Papaya is a soft tropical fruit with a yellowish-orange color. This species of fruit — which belongs to the Caricaceae family — is round and plump and comes in larger and smaller sizes. It’s believed that papaya is native to tropical America, with early origins in Mexico and South America. The fruit was brought into the Caribbean by indigenous people, and eventually made its way to Europe and the Pacific Islands.  If the papaya is ripe, it can be eaten raw. However, unripe papaya should always be cooked before eating.

Papayas are shaped similar to pears and can be up to 20 inches (51 cm) long. The skin is green when unripe and orange when ripe, while the flesh is yellow, orange or red.  The fruit also has many black seeds, which are edible but bitter.  Papaya can be used to create a tropical salad, salsa or added to juices and baked goods for extra nutrition such as flapjacks and granola bars.

Nutritional Benefits

As an excellent source of vitamin C, eating papaya can boost your immune system and protect your body from a variety of illnesses and infections. Papaya contains vitamin C, potassium, antioxidants, and fibre, which helps keep arteries healthy and promotes blood flow. This can also lower chloesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke