I’m sure you’ve passed the papaya countless times in the grocery store, never giving it a second thought.
I know I have.
But it may surprise you to learn that the humble papaya actually has a laundry list of health benefits.
It’s convinced me to start eating them regularly. You may want to as well!
Let’s talk about what’s inside this yellowy-orange, tropical fruit and see what makes it so good for you.
Is Dried Papaya Good for You?
The simple answer to this question is yes. Fruit, even dried fruit, retains most nutrients.
That’s because the process of dehydrating papaya just removes the water content. Very few nutrients are lost.
Unlike fresh papaya which may not last very long once cut, dried papaya can be stored for months at a time and enjoyed as a snack or added to all sorts of papaya recipes.
It’s a good source of a number of essential nutrients.
The only caveat to this is that since papaya contains natural sugar, it should be enjoyed in moderation.
Dried fruit is fruit with the water content removed. It may be easy to overindulge in the fruit without realizing it!
Dried Papaya Nutritional Facts
If buying or making dried papaya spears, look for ones that are dried without added sugar.
Papaya has plenty of natural sweetness and doesn’t require the added sugar. One serving of unsweetened dried papaya contains only about 20 calories.
It’s a very low calorie fruit naturally so you can multiple servings if you want.
A serving of the dried papaya contains only 14 grams of carbohydrates which is about 6% of your daily needs.
It’s a good source of fiber though with three grams for every serving.
Papaya is also a good source of Vitamins C, B, A, E, and K in addition to containing calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc.
11 Benefits of Eating Dried Papaya
To really get an idea of what you can expect from adding papaya to your diet, let’s dig into some specific health benefits of dried papaya fruit.
1. Papaya Is Rich in Antioxidants
Antioxidants are the compounds that neutralize damaging free radicals in the body. Having a diet rich in antioxidants can provide multiple benefits and is recommended.
The good news is that papayas contain carotenoids which are natural antioxidant compounds and can be obtained through consuming papaya regularly.
2. Papaya Supports Healthy Digestion
Many people today struggle with their digestive system but papaya can help to improve the digestive process.
As a rich source of dietary fiber, papaya can normalize digestive function and reduce symptoms of bloating and constipation.
3. It’s a Good Source of Dietary Fiber
Dietary fiber is found in a number of fruits and vegetables but papaya is a rich source.
Just one serving of papaya contains three grams of fiber so it’s a great option to increase your fiber intake naturally.
4. Dried Papaya Contains a Variety of Vitamins and Minerals
When reviewing the nutrients for papaya, not many other fruits and vegetables contain as many vitamins and minerals.
With its rich nutrient profile including Vitamins A, E, K, calcium, and zinc as well as many others, you can enjoy a healthy diet with papaya.
5. They Can Provide a Natural Energy Boost
Papaya primary nutrient is carbohydrates. When combined with the vitamins and minerals, papaya is a great way to give yourself some natural energy.
It’s fiber source also makes it a more sustained energy source—a much healthier alternative to those processed energy bars!
6. Papaya Has Been Show to Support Healthy Cholesterol Levels
The antioxidants in papaya may protect the heart by improving cholesterol levels.
One study found that people who had papaya for 14 weeks had a better ratio of the bad LDL cholesterol to good HDL cholesterol when compared to a control group.
7. Dehydrated Papaya Contains Nutrients for Healthy Skin
Papaya can help your skin look more toned and youthful.
Due to the Vitamin C and lycopene in papaya, these nutrients protect your skin and may help to reduce these signs of aging.
8. They Can Improve Your Vision
A diet rich in Vitamin A is important for eye health. Once small papaya contains 33% of your daily Vitamin A requirements.
When included as a part of your diet, it will support healthy vision.
9. Papaya Is Good for the Heart
Studies have shown that fruits high in lycopene and Vitamin C may help to prevent heart disease.
The antioxidants and other nutrients in papaya can work to protect your heart. This effect may be increased when you have papaya on a regular basis.
10. Dried Papaya Supports Your Immune System
Your immune system is highly dependent on your diet. Diets rich in Vitamin C and zinc provide a natural boost to the immune system, helping to ward off colds and other diseases.
As a good source of both of these nutrients, consider adding papaya to your diet, especially during cold and flu season.
11. Eating Papaya Is a Delicious Way to Manage Stress
This is one of the dried papaya benefits that often catches people by surprise. However, the anti-inflammatory effects of papaya can naturally work to reduce stress levels.
It’s also a tasty way to get in these nutrients. As a natural mood booster, papaya can be a part of a wellness-focused diet.
Does Dried Papaya Contain Papain?
Yes, papaya contains a natural enzyme that’s known as papain. This is highest when the fruit is ripe.
Your body makes enzymes but many people may not produce adequate digestive enzymes to break down their food.
This is why papaya may act like a digestive aid.
The papaya can work to break down proteins and also serves as a good source of fermentable substances that can promote good digestion.
Benefits of Dried Papaya Leaves for Tea
Many of the benefits from eating dried papaya can also be enjoyed by using the teas as well.
Native people have brewed and used the papaya leaves in home remedies and with good reason. The tea made from the leaves may help to balance blood sugar, support digestive function, and have anti-inflammatory effects.
Papaya leaves contain various nutrients and plant compounds which promote these benefits.
Are Dried Papaya Seeds Healthy?
Although you may not be familiar with the dried papaya seeds benefits, they are numerous.
They’re high in unsaturated fats, polyphenols, and flavonoids. These two compounds act as antioxidants and can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.
Enjoying these seeds can promote many health benefits such as improved digestion and potentially anti-cancer activity.
However, make sure to enjoy the seeds in moderation as too much could have a negative effect.
Dried Papaya vs Fresh
Whether you choose fresh or dried papaya is probably not going to have a significant difference on your health.
Both have essential nutrients and it may be difficult to keep fresh papaya around. The dried version is much longer-lasting and it’s better to have it on a regular basis than only every few weeks.
For the best results, you should look for unsweetened dried papaya though as the sweetened version can increase its calorie content significantly.
I’m a foodie that’s slightly obsessed with drying fruits, veggies, beans, and more – especially from my own garden! It started as a hobby but became a “must” when my family fell on hard times, and my dried food stash sustained us. Now I’m always experimenting with different techniques and recipes and sharing them here!