
42. Helps in preventing macular degeneration: Papaya is rich in zeaxathin. It is a very powerful antioxidant and is known for filtering out rays capable of harming retina. This eventually reduces macular degeneration risk. Again, the fruit is rich in lutein, cryptoxanthin, beta-carotene and vitamin A that are together responsible for maintaining healthy mucus membrane in our eyes and prevents eye damage.
44. Helps with faster wound healing: The seeds of the papaya are known for their antimicrobial and antifungal properties. Crushing them and applying on wounds helps to increase the rate of healing. Also, if wounds swell up or pus is formed, applying juice of green papaya can not only treat both, but also prevent the same.
45. Improves digestion: Papaya is rich in dietary fiber that is known for improving the overall health of our digestive system and maintains our bowel movement. Additionally, papain – the protein-dissolving enzyme in the fruit helps in digesting food and eases a number of stomach ailments.
Papaya Facts: 46-50
46. Anticancer properties: Modern studies have revealed that flavonoids are found aplenty in the seeds of the papaya fruit. These flavonoids are known for arresting development and growth of cancerous cells in our body.
47. Combats arthritis: Inflammation of joints leading to immense pain is called arthritis. This is a really bad health problem. Researchers have found that papaya contains anti-inflammatory properties and can help to combat arthritis by reducing inflammation, and hence, reducing pain.
48. Reduces lung inflammation: Lung inflammation is a pretty common problem in smokers of both variants – active and passive. This inflammation of lungs can be reduced using vitamin A.
Good news is that papaya happens to be rich in vitamin A. Consuming papaya or drinking papaya juice helps to reduce lung inflammation.
49. Helps in treating constipation: Everyone in the world has faced constipation at least once. It is really bad, isn’t it? Eat papayas. The presence of vitamin E, vitamin C and folates in the fruit play a major role.
These nutrients help in creating a tonic effect on intestines and stomach and helps in bowel movements. In addition, the dietary fibers present in the fruit ease stool passage and hence, reduce constipation.
50. Regulation of Aunt Flo: Aunt Flo (menstruation) is an integral part of every woman’s life. The problems that many women face are irregular periodic cycles and severe stomach cramps.
Papaya is a ‘hot food’. It actually generates heat in the body and in turn, estrogen is stimulated. Estrogen in women is responsible for periods. You get it right? As periodic cycles become regular, stomach cramps are reduced significantly.
Papaya Facts: 51-55
51. Helps in stress reduction: It is a well-known fact that vitamin C is known for regulating flow of stress hormones and hence, consumption of vitamin C is essential for reducing stress. Guess what? 60.9 mg per 100 grams of papaya! This means 213.15 mg in 350 grams of papaya. All you need is 200 mg daily to regulate stress hormones. Now you know how much to eat!
52. Reduces piles pains: Piles is a really painful condition. We know that papaya is responsible for reducing inflammation. Consuming papayas regularly will help to reduce inflammation of swollen blood vessels, and hence, relieve pain from piles.
53. Helps with Type II Diabetes: Diabetes has become extremely common today. Good thing is that papaya is not only low on sugar content but is also known for increasing insulin levels in the body and also increases insulin sensitivity of the body.
54. Improves bone health: Papaya is rich in vitamin K. This particular vitamin is known for improving bodies ability to absorb calcium and also prevents calcium loss via urine. This means, our body can use more calcium properly if we eat papayas. This translates into good bone health.
55. Regulates blood pressure: High blood pressure is a silent killer. It can be caused by high sodium intake. However, it can also be caused if potassium intake is low. Good news, papaya has low sodium content and high potassium content and hence, it can help in reducing high blood pressure.
Papaya Facts: 56-62
56. For pregnant women, papaya eaten in large quantities can lead to natural abortion. It is a natural contraceptive.
57. There is a fruit that closely resembles papaya in both shape and taste. It is known as Babaco fruit.
58. Papaya fruit is threatened by Papaya Fruit Fly.
59. Papaya bark is used for making ropes.
60. In many countries a traditional medicine to combat malaria is tea made of leaves of papaya.
61. People in several Asian countries eat steamed papaya leaves.
62. Eating too much papaya can lead to carotenemia – a condition where palms and soles of feet turn yellow. Nothing to be afraid of. Stop eating papaya and it will go away on its own.