Image: Shutterstock Guava belongs to the myrtle family, with over 100 species of tropical shrubs and small trees. This tasty fruits are native to Me
Guava belongs to the myrtle family, with over 100 species of tropical shrubs and small trees. This tasty fruits are native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America but are cultivated all around the world today. The most commonly eaten species of the Guava is also known as ‘Apple Guava’. The Guava tree has tough dark leaves that are elliptic to oval in shape and are 5–15 centimetres long. The flowers are white, with five petals and numerous stamens. The guava fruit have a distinct smell, quite similar to that of lemon rind but milder. The outer skin is generally bitter in taste but sometimes it is also soft and sweet-depending on the species. The pulp inside may be sweet or sour and may vary in color too.
Uses Of Guava:
Food aficionados understand the flavours of the guava and use it in various dishes. The guava agua fresca beverage is popular in Mexico. Guava juice is often used in cooking sauces, candies, dried snacks, fruit bars, and desserts!
In many countries, guava is eaten raw, in other countries it’s eaten with a pinch of salt and pepper. It is actually the winter national fruit of Pakistan. In the Philippines, ripe guava is used in cooking sinigang, an indigenous dish. Guava is normally eaten with sweet and sour dried plum powder mixtures. Guava juice is also popular in many countries. The fruit is also used in fruit salads.
Because of its high level of pectin, guavas are extensively used to make candies, preserves, jellies, jams, and marmalades. Whew! That was quite a list! I am sure many of our readers had no clue about the guava being used in such diverse ways.
But guava is much more than a tasty fruit. It is laden with nutrients that make it medicinal too. Consuming a guava (or using it as an ingredient) can help your body stay healthy and beautiful.
Top Benefits of Guava:
With such concentration of nutrients, it is no wonder that guava provides immense health benefits. Some of those guava benefits are listed below:
Guava is the best source of Vitamin C. The fruit contains 228 mg of Vitamin C that is equal to 338% of RDA needed in the daily diet! Vitamin C is an antioxidant that increases immune system functioning to protect the body against common diseases such as cough, cold, and flu.
2. Anti-tumor Property:
Guava has a good amount of lycopene that is carotenoid phytonutrient. Lycopene has anti-tumor properties and protects from prostate cancer.
3. Protects From Cancer:
Guava is the richest source of antioxidants, phytonutrients, and flavonoid that is proven to protect against cancer. The Vitamin C content of guava protect from oxygen free radicals that are produced due to oxidative stress. Free radicals can damage DNA of cells that turns them cancerous. Guava is also high in lycopene that is known for its anti-tumor properties. Guava is known to protect from colon, skin, prostate, stomach, oral cavity, breast, mouth, and lung cancer.
4. Maintains Blood Pressure:
Guava contains a high amount of potassium, which is useful to maintain the proper level of sodium in the body. High potassium is also needed for proper fluid i.e. electrolyte maintenance. Hence, it can maintain high blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attack and strokes.
5. Increases Blood Production:
Guava contains vitamins like Vitamin E, K, pantothenic acid, Vitamin B6, niacin, folate, and minerals such as copper, manganese and magnesium that help in blood formation. Vitamin C in guava also increases your body’s capacity to absorb more iron.
6. Anti-ageing Properties:
Ageing gracefully is applause worthy. But when your body ages prematurely due to pollution, smoking, UV radiation etc., it becomes necessary to stall the ageing process. Your body ages because of the presence of free radicals in the body that is produced due to high oxidative stress from pollution. But, antioxidants present in guava destroy these free radicals and slows down the ageing process.
Guava is rich in dietary fiber, which can reduce the sugar levels in the body and help diabetes patients take control of their health.
8. Heals Inflammation:
Guava, along with Guava leaf extracts, is known to possess anti-inflammatory properties. People suffering from chronic pain can use the fruit and derive benefit from its anti-inflammatory properties.
9. Improves Eye Health:
Guava contains Vitamin A that is known to improve eye health. Due to its high antioxidant content, guava helps protect your eyes from free radicals. This very antioxidant also protects from retinal damage due to the presence of free radicals. Hence, guava can improve vision and protect your eyes from cataract and macular degeneration.
10. Improves Skin Health:
With its Vitamin A content, guava can help in maintaining your skin’s health. This vitamin also nourishes the skin and protects it from free radicals. Guava can be effective to cure skin disease such as acne.
Research is underway to better understand the benefits of the Guava fruit, its leaves, and its bark. In various countries, guava leaves are used for treating diarrhoea and fever too.
Eat it raw, or use it to make delicious jam – but do make the guava a part of your diet plan. With its healing properties, guava can become your partner in good health!
USDA Nutrition Chart of Guava:
Guava (Psidium guajava), fresh, Nutritive Value per 100 g.
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||0.95 g||3%|
|Dietary Fiber||5.4 g||14%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.451 mg||9%|
|Vitamin A||624 IU||21%|
|Vitamin C||228 mg||396%|
|Vitamin E||0.73 mg||5%|
|Vitamin K||2.6 µg||2%|
So, how do you like your guava? Do share your views with us in the comment section.