Health Benefits of Green Papaya: A Comprehensive Guide

Green papaya

The papaya tree (Carica papaya) produces an immature fruit known as green papaya, unripe papaya, or uncooked papaya. While most people are familiar with the mature, orange-fleshed papaya, often consumed as a sweet fruit, green papaya boasts a unique flavour and texture.

Typically, people harvest green papaya before it reaches complete maturity, when the fruit is still firm to the touch and green. The papaya’s flesh is crunchy and white at this stage, with a mild, faintly tangy flavour. Green papaya is more delicate in flavour than mature papaya, which is sweet and juicy. Consequently, it is well-suited for savoury dishes and culinary applications.

Nutritional value of green papaya

NutrientAmount per 100g
Calories43 kcal
Protein0.47 g
Carbohydrates10.82 g
Dietary Fiber1.7 g
Sugars5.9 g
Fat0.26 g
Vitamin C60.9 mg
Vitamin A (Beta-carotene)950 IU
Vitamin E0.3 mg
Vitamin K2.6 µg
Folate (Vitamin B9)38 µg
Potassium182 mg
Magnesium21 mg
Calcium20 mg
Iron0.25 mg
Sodium8 mg

Green papaya is an exceptional option for individuals who are striving to sustain a healthy diet due to its minimal calorie and fat content. The high vitamin C content bolsters the immune system, while vitamins A, E, and K, along with minerals like potassium and magnesium, contribute to overall health and well-being.

Benefits of Green Papaya

Papaya plants may be useful all the way through. It has many phytochemicals, such as enzymes, vitamins, and minerals. Here are some of the possible benefits:

Digestive System

Eating green papaya might help your body break down food better. Papaya that isn’t ripe may contain a lot of stomach enzymes, which can help your body break down food. It might help the body break down the protein in food more easily. If combined with the white latex of green papaya, it may be suitable for gluten-free individuals. It contains the enzyme crude papain, which may help break down gluten proteins. People who have trouble digesting high-protein foods can use it for this reason. 1 

Treat Wounds

Apply papaya fruits directly to the skin to treat wounds. Children can use it to treat burns. It might also cut down on the smell of skin sores that have been there for a long time. You can mash up papaya fruit pulp and apply it to infected burn scars. This might help stop the infection from spreading. It may work through the enzyme papain and papaya fruit’s antibacterial properties. 1 

Skin health

Green papaya may aid in the healing and reconstruction of damaged skin. Vitamin A present in the papaya peel can aid in skin lightening. Putting papaya peel mixed with a little honey on your skin might keep it moist and make it look smoother. Because of its bleaching properties, applying the white papaya pulp to acne and facial lines may aid in their removal. It might also get rid of dead skin cells, which can lighten the face.

Cancer Effect

For men, eating green papaya might help lower their chance of getting colon and prostate cancer. The dietary fibre in papaya fruits is believed to bind to toxins in the gut that can cause colon cancer. It’s possible that green papaya can help get rid of these toxins and keep the gut healthy. These nutrients may also help protect gut cells from the harm that free radicals do.

Weight Management

Green papaya is a great food for people who want to lose weight or keep their weight at a healthy level. Since it’s low in calories and high in fibre, it helps you feel full and stops you from snacking when you don’t need to.

Green papaya is also good for weight loss and control plans because it has fibre, which helps digestion and keeps blood sugar levels in check.

How to Use Green Papaya

Green papaya is a tasty and healthy food. There are numerous applications for papaya. Even if it’s not yet ripe, you can eat green papaya as food.

Culinary Uses

  • Salads: Shredded green papaya can be used in salads like the famous Thai Som Tam.
  • Pickles: Slice and pickle green papaya for a tangy side dish.
  • Stir-Fries: Julienne and stir-fry with garlic, ginger, and soy sauce.
  • Curries and Soups: Add to curries and soups for texture and nutrition.
  • Smoothies and Juices: Blend with other fruits for a nutritious drink.
  • Baking and Frying: Make fritters or use in desserts.
  • Snacks: Cut into sticks and dip in lime juice and chili powder.

Non-Culinary Uses

  • Meat Tenderizer: Use papaya’s enzymes to tenderize meat.
  • Topical Applications: Apply pulp to skin for wound healing and skincare.


Some of the negative effects of eating raw papaya may be related to women’s health. Papaya’s white milky juice (latex) contains papain enzymes that could be harmful to pregnant women. It has the potential to alter the levels of certain hormones, which could be bad for both the mother and the baby’s health. It could lead to oedema, which is when cells swell up because they are holding on to too much water.

Ayurvedic herbs may have certain side effects, and each person may react to them in a different way. Before you use it, make sure you talk to an Ayurvedic doctor to get the right advice.

Safety Precautions

It might be safe to eat raw papaya. However, one should adhere to some general safety rules.

  • Pregnant Women: Avoid consuming raw papaya to prevent complications.
  • Breastfeeding Women: Consult a doctor before consuming.
  • Children and Elderly: Exercise caution and consult a doctor before use.

If you want to use papaya as medicine, you should talk to an Ayurvedic doctor first. They are the right people to tell you about the safest way to take the medicine.

The bottom line

Green papaya is a versatile and nutritious fruit that offers numerous health benefits. Its unique texture and mild flavor make it suitable for a variety of culinary applications, from salads and stir-fries to smoothies and desserts. Rich in vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, green papaya supports digestive health, skin health, weight management, and may even help in cancer prevention.

Incorporate green papaya into your diet to enjoy its numerous health benefits and add a refreshing twist to your meals.

Leave a comment