The papaya is a rich source of antioxidant nutrients such as carotenes, fiber, vitamin C and flavonoids; the B vitamins, folate and pantothenic acid; and the minerals potassium and magnesium.
Papayas are best purchased when they are still half green, half yellow. Papayas will ripen when left at room temperature in three to five days. To speed up this process place the fruit in a paper bag. Unripe fruit should not be refrigerated but once fully ripe, they should be refrigerated.
Papaya is usually consumed raw, but green papayas require cooking. Papayas can be prepared just like melons. Cut them in half, scoop out the seeds and eat the flesh with a spoon. Save the seeds to garnish pork and poultry dishes.