The dried papaya is a tropical fruit high in vitamins C and A, as well as fiber and healthy plant compounds. It also contains an enzyme called papain, used to tenderize meat. Papaya has powerful antioxidant effects, which may reduce oxidative stress and lower your risk of several diseases. Early research suggests that the antioxidants in papaya may reduce cancer risk and perhaps even slow cancer progression. Papaya’s high vitamin C and lycopene content can improve heart health and may reduce your risk of heart disease.