Have you ever had a guava before? If not, you don’t know what you’re missing out. These fruits are native to the tropical regions of central and northern South America, and are super nutritious and beneficial to our health. Guavas possess a taste that is tangy sweet when ripe, and can be made into drinks, jellies, jams and included as filling in various pastries.
Guavas carry the scientific name Psidium guajava, and belong to the myrtle tree family. It is believed to have originated around Mexico, but are now also grown in many other places with a temperate or subtropical climate, including many tropical islands of the Pacific.
Ripe guava fruits can range from between 1.5 to 5 inches long, and possess an odor that is similar to lemon, but much more pungent. Their shape can also vary from oval to perfectly round, and colors can range from green to yellow or even maroon when ripe. Their taste is characteristically sweet or sweet and sour, with the color of inside flesh ranging from white to vibrant red (depending on the particular species of fruit).
Nutrition Info (per 100g fruit)
The amount of Vitamin C found in just a 100g serving is ripe guavas is absolutely massive. Most fruits cannot come near that amount, making guavas a true nutritional powerhouse, for that one simple reason. Of course, it is fortified with many other nutrients that strengthen it even more and are responsible for its other health benefits.
Total Carbohydrate14.3g-5% RDA
Dietary Fiber-5.5g- 22% RDA
Protein-2.5g- 5% RDA
Vitamin A-620IU 12% RDA
Vitamin C-228mg 380% RDA
Vitamin K-2.5mcg 3% RDA
Thiamin-0.1mg 4% RDA
Niacin-1.1mg 5% RDA
Vitamin B6-0.1mg 6% RDA
Folate-49mcg 12% RDA
Pantothenic Acid-0.5mg 5% RDA
Magnesium-22mg 5% RDA
Phosphorus-40mg 4% RDA
Potassium-420mg 12% RDA
Zinc-0.2mg 2% RDA
Copper-0.2mg 11% RDA
Manganese-0.2mg 8% RDA
Guava: 13 Amazing Health Benefits Of Guava
1. Guavas Are good For Your Heart
Guavas are extremely heart healthy fruits, as they contain high amounts of anti-oxidants vitamins which reduce free radical damage on the heart, but it also helps the heart by many other ways. For example, guavas also have high amounts of potassium, which help maintain the blood vessel integrity of vessels around the heart. Likewise, is the presence of soluble fiber, which has a cholesterol lowering effect. A study conducted on the beneficial effects of guavas on heart health found that after 12 weeks of consumption as much as a 10% improvement in blood cholesterol levels, and up to 10 points lower systolic blood pressure was obtained.
2. Guavas Help Promote Digestive Health
Guavas are considered by many places to be a bulk laxative, as that is the effect that follows consumption of too much of this fruit. And it’s proven- guavas are high in soluble fiber, with just one guava supplying well over 10% of our recommended daily intake. But in addition to treating constipation, extracts found in guavas are also believed to be effective for diarrhea, and is another traditional use by natives of central and South America. Many refer to guava as having “binding” properties, which effectively equates to reducing bowel motility. Its effects appear to be related to the amount you actually consume.
3. Guavas Are Weight Loss Friendly
Guavas make great snacks, did you know that? While many people on weight loss diets generally avoid fruit, guavas do not derive inclusion into such lists. A single guava contains just over 30 calories, but still coughs up over 10% of your daily fiber needs. Also low in sugar, guavas are great to keep you filled without breaking the calorie bank. And if that’s not enough- guavas are packed to the brim with various nutrients- some of which are important in the synthesis of co-factors that can increased fat burning.
4. Guava Can Prevent Cancer Development
Studies conducted showed that extracts obtained from the guava fruit possess anti-cancer effects, which along with its generous anti-oxidant levels can help safeguard you. But the fruit is not all that is super healthy and nutritious, as it was found that the leaves of the guava plant also have potent anti-cancer effects, as much as 400% greater than some common chemotherapeutic agents.
5. Guava Consumption Boosts Immunity
Deficiency in vitamin c carries a strong association with increased risk of infections and general immune suppression, which is what guava consumption can help remedy. Containing well over the daily recommended intake of Vitamin C, guavas help your immune system to produce more white blood cells, essential in protecting your body from foreign microorganisms. Vitamin C is not toxic except in extreme doses (100000mg and more), as the body uses as much as it needs and excretes the rest in urine. Vitamin C consumption during a cold or flu also speeds up recovery from the illness, and results in reduced work hours lost.
6. Guavas Are Good For Your Skin
Owing largely once again to their generous vitamin C content, guavas are able to keep the skin looking younger by promoting collagen synthesis. Guavas also appear to have a unique anti-microbial effect on skin, reducing colonies of bacteria that may be pathogenic to skin. Guavas also help to buffer the effects of UV damage on the skin, thanks to the presence of Vitamin A carotenoid anti-oxidants.
7. Guavas Can Help Manage Diabetes
Guavas are low in carbohydrates and high in fiber, which make them ideal for people with diabetics, or who have generally poor control over their blood sugar. But studies have also found that extracts found in guava helped reduce blood sugar levels, and improve insulin sensitivity- benefits not attributed to fiber or low carb presence. Guava leaves also appear to have an acute hypoglycemic effect, being able to sharply reduce blood sugar following consumption of a meal, for a period of time of up to 2 hours following the meal.
8. Guavas Improve Eyesight
While not as rich in Vitamin A as other fruits and vegetables, they still possess formidable amounts of this vitamin which translate well for the health of your eyes. In particular, consumption of guavas for their eye boosting benefits help to slow down degeneration of eye sight, strengthen integrity of the optic nerve, and boost night vision.
9. Promote Healthy Pregnancy
Guavas are also excellent sources of the important B vitamin folate, essential for normal development of the unborn child’s brain and nervous system, and to reduce likelihood of deformities from occurring.
10. Guava Boosts Brain Function
Guavas contain vitamins B3 and B6, which improve blood flow and can boost cognition. These vitamins also improve nerve function, and help with conduction of impulses- keeping you sharper throughout the day.
11. Can Help Relieve Anxiety
While guavas are not a hard and fast remedy for chronic anxiety or panic attacks, regular consumption can leave your nervous system in a state of greater neutrality, as opposed to one of over stimulation. This is attributed to the presence of magnesium, a mineral that can also help treat migraines or chronic headaches.
12. Have Anti-Histamine Properties
Guava leaves have been used traditionally by the people of South and Central America to treat insect bites and various skin allergies resulting from contact of an allergen. Consumption of a drink made from the leaves is also able to suppress systemic allergies in a manner similar to many over the counter allergy pills.
13. Can Lower Blood Pressure
Guavas are rich in the mineral potassium, which has a regulatory effect on blood pressure and ensuring sodium does not alter blood fluid concentrations too much. Potassium also helps make blood vessels relax, reducing load on the heart in the process.