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Papaya vs Apple - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Elen Khachatrian by Elen Khachatrian | Last updated on March 16, 2021
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Papaya
vs
Apple

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.

Introduction

Ever wonder how your favorite fruits compare to each other in terms of nutrition? Apple and papaya are among the most popular fruits. This article will discuss how similar these fruits are and their differences, 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 and apple crisp; they are also made into apple butter and jelly. The popular products are apple juice, candy apples, toffee apples. 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 two 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, suitable for high blood pressure [6] [7].

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
Papaya
6
:
2
Apple
Contains more Calcium +233.3%
Contains more Iron +108.3%
Contains more Magnesium +320%
Contains more Potassium +70.1%
Contains more Zinc +100%
Contains more Copper +66.7%
Contains less Sodium -87.5%
Equal in Phosphorus - 11
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 6% 10% 15% 5% 17% 2% 3% 15%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 2% 5% 4% 5% 10% 1% 2% 9%
Contains more Calcium +233.3%
Contains more Iron +108.3%
Contains more Magnesium +320%
Contains more Potassium +70.1%
Contains more Zinc +100%
Contains more Copper +66.7%
Contains less Sodium -87.5%
Equal in Phosphorus - 11

Potassium

In the human body, potassium does essential functions. This mineral may help to reduce kidney stones and help muscles to be 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 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
Papaya
9
:
1
Apple
Contains more Vitamin A +1659.3%
Contains more Vitamin E +66.7%
Contains more Vitamin C +1223.9%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +35.3%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +292.3%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +213.1%
Contains more Folate +1133.3%
Contains more Vitamin K +18.2%
Equal in Vitamin B2 - 0.026
Equal in Vitamin B6 - 0.041
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 57% 6% 0% 203% 6% 7% 7% 12% 9% 28% 0% 7%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 4% 4% 0% 16% 5% 6% 2% 4% 10% 3% 0% 6%
Contains more Vitamin A +1659.3%
Contains more Vitamin E +66.7%
Contains more Vitamin C +1223.9%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +35.3%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +292.3%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +213.1%
Contains more Folate +1133.3%
Contains more Vitamin K +18.2%
Equal in Vitamin B2 - 0.026
Equal in Vitamin B6 - 0.041

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 Vitamin C [6] [8].

Glycemic Index

Apple is a low glycemic index fruit. The glycemic index of papaya is two 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 a 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 essential vitamins and minerals; also, they are considered a good source of antioxidants, which play a significant role in keeping your body healthy. Besides all this, apples contain fever fat and have a low glycemic index, making them a good choice for low-fat diets. On the other hand, papayas contain low calories and fewer carbs; in this case, they are a good choice for low-calorie and low-calorie 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, essential 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 is in all ethnic groups. Papaya is loaded with vitamins, phytochemicals, and several mineral compounds and has some essential enzyme-like papain, lycopene, which may help treat health problems. Papaya is highly effective against hormone-related cancer. Papaya may help 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 the case of type 1 diabetes, and may improve blood sugar and insulin levels in the case of type 2 diabetes [17] [19] [20].

Asthma

Flavonoids that apples contain, in general, help to lower the risk of 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. 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 result from low intakes of Vitamin K. Papayas are a good source of Vitamin K. This vitamin improves calcium absorption. It may help 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 essential 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, it is essential 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 congenital disabilities. In rare cases, people may be allergic to papaya if they have an allergy to papain [12].

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://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s002170000214
  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. Two apples and five carrots a day keep the doctor away: Strategies to increase fruit and vegetable consumption
  14. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0924224416305271
  15. Role of flavonoids and nitrates in cardiovascular health
  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
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: March 16, 2021

Infographic

Papaya vs Apple infographic
Infographic link

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.
Papaya Apple
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

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Papaya Apple Opinion
Net carbs 9.12g 11.41g Apple
Protein 0.47g 0.26g Papaya
Fats 0.26g 0.17g Papaya
Carbs 10.82g 13.81g Apple
Calories 43kcal 52kcal Apple
Starch 0g 0.05g Apple
Fructose 3.73g 5.9g Apple
Sugar 7.82g 10.39g Papaya
Fiber 1.7g 2.4g Apple
Calcium 20mg 6mg Papaya
Iron 0.25mg 0.12mg Papaya
Magnesium 21mg 5mg Papaya
Phosphorus 10mg 11mg Apple
Potassium 182mg 107mg Papaya
Sodium 8mg 1mg Apple
Zinc 0.08mg 0.04mg Papaya
Copper 0.045mg 0.027mg Papaya
Vitamin A 950IU 54IU Papaya
Vitamin E 0.3mg 0.18mg Papaya
Vitamin D 0IU 0IU
Vitamin D 0µg 0µg
Vitamin C 60.9mg 4.6mg Papaya
Vitamin B1 0.023mg 0.017mg Papaya
Vitamin B2 0.027mg 0.026mg Papaya
Vitamin B3 0.357mg 0.091mg Papaya
Vitamin B5 0.191mg 0.061mg Papaya
Vitamin B6 0.038mg 0.041mg Apple
Folate 37µg 3µg Papaya
Vitamin B12 0µg 0µg
Vitamin K 2.6µg 2.2µg Papaya
Tryptophan 0.008mg 0.001mg Papaya
Threonine 0.011mg 0.006mg Papaya
Isoleucine 0.008mg 0.006mg Papaya
Leucine 0.016mg 0.013mg Papaya
Lysine 0.025mg 0.012mg Papaya
Methionine 0.002mg 0.001mg Papaya
Phenylalanine 0.009mg 0.006mg Papaya
Valine 0.01mg 0.012mg Apple
Histidine 0.005mg 0.005mg
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg
Trans Fat 0g 0g
Saturated Fat 0.081g 0.028g Apple
Monounsaturated Fat 0.072g 0.007g Papaya
Polyunsaturated fat 0.058g 0.051g Papaya

Which food is preferable for your diet?

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

People also compare

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
28
Papaya
5
Apple
Mineral Summary Score
9
Papaya
4
Apple

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
3%
Papaya
2%
Apple
Carbohydrates
11%
Papaya
14%
Apple
Fats
1%
Papaya
1%
Apple

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)

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