Papaya vs. Mango: A Fruit Showdown

  • Mfon Ekanem Bachelor of Science in Human biology and Infectious Diseases – Bsc(Hons), University of Salford, United Kingdom
  • Saira Loane Master's of Toxicology, Institute of Biomedical Research, University of Birmingham

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Papaya and Mango, two distinct flavours with different applications but both are characterised by incredible tastes and exceptional nutrients.

Join us in this juicy showdown between these two powerhouses, where we’re going to explore the realm of flavours characterising Mango and papaya, we will discover what makes these fruits allies to our health and their contributions to our well-being and we will compare and highlight their specialities, slowly uncovering our winner.

Nutritional content

Papaya and mango are two incredibly tasty tropical fruits, differing in many aspects, so let us discover which health benefits these two exceptional fruits can bring.


Papaya is a popular tropical fruit, produced in tropical environments, mainly in Brazil, Mexico and Nigeria. This plant can have different medical uses especially in developing countries, stem roots seeds and leaves together with the fruits are all used as medicinals.1

What are the key nutrients of papaya?

Papaya has numerous health benefits including phenolic compounds carotenoids and antioxidants,1 in fact different components of this fruit can provide different benefits against various conditions including asthma, ulcers, eczema, diabetes, helminth infections and fevers.2

So, let’s start with the antioxidant properties of Papaya.

Papaya is a tropical fruit full of antioxidants whose properties include

  • Reduced inflammation
  • Increased immunity
  • Skin benefits

Raw Papaya (per 100 g) also has a high content of vitamins and minerals with the most important being

Papaya can promote the well functioning of the cardiovascular system and help prevent conditions such as colon cancer thanks to two components called chymopapain and papain also used in the cure of various digestive disorders and arthritis.

Papaya ripe and unripe fruits have different uses, while ripe fruits have been used as treatment for malaria, ringworm and hypertension, extracts of the unripe fruits have previously been used to treat diabetes.4

Other than the fruits, traditionally the leaves of papaya was used as a heart tonic and treatment for stomach issues as well as pain reliever.4

Health benefits of papaya

Summarising the health benefits provided by papaya can work towards

  • Immunity
  • Digestive Health
  • Eye Health
  • Skin health
  • Heart health
  • Cancer prevention
  • Anti-inflammatory properties

So what about mango?


Mango is the second most popular tropical fruit and the fifth in popularity among fruits globally (after citrus, banana, apple and grape).

mango is produced in tropical and subtropical environments, differently from Papaya mango is mostly produced in asian countries (77%) followed by a considerably lower number produced in America (13%) and in African (10%) countries.5

Mango is a versatile fruit (can be processed into puree, nectar, leather, pickles, canned slices and chutney) which is also known to have antidiabetic, antioxidant, anti-viral, cardiotonic, hypotensive and anti-inflammatory properties.6

What are the key nutrients of mango?

Mango contains a strong antioxidant named mangiferin whose properties include:

  • Immunomodulation (to regulate the immunity system)
  • Cardiotonic (to improve heart contraction)
  • Hypotensive (to decrease blood pressure)
  • Wound healing
  • Anti degenerative
  • Antidiabetic

Other than these properties tied to the antioxidant component, raw mango (per 100 g) contains numerous vitamins and minerals such as

Mango has been used as medicinal in indigenous medical system for more than 4000 years, and different components give different medical benefits.

Other than the properties elevated previously mango is thought to have additional characteristics, as wound healing and anti-degenerative.

some components of this plant can be used as toothpaste, antiseptic, astringent, diaphoretic, stomachic, vermifuge, tonic, laxative and diuretic and to treat diarrhoea, dysentery, anaemia, asthma, bronchitis, cough, insomnia, rheumatism, toothache, leucorrhoea, haemorrhage and piles. Each part of the fruit can help treat animal bites (snake bites, rabid dog and jackal bites), stings, poisoning, miscarriage, liver disorders, tetanus and many other conditions.

Because of its refreshing and invigorating characteristics ripe mango juice can be used as a restorative tonic during heat stroke, seeds can be used in asthma as astringent, burnt leaves if inhaled can help in throat conditions, the bark is also astringent and can be used for rheumatism, or as a tonic for the mucus membrane. The gum can be used for scabies or as antisyphilitic, while the rest of the tree can also be used in other ways (for example as a dye)6

Health benefits

Summarising the health benefits of Mango can improve

  • Immunity
  • Eye health
  • Digestion
  • Skin health
  • Heart function
  • Cancer (by prevention)
  • Asthma (by risk prevention)

What are antioxidants and how do they contribute to our health?

Antioxidants are contained in both mango and papaya, and it's one of the components that makes them as nutritious and popular as they are.

Antioxidants are natural cell protectors (protecting from damage, illness or ageing), in fact, antioxidants can play a role in heart disease, cancer and numerous diseases.

Mango and papaya share two important antioxidants, Beta-carotene (Vitamin A), top contributor in eye health and Ascorbic Acid (vitamin c) of which both of these fruits are rich, vitamin c is considered a powerful antioxidant contributing to immune health and promoting skin health. Mango and papaya also contain phenolic compounds, a group of natural antioxidants whose role is to protect our cells.8

What are additional antioxidants?

In mango, we can also find mangiferin, and antioxidants with antiifìnflamatory proteins and quercetin, contained also in papaya where however it does not play the role of antioxidant because of the low quantity.

In papaya we can find papain. This is an enzyme which can help digestion and can work as an anti-inflammatory, cryptoxanthin is another contributor to the antioxidant effects of papaya.

What are minerals and which minerals do papaya and mango share?

Mango and papaya both have high levels of potassium. An essential nutrient, potassium (from fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products) can lower (and regulate) blood pressure and increase intake of magnesium and calcium. Higher intakes are associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular diseases reducing the risk of stroke, and supporting nerve and muscle function.9

Copper, magnesium and phosphorus are also present in both fruits. Copper is another essential mineral, needed in red blood cell formation, to maintain body tissues and healthy bones and as support to the immune system, copper is usually needed in low quantities.10

Magnesium is very important to maintain our bone health, muscle and nerve function and for energy production,11 Phosphorus is contained in bones teeth DNA and RNA, phosphorus maintains bones' health, energy levels and DNA, these are contained in low levels.

What are the flavours of papaya and mango?


Taste and texture

Papaya can be consumed in its unripe and ripe forms, these vary in taste and aroma as wella s in nutritional value. The fruit is consumed fresh or processed as part of salads, desserts, and beverages, among other foods.12

Papaya is a pear-shaped fruit with green or yellow skin when ripe. Unripe papaya can contain latex and people with latex allergies should generally be cautious about this fruit’s consumption.

Papaya’s flesh is soft, buttery and juicy (similar to avocado in consistency), enclosing many small black seeds, its colour can range from yellow-orange to pinkish red.

The fruit of papaya in its ripe form, is sweet and musky, with a texture similar to cantaloupe, because of this texture fresh papaya can be simply sliced and peeled when eaten. When described the taste is said to be a combination of melon, peaches and berries with a tropical twist, sweetness can vary based on ripeness.13

Culinary uses

Papaya is widely appreciated in globally, and can be eaten and prepared in different ways, for example:

  • Juices
  • Cakes
  • Ice creams
  • Pies

Unripe papaya cannot be eaten because of the latex, but after various processes it can also be used in salads. Leaves can be used as vegetables while seeds can be ground resembling pepper, Papain the enzyme in papaya can also be used to tenderise meat.13


Taste and texture

Mango is a smooth leathery aromatic fruit which varies in colour from shades of green to yellow-orange, to various shades of red, pink and purple, they usually have very small yellow, greenish and reddish dots when ripened.

The colour of the flesh can vary from yellow to orange,

In taste mango can be described as a mixture of pineapple, peach and citrus, with a more juicy, smooth and fibrous texture, and its flavour can be tart, subacid or very sweet, varieties can greatly influence its flavours, and have unique flavour profiles. Mango also contains a big central seed, which can make cutting the fruit a bit harder, the flesh around the seed can be tougher, but other sections of the fruit are softer.14

Culinary uses

Mango is mostly eaten when ripe, mature mangos (green) can also be eaten fresh or as pickle, and mangos can also be consumed as

  • Smoothies and juices
  • Salads
  • Grilled mango
  • Jams

Mango, just like papaya possesses tenderising properties and can be used to tenderise meat, mango can also be used to flavour food products such as ice creams, wines, tea biscuits and many more.14

These are just a few of the many uses that can be made of these fruits, mango and papaya possess incredible versatility and can be added to your daily salads, grains (cereals or oats) or simply eaten raw, you can also try these fruits together.


Mango and papaya are both versatile fruits, both are rich in nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, both have their own characteristics, as for example papaya contains a high level of vitamin c while mango provides high amounts of vitamin A.

Taste and texture also vary, while mango can have a fibrous texture with a juicy but sweet and tangy flavour, papaya can have a buttery soft texture, and a mild but sweet taste this can be a very important factor in the choice between the two fruits.

If you have dietary requirements or restrictions, taking into account each fruit's nutritional value might be more suitable as both fruits contain different levels of vitamins and minerals.

Other than the flavour preferences, and nutritional value of mango and papaya seasonality and availability of the fruits is important, and so is the cost of each fruit, one fruit might be more accessible or affordable than the other.

Mango and papaya are both amazingly nutritious fruits, in fact, they can be considered superfruits because of their health benefits, ultimately the choice between mango and papaya can be totally based on your personal preference as well as your personal needs and, and in the end you might choose one based on your preferences or choose both!


  1. Ovando-Martínez M, González-Aguilar GA. Chapter 31 - Papaya. In: Jaiswal AK, curatore. Nutritional Composition and Antioxidant Properties of Fruits and Vegetables [Internet]. Academic Press; 2020 . p. 499–513. Available at:
  2. Pandey S, Cabot PJ, Shaw PN, Hewavitharana AK. Anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties of Carica papaya. Journal of Immunotoxicology [Internet]. 3 july 2016 ;13(4):590–602. Available at:
  3. Fooddata central [Internet]. Available at:
  4. Mohamed Sadek K. Antioxidant and immunostimulant effect of carica papaya linn. Aqueous extract in acrylamide intoxicated rats. Acta Inform Med [Internet]. 2012;20(3):180–5. Available at:
  5. Shah KA, Patel MB, Patel RJ, Parmar PK. Mangifera indica(Mango). Pharmacogn Rev [Internet]. 2010 ;4(7):42–8. Available at:
  6. Fooddata central [Internet]. Available at:
  7. Mayo Clinic [Internet]. Slide show: Add antioxidants to your diet. Available at:
  8. Office of dietary supplements - potassium [Internet].  Available at:
  9. Office of dietary supplements - magnesium [Internet]. Available at:
  10. Office of dietary supplements - copper [Internet]. Available at:
  11. Jeon YA, Chung SW, Kim SC, Lee YJ. Comprehensive assessment of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of papaya extracts. Foods [Internet];11(20):3211. Available at:
  12. Papaya [Internet]. Available at:
  13. Githiri S. Mwangi, Tewodros B. Neguse, Fredah K. R. Wanzala, Wassu M. Ali, Willis O. Owino. Mango (Mangifera indica L.) production practices and constraints in major production regions of Ethiopia. 2018. Vol.14(4), pp. 185–196.

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Mfon Ekanem

Bachelor of Science in Human biology and Infectious Diseases – Bsc(Hons), University of Salford, United Kingdom

Mfon is a recent graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Biology and Infectious Diseases, with a comprehensive understanding of genetics and physiology. With a profound passion for both medicine and writing, Mfon is dedicated to delivering engaging and accurate content tailored for both general audiences and enthusiasts of the medical field alike.

Throughout her academic journey, Mfon has gained knowledge of the human body, focusing particularly on the mechanisms of infectious diseases and their impact on human health. She has developed a keen insight into the complex interplay between pathogens and host organisms, as well as the body's defence mechanisms against diseases. presents all health information in line with our terms and conditions. It is essential to understand that the medical information available on our platform is not intended to substitute the relationship between a patient and their physician or doctor, as well as any medical guidance they offer. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions based on the information found on our website.
Klarity is a citizen-centric health data management platform that enables citizens to securely access, control and share their own health data. Klarity Health Library aims to provide clear and evidence-based health and wellness related informative articles. 
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