Papaya – Healthy, Tasty & fruity!

When I was young(er), I didn’t like Papaya. I didn’t think it had a great taste or a great smell. But as I grew up, I picked up a special liking towards this fruit. I liked papaya in fruit salad because it sort of offsets the over-sweetness of pineapple, banana, grapes, etc. in it.

It seems, Papaya was introduced to India only around 400 years ago by the Portuguese. Papaya is said to have originated in Mexico and people there have been using (eating) it for thousands of years.

The botanical name of Papaya is Papaya Caricaya. A papaya plant (tree) can grow up to a height of 8 – 33 feet, is not affected much by insects, can grow in many types of soil, grows rapidly and gives fruits within three years.

Some interesting facts you need to know about Papaya

Papaya juicePapaya Juice! (Image credit: Midori. This image is published under this CC License)

  • Papaya is not a seasonal fruit. It grows throughout the year.
  • Papaya is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium and Minerals.
  • Papaya contains an enzyme called, ‘Pepsin/papine’ which helps digest difficult-to-digest foods.
  • There are three types of papayas in India – The ones that grow in the mountains, the ones that grow in the plains and the larger ones (imported variety). There are several sub-categories under each.
  • It is better to avoid eating papaya during the night.
  • Pregnant ladies need to avoid eating papaya. In the olden days, it was used for abortion.
  • People having sugar/diabetics can eat papaya. This fruit doesn’t affect them.
  • Papaya controls blood cholesterol, BP and helps digest foods quickly.
  • Many beauty products use papaya, as it is good for the skin.
  • Papaya juice (shown in the above picture) is common (but I don’t remember drinking papaya juice recently?).
  • The fruit part of papaya can be red or yellow, depending on the variety.
  • Hawaiian Papaya is very famous.
  • It is one of the fruits used in fruit salad (I love it) or it can be eaten separately.
  • Adding some lime and salt to papaya makes it healthier.
  • Papaya is used for making pickle, kheer and halwa.
  • In addition to using papaya as a fruit, raw green papaya can also be cooked to make dishes like kootu (in Tamil, not sure what it’s called in other languages).

Have you used papaya for cooking? I don’t remember eating papaya as a cooked vegetable. Or maybe I have, without my knowledge!

Destination Infinity

PS: Some information presented in this post is from informal sources and hence not verified. The first picture is a copyright free picture and has been uploaded by the United States department of Agriculture.


  • Sandhya Kumar

    We can make saambaar also with the raw papaaya. Koottu is tasty. Yes, if the taste is good, I can eat a whole papaaya.

    Thanks for the information about this fruit. Though we know it ,we tend to forget this ordinary looking fruit.

    • Rajesh K

      I know it’s healthy, but didn’t know about its use in cooking. Papaya is very good in fruit salad, I like it there.

      Destination Infinity

  • Bikram

    Paaji you reminded me of home again , we had a couple of papaya trees and I remeber once dad made us sit down and explain to us the benefits of the fruit ..
    have not tried the juice though..

    Thank you for so much info..

    • Rajesh K

      You had papaya trees? Cool 🙂 My parents/grandparents also used to tell about the benefits of this fruit when I was young. But at that time, I didn’t like it’s taste. Somehow, now I like it.

      Destination Infinity

  • techie2mom

    i still don’t like the taste of papaya. But yes, you are right, it is really really healthy…
    My mom used make me eat it, whenever i fell ill, so i always relate it to illness 🙄
    Never knew, we can cook raw papaya!!!
    You do a lot of research for your post!!!

  • Ashwathy

    You just reminded me to eat papaya…. 🙂 When I used to stay with my parents, I remember my dad used to keep his regular dose of papaya as after-dinner-fruit. I need to start buying it now!!

  • Marnie Byod

    Papaya is rich in vitamin E and it has an enzymes that helps your skin look young and brighter. Many products now are using papaya. I really love papaya especially when it is ripen in exact way.

    • Rajesh K

      I guess it helps skin look young and brighter. I don’t want to use it for that purpose though…

      Destination Infinity

  • PN Subramanian

    Yes I agree. One strange thing which is happening in my part is that when they are raw and on the trees, people prick the outer skin at several places with a needle. The white liquid which oozes out has all the Pepsin which gets collected using a syringe.

    • Rajesh K

      Is it good or bad? Maybe the ripened papaya loses some nutrition because of this…

      Destination Infinity

  • AS

    it is also a boon for detoxification of body..eating this amazing fruit on an empty stomach regularly can do wonders for skin! I love papita too!