What is a papaya?
The papaya is the fruit of Carica papaya, a species belonging to the Caricacee family, native to Central America and now spread to many areas of the subtropical world. Today its main producers are the United States, Mexico and Puerto Rico.
What are the nutritional properties of the papaya?
100 g of papaya provide 28 Calories broken down as follows:
- 91% carbohydrates
- 6% protein
- 3% lipids
In particular, 100 grams of papaya bring:
- 89.3 g of water
- 0.4 g of protein
- 0.1 g of lipids
- 6.9 g of soluble sugars
- 2.3 g of fiber
Among vitamins and minerals , 100 g of papaya include:
- 60 mg of vitamin C
- 0.3 mg niacin
- 0.03 mg of thiamine
- 0.03 mg of riboflavin
- 265 micrograms of vitamin A (retinol equivalent)
- pantothenic acid
- 140 mg of potassium
- 28 mg of calcium
- 16 mg of phosphorus
- 7 mg of sodium
- 0.5 mg of iron
Papaya is also a source of flavonoids and if immature, papain, a proteolytic enzyme.
When should you not eat papaya?
Consumption of papaya may interfere with the action of blood thinners such as warfarin.
Seasonality of papaya
Papaya is commercially available almost all year.
Possible benefits and drawbacks of papaya
Papaya is an excellent source of antioxidants. These, along with the other nutrients contained in this fruit, help protect cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of developing colon cancer. In addition, the fibers of the papaya can bind the toxins associated with an increased cancer risk that may be present in the gut and along with other nutrients associated with scientific research they reduce the risk of colon cancer, and protect cells from damage that free radicals can cause to DNA.
The papain in papaya exerts an anti-inflammatory effect and is used in the treatment of trauma and allergies. Anti-inflammatory benefits may also come from the antioxidants found in the fruit, which can also support the proper functioning of the immune system and protect against macular degeneration. Finally, lycopene, a carotenoid present in papaya, may help prevent prostate cancer.
Papaya contains chitinase, a substance associated with latex-fruit syndrome (allergy).