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Papaya, Carica papaya / Caricaceae
Benefits for the health
The papaya plant bears fruit all over the year; for that reason it represents an important source of a series of nutrients (specially vitamin C, pro-vitamin A, calcium and carbohydrates) for underdeveloped tropical countries. The main carbohydrates are sugars, with already small quantities of starch in the mature fruits.

The colour of the mature papaya pulp is due to carotenoid pigments. Vitamin C and carotenoids are thought to reduce the risk of contracting various types of cancer if they are consumed as part of a diet rich in fruit and vegetables. However, it has not been proved that these compounds have the same effect if they are consumed alone. Papayas are also rich in cryptoxanthin, lycopene, phytoeno, iron, magnesium and zinc.
Popular tradition
Papayas are suitable for sliming diets, since they are low in calories, satiating and laxative. It activates digestion and it is easily consumed by people with dental problems.

The papain enzyme found in papayas activates the digestion, and it is recommended to people with stomach problems and slow digestion.

The pulp is easily chewed and swallowed, so it is an ideal food for ill people or those with dental problems.

The grounded seeds are used as a vermifuge.
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