Foodstruct
Advanced Nutrition Search | Diet Analysis | Glycemic index chart

Apple vs Papaya - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

Compare
Apple
vs
Papaya

Introduction

Ever wonder how your favorite fruits compare to each other in terms of nutrition? Apple and papaya are among the most popular fruits. In this article, we will discuss how similar these fruits are, and what differences do they have, focusing on nutrition.

Varieties

Papayas belong to the Carica genus; it originates in the tropics of America and Mexico. There are 14 different types of papayas, two kinds are commonly grown; Yellow Papaya and Red Papaya. Apples belong to the Malus genus; there are more than 75k cultivars of apples. Apple trees are cultivated worldwide, nevertheless, the tree originated in Central Asia [1] [2].

Popular Uses

Apple is used in many desserts, such as apple pie, apple crisp, they are also made into apple butter and apple jelly. The popular products are apple juice, candy apples, toffee apple. However, mostly, apples are eaten raw. Green papaya is used in cooking. The young leaves of the papaya are steamed and eaten like spinach [3] [4].

NUTRITION

We compared the nutritional consents of apple and papaya. To understand the difference between these fruits, have a look at our nutrition infographic below.

Calories

Papaya and apple contain almost similar amounts of calories. Nevertheless, the calories level of apples is a bit higher, than in papaya. Apple has 52 calories per 100 g, and papaya has 43 calories per 100g. The amount of food energy is about 215 kJ, while papaya contains 179 kJ [5].

Minerals

Papaya is relatively richer in minerals than an apple. The amount of magnesium and calcium in papaya is 2 times higher than in apples. Papaya contains more iron, potassium, zinc, and copper than an apple. On the other hand, an apple contains less sodium, which means they are good for those who have high blood pressure [6] [7].

Potassium

In the human body, potassium does important functions. This mineral may help to reduce kidney stones and help muscles to constant. Papaya and an apple contain an almost equal amount of potassium; papaya – 182 mg per 100 g, apple - 107 mg per 100 g [6] [7].

Vitamins

Overall, papaya is richer in Vitamins, than an apple. This fruit contains a high level of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin B5, and Vitamin B3, also Vitamin K. Each papaya has the recommended daily amount of vitamin A. An apple and papaya contain equal levels of Vitamin B2 and B6 [6] [8].

Vitamin C

Papaya contains 13 times more Vitamin C than an apple. The amount of Vitamin C in papaya is about 60.9 mg; the daily intake for adults is about 65 mg. That means one middle-sized papaya contains the necessary daily amount of Vitamin C [6] [8].

Glycemic Index

The glycemic index measures how much a specific food increases your blood sugar levels. Apple is a low glycemic index fruit. The glycemic index of papaya is 2 times higher than the GI of apples [9] [10].  

Acidity

Acid fruits are fruits that contain enough acid to have a pH of 4.6 or lower. The pH value shows if something is an acid, a base, or neutral. On average, apples have a pH between 4 – 4.5. The pH of papayas is higher, it ranges from 5.5 – to 5.9 [9] [10].

HEALTH IMPACT

Apples and papayas have Impressive health benefits and for good reason.  They are very healthy fruits with many backed benefits.

Weight Loss

We all know this phrase, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Apples contain important vitamins and minerals; also, they are considered a good source of antioxidants, which play a key role to keep your body healthy. Besides all this, apples contain fever fat and have a low glycemic index, which makes them a good choice for low fats diets. On the other hand, papayas contain low calories, and fewer carbs; in this case, they are a good choice for low calories and low calories diets [11] [12]. 

Dash Diet

The DASH diet is an approach to healthy eating that helps to treat or prevent high blood pressure. Many fruits do not need preparation to become a healthy part of a meal or snack. In the case of dash diets, apples are a good choice, because they are packed with fiber, potassium, and magnesium and are typically low in fat [13].

Cardiovascular Health

According to studies, apples have beneficial effects on vascular function, blood pressure, lipids, inflammation. The cardioprotective effects of apples have been ascribed to their high polyphenol content. Research shows that polyphenols may lower blood pressure[14]. Another study shows that apples contain soluble fiber, which may help to lower blood cholesterol levels [15]. Studies show that fruits high in vitamin C can help prevent heart disease. Besides, papayas are rich in antioxidants and phenolic compounds, which have an important role in preventing cardiovascular problems [16]. 

Cancer

According to several studies, apples may help to reduce the risk of cancer, especially lung cancer. Researches show that apple intake was associated with a reduced risk of lung cancer in both males and females. The decreased risk of lung cancer was seen in all ethnic groups. Papaya is loaded with vitamins, phytochemicals, and several mineral compounds and has some important enzyme-like papain, lycopene, which may help to treat health problems. Papaya is highly effective against hormones-related cancer. Papaya may help to stop the growth of cancer cells and normalize the cell cycle [17] [18].

Diabetes

In one study, researchers found that apple intake reduces the risk of Type 2 diabetes. The study involved 10.000 men and women. Eating just a few apples per week was linked to a 28% lower risk of type 2 diabetes

On the other hand, papaya is rich in fiber, which may help to lower blood glucose levels in case of type 1 diabetes, and may improve blood sugar and insulin levels in case of type 2 diabetes [17] [19] [20].  

Asthma

One study, that included 600 individuals with asthma and 900 individuals without asthma, show that consuming at least two apples per week can positively be associated with asthma. Flavonoids that apples contain, in general help to lower the risk of asthma.  According to another study, apples are rich in antioxidants, which may help to protect the lungs from oxidative damage [21].  

Bone Health

Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds in apples can help to promote bone density and strength. According to the study, women ate fresh apples, peeled apples, or no apple products. Those who ate apples lost less calcium from their bodies than the control group [22].

A bone fracture may be the result of low intakes of Vitamin K. Papayas are a good source of Vitamin K. This vitamin improves calcium absorption and may help to reduce urinary excretion of calcium [23]. 

Pregnancy and baby health

If you ever wonder, which fruit to eat during pregnancy, the answer is an apple! Calcium is important for your baby’s healthy bone development. Apples are a good source of calcium. They also contain insoluble fiber, which may help to promote digestion and a healthy metabolism. Moreover, apples are rich in iron, which can help reduce the chances of developing anemia. Also, during pregnancy it is important to cleanse and detoxify lead and mercury, in this case, apples can be a good choice [24]. 

Other health effects

According to recent studies, raw unripe apple extracts may inhibit the enzymatic activity of cholera toxin in a dose-dependent manner [17]. Pectin is a type of fiber, which acts as a prebiotic, which means it feeds the “good” bacteria in your gut. In this case, apples are rich in pectin and may be helpful for your good gut health. Papayas may help your skin look more toned and young. Papaya contains a high amount of Vitamin C and lycopene, which can help reduce some signs of aging [25]. 

DOWNSIDES AND RISKS 

Allergy

There have been no reports of any extremely damaging allergic reactions to apples. In rare cases, allergies to apples may have individuals, who are also allergic to all fruits belonging to the Rosaceae family [26]. Papayas may be possibly unsafe when taken in large amounts. People may be allergic to papayas if they have an allergy to latex. Applying papaya latex to the skin can cause severe irritation and allergic reactions [12].  

Other side effects

Papayas may be possibly unsafe during pregnancy. One of the components of papaya – papain, may cause birth defects. In rare cases, people may be allergic to papaya, if they have an allergy to papain [12].

Summary

In general, papayas are relatively richer in minerals and vitamins than apples. They contain more Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin B-complex. Papaya contains 13 times more Vitamin C. Nevertheless, apples contain less sodium, less saturated fat, and have a lower glycemic index than papayas.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0925400506001572 
  2. https://www.actahort.org/books/740/740_6.htm
  3. https://journalejnfs.com/index.php/EJNFS/article/view/30209
  4. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S030442381730780X
  5. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.1467-789X.2003.00112.x
  6. https://www.cabdirect.org/cabdirect/abstract/20073012718
  7. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.555.4451&rep=rep1&type=pdf
  8. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-0-387-71219-2_16
  9. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0023643804001264  
  10. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S030881461000796X
  11. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/87559120801926302
  12. https://www.florajournal.com/archives/2014/vol2issue5/PartA/2-4-12.1.pdf
  13. http://www.encognitive.com/files/Two%20apples%20and%20five%20carrots%20a%20day%20keep%20the%20doctor%20away:%20Strategies%20to%20increase%20fruit%20and%20vegetable%20consumption.pdf
  14. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0924224416305271
  15. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/proceedings-of-the-nutrition-society/article/role-of-flavonoids-and-nitrates-in-cardiovascular-health/1E3DA29D3679556826E9F0D38DB2D478
  16. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10942912.2012.709210
  17. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/1475-2891-3-5
  18. http://www.allthingscanid.org/papin.pdf 
  19. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/76/3/560/4677422?login=true
  20. https://www.mdpi.com/2311-5637/4/4/83
  21. https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/full/10.1164/ajrccm.164.10.2104061
  22. https://academic.oup.com/advances/article/2/5/408/4557935?login=true
  23. https://www.spandidos-publications.com/10.3892/etm.2012.851
  24. https://www.merrionfetalhealth.ie/apples-pregnancy-10-potential-benefits/?cn-reloaded=1
  25. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23467449/
  26. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF02599099
Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Profession: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: March 16, 2021

Infographic

Apple vs Papaya infographic
Copy infographic link

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Apple
2
:
6
Papaya
Contains less Sodium -87.5%
Contains more Iron +108.3%
Contains more Calcium +233.3%
Contains more Potassium +70.1%
Contains more Magnesium +320%
Contains more Copper +66.7%
Contains more Zinc +100%
Equal in Phosphorus - 10
Iron Calcium Potassium Magnesium Copper Zinc Phosphorus Sodium 5% 2% 10% 4% 9% 2% 5% 1%
Iron Calcium Potassium Magnesium Copper Zinc Phosphorus Sodium 10% 6% 17% 15% 15% 3% 5% 2%
Contains less Sodium -87.5%
Contains more Iron +108.3%
Contains more Calcium +233.3%
Contains more Potassium +70.1%
Contains more Magnesium +320%
Contains more Copper +66.7%
Contains more Zinc +100%
Equal in Phosphorus - 10

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Apple
1
:
9
Papaya
Contains more Vitamin C +1223.9%
Contains more Vitamin A +1659.3%
Contains more Vitamin E +66.7%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +35.3%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +292.3%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +213.1%
Contains more Vitamin K +18.2%
Contains more Folate +1133.3%
Equal in Vitamin B2 - 0.027
Equal in Vitamin B6 - 0.038
Vitamin C Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Vitamin B12 Vitamin K Folate 16% 4% 4% 0% 5% 6% 2% 4% 10% 0% 6% 3%
Vitamin C Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Vitamin B12 Vitamin K Folate 203% 57% 6% 0% 6% 7% 7% 12% 9% 0% 7% 28%
Contains more Vitamin C +1223.9%
Contains more Vitamin A +1659.3%
Contains more Vitamin E +66.7%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +35.3%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +292.3%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +213.1%
Contains more Vitamin K +18.2%
Contains more Folate +1133.3%
Equal in Vitamin B2 - 0.027
Equal in Vitamin B6 - 0.038

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
5
Apple
28
Papaya
Mineral Summary Score
4
Apple
9
Papaya

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
2%
Apple
3%
Papaya
Carbohydrates
14%
Apple
11%
Papaya
Fats
1%
Apple
1%
Papaya

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Apple Papaya
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in price ok
Rich in minerals ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in glycemic index ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Apple Papaya
Low Calories diet ok
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low glycemic index diet ok

People also compare

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Sugar?
Papaya
Papaya is lower in Sugar (difference - 2.57g)
Which food is cheaper?
Papaya
Papaya is cheaper (difference - $0.3)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Papaya
Papaya is relatively richer in minerals
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Papaya
Papaya is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food contains less Sodium?
Apple
Apple contains less Sodium (difference - 7mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Apple
Apple is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.053g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Apple
Apple is lower in glycemic index (difference - 23)
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Apple Papaya Opinion
Calories 52 43 Apple
Protein 0.26 0.47 Papaya
Fats 0.17 0.26 Papaya
Vitamin C 4.6 60.9 Papaya
Carbs 13.81 10.82 Apple
Cholesterol 0 0
Vitamin D 0 0
Iron 0.12 0.25 Papaya
Calcium 6 20 Papaya
Potassium 107 182 Papaya
Magnesium 5 21 Papaya
Sugar 10.39 7.82 Papaya
Fiber 2.4 1.7 Apple
Copper 0.027 0.045 Papaya
Zinc 0.04 0.08 Papaya
Starch 0.05 0 Apple
Phosphorus 11 10 Apple
Sodium 1 8 Apple
Vitamin A 54 950 Papaya
Vitamin E 0.18 0.3 Papaya
Vitamin D 0 0
Vitamin B1 0.017 0.023 Papaya
Vitamin B2 0.026 0.027 Papaya
Vitamin B3 0.091 0.357 Papaya
Vitamin B5 0.061 0.191 Papaya
Vitamin B6 0.041 0.038 Apple
Vitamin B12 0 0
Vitamin K 2.2 2.6 Papaya
Folate 3 37 Papaya
Trans Fat 0 0
Saturated Fat 0.028 0.081 Apple
Monounsaturated Fat 0.007 0.072 Papaya
Polyunsaturated fat 0.051 0.058 Papaya
Tryptophan 0.001 0.008 Papaya
Threonine 0.006 0.011 Papaya
Isoleucine 0.006 0.008 Papaya
Leucine 0.013 0.016 Papaya
Lysine 0.012 0.025 Papaya
Methionine 0.001 0.002 Papaya
Phenylalanine 0.006 0.009 Papaya
Valine 0.012 0.01 Apple
Histidine 0.005 0.005
Fructose 5.9 3.73 Apple

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Apple - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171688/nutrients
  2. Papaya - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169926/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000 calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.