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The papaya is a tropical fruit, native to Central America. The sweet flesh has a rich orange color and a soft texture. According to Christopher Columbus, papayas are the "fruit of the angels"! (Read more on World's Healthiest Foods.)

Papayas are a great source of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, and potassium. The vitamins and antioxidants present in papayas may help prevent vision loss, protect against cancer and heart disease, and promote digestive health.(Read more about papaya nutrition on World's Healthiest Foods.)

You can refrigerate papayas in a plastic bag to slow down the ripening process. Papayas will ripen in a few days at room temperature. To speed ripening, put them in a paper bag at room temperature. Use quickly after they ripen!