There are around 45 species of papaya. The fruit is greenish or yellow in color, while the pulp varies from orange and rose to red. The papaya pulp is soft, mellow and sweet. In Central America, the papaya seed is used as a spice similar to pepper.
The ripe fruit can be consumed fresh or dried, and it can be used as a healthy dessert, with muesli for breakfast or as a supplement to cookies. The papaya contains the enzyme papain which helps protein digestion and has an antibacterial effect. The papaya is a rich source of vitamin A, folic acid, vitamin C and dietary fiber which aids digestion.