Mamey Vs Papaya: Which is Better for You?

When it comes to tropical fruits full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, mamey and papaya are both nutrition all-stars. These colorful fruits have a creamy, sweet interior enclosed by a firm outer skin.

While mamey and papaya share some similarities, there are also key differences that set them apart. By comparing mamey and papaya side-by-side, you can better determine which one suits your preferences and offers the most nutritional bang for your buck.

Mamey Sapote

Mamey Vs Papaya, FruitoNix

Mamey sapote is a unique oval-shaped fruit that hails from southern Mexico and Central America. Also referred to as the “zapote mamey” or simply “mamey,” this fruit is prized for its sweet, pumpkin-like flavor and soft, creamy salmon-colored flesh.

The mamey tree can grow over 100 feet tall and produces large fruits weighing 2-4 pounds each. Mamey has a tough brown skin that needs to be peeled away to access the edible interior. When ripe, the flesh becomes quite soft and the flavor is reminiscent of sweet potato custard.

Mamey is not very well known outside of Latin America and the Caribbean. However, it’s starting to gain popularity in specialty grocery stores and farmers markets in North America.


Mamey Vs Papaya, FruitoNix

Papaya is a familiar tropical fruit that’s widely available. This fruit has green to yellow-orange skin when ripe and sweet, juicy flesh with edible black seeds.

There are two main types of papaya – the large, oblong Hawaiian papaya and the smaller, spherical Mexican/Caribbean papaya. On average, papayas weigh about a pound each.

Thanks to its bright color, sweet taste and smooth, creamy texture, papaya is a popular ingredient in fruit salads, smoothies and salsa. It also works well in meat tenderizers and marinades due to the presence of the enzyme papain.

Nutrition Face-Off: Mamey vs Papaya

Now let’s compare the nutritional values of mamey and papaya side-by-side.

1. Calories and Macros

In a 100 gram serving, mamey contains 122 calories, 0.4 grams protein, 0.3 grams fat and 31 grams carbohydrates.

By comparison, papaya has only 39 calories, 0.6 grams protein, 0.1 grams fat and 9.8 grams carbs per 100 gram serving.

So calorie-for-calorie, mamey provides more than 3 times as many calories and carbs as papaya. It’s the more energy-dense choice.

2. Vitamins

Mamey is an excellent source of vitamins C and A. One mamey supplies 140% DV vitamin C and 20% DV vitamin A.

Papaya also contains lots of vitamin C and A at 88% DV and 10% DV respectively per 100 grams.

So for these two nutrients, mamey wins by a small margin.

3. Minerals

Mamey offers a hefty dose of potassium, with 22% DV per serving. It also has iron, magnesium and copper.

Papaya contains about 9% DV potassium per serving, plus trace minerals like calcium, iron and magnesium.

Overall, mamey seems to edge out papaya slightly when it comes to mineral content.

4. Fiber

Don’t forget about fiber, which is essential for digestive and heart health.

Mamey provides 5 grams of fiber per 100 gram serving.

Papaya packs 1.8 grams of fiber in the same serving size.

So mamey is the clear winner when it comes to fiber content.

5. Antioxidants

Both mamey and papaya are loaded with beneficial plant compounds like carotenoids and polyphenols that act as antioxidants in the body.

One particular antioxidant in mamey called retinol has been linked to anti-aging effects and skin health.

Meanwhile, papaya contains the unique antioxidant lycopene, which is associated with reduced cancer risk and heart disease.

It’s hard to definitively say if one fruit has superior antioxidants. But they each contribute different beneficial compounds.

Potential Health Benefits

Due to their stellar nutrient profiles, both mamey and papaya are linked to some promising health benefits.

1. Heart Health

The fiber, potassium, vitamin C and lycopene in papaya support heart health by lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and oxidative stress.

Similarly, the fiber, potassium and antioxidants in mamey help reduce risk factors for heart disease.

2. Immunity

With its extremely high vitamin C content, mamey may give your immune system a bigger boost than papaya. Vitamin C promotes the production of white blood cells which fight infection.

3. Digestion

The papain enzyme and fiber in papaya can improve digestion by aiding with protein breakdown and regularity.

Mamey’s fiber content also keeps you regular. Some report it has a mild laxative effect as well.

4. Skin Health

Vitamin C helps build collagen, which keeps skin strong. Vitamin A supports skin cell turnover. The antioxidants in mamey and papaya also protect against UV damage.

So both fruits promote radiant, youthful skin. But mamey’s unique antioxidant retinol may give it the edge for anti-aging benefits.

How to Eat Mamey and Papaya

Fortunately, both mamey and papaya are highly versatile fruits that work in many dishes:

  • Cut in half and scoop out the flesh for colorful fruit bowls
  • Blend into smoothies, juices, slushies, ice creams
  • Puree into sauces, chutneys, salsas and dressings
  • Bake into pies, cakes, tarts, muffins and breads
  • Grill and add to kebabs or tacos
  • Stir into oatmeal, yogurt, overnight oats
  • Mix into fruit salad with mango, pineapple, melon

When selecting mamey or papaya, choose fruits that feel heavy for their size with smooth, vibrantly colored skin free of blemishes. Let them ripen at room temperature until slightly soft when pressed gently.

Inside, the flesh should be vivid orange or salmon pink in color without brown spots. Ripe papaya and mamey can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days. The flesh can also be frozen for later use.

Which is Healthier: Mamey or Papaya?

Based on their nutritional profiles, mamey and papaya have different strengths and benefits:

Mamey pros:

  • Higher in calories and carbs
  • More Vitamin C and A
  • Greater potassium and fiber content
  • Unique antioxidant retinol

Papaya pros:

  • Lower in calories
  • Contains enzyme papain for digestion
  • Provides lycopene antioxidant
  • More readily available

In the end, it’s hard to definitively crown one fruit as “healthier.” Both provide important nutrients and antioxidants that support overall wellness.

Choose mamey if you want a more indulgent, fiber-rich fruit that packs a big boost of vitamins A and C.

Opt for papaya if you prefer something lighter with digestive enzymes. Luckily, these two nutritious fruits don’t compete – you can reap the benefits of both!


Mamey and papaya offer complementary nutritional profiles that make them winners in their own right. Mamey brings more calories, fiber and vitamins like A and C. Meanwhile, papaya is lower-calorie and supplies the antioxidant lycopene and papain enzyme.

No matter which tropical fruit you choose, you’ll be treating your body to a dose of nutrition that supports immunity, digestion, heart health and beyond. Mix up these creamy, sweet fruits in your diet for delicious variety.

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