Papayas contain an enzyme called papain that aids digestion. Eating either the crunchy or ripe will do. Papayas are originally from Central America. Papayas contain high levels of antioxidants vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Beware when pregnant: unripe papaya should always be cooked before eating — especially during pregnancy, as the unripe fruit is high in latex, which can stimulate contractions.
Papaya plants grow in three sexes: male, female, and hermaphrodite. The male produces only pollen, never fruit. The female produces small, inedible fruits unless pollinated. The hermaphrodite can self-pollinate since its flowers contain both male stamens and female ovaries. Almost all commercial papaya orchards contain only hermaphrodites