Can you eat green papaya?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “Can you eat green papaya?” with an in-depth analysis of green papaya, the nutritional composition of green papaya, the health benefits and risks of eating green papaya, and some recipes of green papaya. 

Can you eat green papaya?

Yes, you can eat green papaya which is the raw form of papaya. Green papaya is rich in essential nutrients including vitamins, minerals, enzymes like papain and chymopapain, as well as phytonutrients. Thus, it provides several health benefits. 

Green papaya can be consumed in grated form in salads, or cut into cubes and steamed for 5 to 7 minutes or cooked on the stovetop with some water or even pressure cooked.

What is green papaya?

Green papaya is an unripe form of papaya which belongs to the Caricaceae family. It is a tropical fruit that is round and plump and comes in various sizes.

Green papaya has little to no flavour. It is packed with nutrients and provides many health benefits.

The nutritional profile of green papaya

  • Vitamin K: 4.1 mcg, 5.1 per cent of the daily value (DV)
  • Fibre: 2.7 g , or 10 per cent DV
  • Calcium: 31 milligrams or 3.1 per cent DV
  • Magnesium: 33 mg , 8 per cent DV
  • Potassium: 286 mg , 6.08 per cent DV
  • Zinc: 0.13 mg, 0.9 per cent DV
  • Vitamin C: 95.6 mg , 106.2 per cent DV
  • Folate: 58 micrograms, 14.5 per cent DV
  • Vitamin A: 1,492 IU, 30 per cent DV
  • Vitamin E: 0.47 mg , 2.4 per cent DV

The health benefits of green papaya 

Heal skin conditions and injuries

Polyphenol compounds present in green papaya have powerful antioxidant properties that protect against free radical damage, thus are helpful against acne, pimples and other skin conditions. 

It helps to clear skin pores and is frequently used in face packs. They have a dead cell-dissolving ability that provides flawless and glowing skin. Green papayas are also protective against skin diseases and wounds as they contain vitamin C, E and A, all of which are beneficial for the skin. 

Relieves menstrual pain

The nutritional composition of papaya is more beneficial for females, as the leaves of papaya provide relief from menstrual pain. 

That is because of the presence of flavonoids in green papaya which possess anti-inflammatory qualities that can hinder the cyclooxygenase enzyme. Hindrance of this enzyme decreases the level of pain controlling prostaglandin hormones. Thus, providing relief from menstrual pain. 

Control bowel movements

Green papaya possesses papain, a protein-digesting enzyme that is beneficial for people with digestive or pancreatic problems. It also possesses anti-amoebic and anti-parasitic qualities which control bowel movements. 

It is a natural medicine to treat diseases like indigestion, constipation, acid reflux, heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome, stomach ulcers and even dysentery.

Protects from heart diseases

Green papaya contains folic acid that converts homocysteine into essential amino acids. High homocysteine levels are considered a risk for degrading the lining of blood vessels that can lead to heart disease and stroke. 

Green papaya regulates homocysteine levels in the blood by splitting them into amino acids, therefore, decreasing the risk of harm to the blood vessels.

In addition to folic acid, green papaya also contains fibrin, a beneficial compound that improves blood flow and decreases the risk of blood clot formation, hence decreasing the chance of blood vessel blockage and stroke. 

Help treat infections

It has been found that green papaya exhibits antibacterial activity, thus it helps to fight against infections caused by Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, Shigella flexneri, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Green papaya is a natural remedy for treating UTIs that are mostly caused by E. coli. It also fights against bacteria by scavenging the free radicals and superoxides that help in cellular metabolism for bacterial growth.

In addition to antibacterial properties, green papaya also show anti-helminthic and anti-amoebic properties, thus helping to fight against the parasitic worms helminths and amoebas. 

It also improves immune activity and prevents illnesses like recurrent ear infections, colds and flu. 

The best part is, intake of green papaya helps to recover normal gut flora that is impaired because of the excessive use of antibiotics.

Helps with lactation 

Green papaya contains nutrients that affect the hormone, estrogen, thus it can be helpful for lactating females. But as it also contains compounds that act as a uterine stimulant, it is sometimes prohibited for pregnant women from consuming green papaya.

The risks of green papaya 

Green papayas can provoke unfavourable reactions in some individuals. 

When topically applied as a treatment for skin issues, such as eczema and acne, the extracts of green papaya can lead to severe itching, swelling, and redness.


In this brief guide, we have answered the question, “Can you eat green papaya?” with an in-depth analysis of green papaya, the nutritional composition of green papaya, the health benefits and risks of eating green papaya, and some recipes of green papaya. 


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.