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This article is part of a larger article titled "100+ Healthiest Foods On Planet Earth."  Read it here.

Papaya Nutritional Information (per 100g)

Water: 88.1 g
Calories: 43 kcal
Protein: 0.5 g
Carbohydrate: 10.8 g
Dietary fiber: 1.7 g
Sugars: 7.8 g
Fat: 0.3 g
Saturated fat: 0.1 g
Monounsaturated fat: 0.1 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.1 g
Vitamin C: 60.9 mg
Vitamin B3: 0.4 mg
Vitamin B9: 37 μg
Vitamin A: 47 μg
Vitamin E: 0.3 mg
Vitamin K: 2.6 μg
Calcium: 20 mg
Iron: 0.3 mg
Magnesium: 21 mg
Phosphorus: 10 mg
Potassium: 182 mg
Sodium: 8 mg
Zinc: 0.1 mg

Papaya is a fruit native to the Americas, usually eaten raw to savour its sweet tasting flavour. Although both the seeds and leaves are edible (you can use them as replacements for black pepper and spinach, respectively), the fruit is what is commonly eaten, and can be eaten either raw or cooked in a number of dishes: salads, curries and stir fries, for example. With a healthy dose of vitamin C and potent wound healing and anti-inflammatory activities, the papaya fruit is a novel way to introduce some health into your day.

Nutritionally, papaya is mostly rich in that extremely important vitamin, vitamin C. In fact, while 100g (less than even a small papaya fruit) contains just 43 calories, it also contains 101% of your Daily Value (DV) of vitamin C! With vitamin C being so essential for a number of processes and involved in areas from connective tissue to cardiovascular health, and deficiency being so bad for you (scurvy is the worst-case scenario!), it’s important to hit your DV.

Papaya also contains a few other important vitamins and minerals, with that mere 43 calories also providing you with 19% DV vitamin A, 6% DV dietary fibre, and 5% DV magnesium. These are all essential for a healthy body in more ways than we can list here, but suffice to say that your eyes, heart and digestion will all benefit from a little papaya.

Aside from the nutrient richness that papaya benefits from, there are a couple of other health benefits to be considered. An interesting aspect of papaya is its surprising benefits when it comes to healing wounds: it has been shown to help heal wounds in diabetic rats (diabetes prevents wounds healing properly for reasons unknown), and also its strong antibacterial effects, which combined may make papaya something that will, in future, be recommended to apply to the skin to help heal minor wounds. This is supported by research that shows that papaya’s antibacterial effects may help with the treatment of chronic skin ulcers. Although further research needs to be done, that’s certainly an interesting benefit.

Another intriguing benefit of papaya to emerge is its anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic activities, which could have real benefits for those who suffer from the many diseases caused by chronic inflammation (arthritis being one). In addition, choline, which papaya is high in, has been shown to combat inflammation in asthma patients, further adding to papaya’s status as a potent anti-inflammatory. With the power to combat inflammation and heal wounds, papaya is certainly both an interesting prospect for research and a tasty addition to your diet.