Papaya Facts

Papaya Facts
Papaya is a flowering plant that belongs to the family Caricaceae. This plant originates from Mexico and Central America. Papaya is cultivated in tropical regions throughout the world. It grows on sandy, well-drained soil in areas that provide enough direct sunlight and moisture. Papaya is an integral part of human diet for hundreds of years. Besides its high nutritional value, papaya acts beneficially on the human health. Unfortunately, papaya is prone to viral, bacterial and fungal diseases which decrease amount and quality of available fruit.
Interesting Papaya Facts:
Papaya is a tree-like herb that can reach 16 to 33 feet in height.
Leaves are green, large and divided in seven lobes. They are spirally arranged and located on the top of the plant.
Papaya develops white flowers with five petals. Flower can contain male, female or both types of reproductive organs. Type of flower depends on the variety and environmental temperature.
Fruit has yellow-green skin on the surface and orange-pinkish flesh underneath it. Large number of black seeds is located in the middle of the fruit.
Hawaiian and Mexican papaya are two main types of papaya that can be purchased around the world. Hawaiian variety is pear-shaped and weighs one pound. Mexican papaya is heavier (weighs around 10 pounds) but has less intense taste.
Papaya is rich source of vitamins C and vitamins of the B group. It contains beta-carotene which turns into vitamin A inside the human body. Besides vitamins, papaya contains numerous valuable minerals and high content of dietary fibers.
Papaya is mostly consumed raw. This fruit is popular ingredient of cooked meals such as stews and curries in certain parts of the world.
Young leaves can be used for fresh salads or they can be boiled and prepared like spinach.
Black seeds of papaya have sharp, peppery taste. They are used as a substitute for black pepper in some countries.
Leaves of papaya are used in treatment of malaria. Fruit is used in treatment of digestive disorders. Since it has antiviral properties, papaya can be used in the treatment of Dengue fever (tropical viral disease). When used in medical purposes, papaya can be consumed raw or in the form of ointments and tables.
Harrison Ford was treated with injections of papaya due to injury of spine incurred during the filming of the movie Indiana Jones.
Diet based on high quantities of papaya may change the color of the skin on the palms and soles in yellow. This medical condition is known as carotenemia. Color of the skin returns to normal as soon as papaya is eliminated from a diet.
Unripe fruit and stem contain latex which may induce allergy in sensitive persons.
Stem and bark of papaya are used in the production of ropes.
Papaya is perennial plant that can survive around 20 years in the wild.

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