When you're shopping for a papaya at the supermarket, pay special attention to the skin. In general, a papaya with smooth, yellow skin that isn't too soft is ready to eat. When you're set to enjoy the fruit, however, it's time to discard the skin. Although you might be able to eat the skin of your papaya with no side effects, doing so is not advised.
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Skip the Skin
The skin of the papaya isn't poisonous, which means you could technically eat it, if desired. But, as is the case with oranges and bananas, you're better off enjoying the flesh of the fruit, rather than the skin. Dr. Susan Evans reports that the papaya's skin isn't generally edible. The papaya plant produces latex, and some of this substance can come in contact with the skin during harvest. As such, eating the fruit's skin can lead to stomach irritation. Although you shouldn't eat the skin, you can safely eat the seeds of the fruit, which has a spicy flavor.
- Hawaii Papaya Industry Association: Papaya Information
- The Dr. Oz Show: Papaya: The Secret to Longevity and Healthy Eating
- Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies: Traditional and Medicinal Uses of Carica Papaya
- Purdue Agriculture: Papaya
- California Rare Fruit Growers: Papaya
- U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Papayas, Raw