Deliciously sweet with musky undertones and a soft, butter-like consistency, it is no wonder the papaya was reputably called the "Fruit Of The Angels".Papaya, sometimes called Pawpaw (not to be confused with the North American pawpaw or custard apple) is known as the "melon of health". In Costa Rica and Mexico the natives refer to papaya tree as "the tree of good health". Once considered quite exotic, they can now be found in tropical markets throughout the year. Although there is a slight seasonal peak in early summer and fall, papaya trees produce fruit year round.
Organic Papayas - The Non-GMO Poster Child
Papayas are one of the healthiest, most delicious fruits out there. They have a variety of nutrients for your skin and immune system, they're full of enzymes that aid digestion and reduce bloating, and they maintain healthy blood pressure levels. Papayas truly are a dream! Their sweet, tropical taste is also great whether you eat them alone, make a smoothie, use them for fruit-based salsa, make a papaya boat salad, or even squeeze some lemon on them and just enjoy.
Unfortunately, as you might have already heard, papaya was the first fruit to be genetically modified for human consumption in the 1970's, due to a virus disease that almost wiped them out in Hawaii. Papaya also makes the top 10 genetically modified foods to avoid, since GMO papayas are prevalent in the U.S. This means that unless you know what to look out for at the store, it can be tricky to find a papaya that’s free of GMOs. Most likely, if a papaya is not labeled organic or GMO-free (most aren’t), it is a GMO papaya.
GMOs are genetically modified organisms that are produced in a lab by taking the gene of one species and inserting it into another to obtain a desired trait or characteristic. The end result creates transgenic organisms that are unnatural. Not enough research has been done over time for us to fully understand the long-term effects of GMOs and our health. All we know is that research has shown that it's smart to avoid GMOs, because we’re not able to tell exactly how they’re produced or what they may mean for our health before consuming them.
GMO varieties of papaya include the Rainbow and hybrids made with the Rainbow Papaya such as Sun Up Strawberry, and Sunrise. The non-GMO species include Tauning, Mexican Red or Caribbean Red Maradol, Royal Star, Singapore Pink, and the Higgins variety.
More About Papaya
This chart graphically details the %DV that a serving of papaya provides for each of the nutrients of which it is a good, very good, or excellent source according to our Food Rating System. Additional information about the amount of these nutrients provided by Papaya can be found in the Food Rating System Chart.
Papayas boost daily immunity through their variety of nutrients.
Papayas, native to Central America, have been long revered by the Latin American Indians. Spanish and Portuguese explorers brought papayas to many other subtropical lands to which they journeyed including India, the Philippines, and parts of Africa.
This revered tropical fruit was reputably called "the fruit of the angels" by Christopher Columbus. In the 20th century, papayas were brought to the United States and have been cultivated in Hawaii, the major U.S. producer since the 1920s. Today, the largest commercial producers of papayas include the United States, Mexico and Puerto Rico.
For the Most Nutrients, Eat Papaya Fully Ripened
Research conducted at the University of Innsbruck in Austria suggests that as fruits fully ripen, almost to the point of spoilage, their nutrient levels actually increase.
Key to the process is the change in color that occurs as fruits ripen, a similar process to that seen in the fall when leaves turn from green to red to yellow to brown. This color change is caused by the breakdown and disappearance of chlorophyll, which gives leaves and fruits their green color..
How to Select and Store
A Few Quick Serving Ideas
Papayas and Latex Allergy
Like avocados and bananas, papayas contain substances called chitinases that are associated with the latex-fruit allergy syndrome. There is strong evidence of the cross-reaction between latex and these foods. If you have a latex allergy, you may very likely be allergic to these foods as well. Processing the fruit with ethylene gas increases these enzymes; organic produce not treated with gas will have fewer allergy-causing compounds. In addition, cooking the food may deactivate the enzymes.
In-Depth Nutritional Profile for Papaya
1.00 each | 304.00 grams | 118.56 calories
|vitamin C||187.87 mg||313.1||47.5||excellent|
|vitamin A||3325.76 IU||66.5||10.1||excellent|
|folate||115.52 mcg||28.9||4.4||very good|
|potassium||781.28 mg||22.3||3.4||very good|
|vitamin E||2.22 mg||11.1||1.7||good|
|vitamin K||7.90 mcg||9.9||1.5||good|
Density>=7.6 AND DV>=10%
|very good||DV>=50% OR
Density>=3.4 AND DV>=5%
Density>=1.5 AND DV>=2.5%
*Culled from http://www.whfoods.com/