Papaya (Carica Papaya 'L) also called pawpaw, is one of the most common plants grown in tropical countries. It is a fast-growing branch-less herb-like tree, 3-6 meters in height of the botanical family Caricaceae. The trunk is soft, grayish, and marked with fallen leaf scars. The leaves are deeply lobed, with long stalks, borne on the top of the tree. The male flowers are in long-stalked clusters, but the female flowers are stalkless or sessile. The fruit is obovoid, yellow-orange when ripe, fleshly, juicy, and often contains numerous black seeds although seedless varieties are also available today. The fruit usually weighs 0.5 to 2 kilos, although there are some that reach 6 kilos.
Papaya vitamin content, is 100 g of pulp provides 103% of the RDA of vitamin C and 18% of vitamin A for an adult. The B vitamins are also present in small amounts except for folates which as much as the mango.
Where minerals are concerned, the papaya is rich in potasium and significant amount of calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, and iron.
Papain, is a proteolytic enzyme (one that digest proteins), similar to the pepsin in gastric juice. Its primary source is the leaves of the papaya tree or its unripe fruit. Papain is greatly reduced in ripe papaya.
Papaya is very easy to digest, therefore it contributes to the digestion of the foods we take. This article is based from the books "Amazing healing plants, and "New Lifestyle Healthy Food".