Extremely popular in the tropical and subtropical parts of the world, guava (Psidium guajava) is a fruit which is well-liked for its unique taste and flavor. Bursting with nutrients and antioxidants, this fruit fits perfectly into the category of super fruits. When ripe, guava has a creamy texture and gives out a sweet and musky aroma. The color of the flesh may vary from pink to yellow to red. Inside the flesh you can find numerous tiny seeds that are also edible. Guava juice is enjoyed as a delicious drink in many parts of the world. All parts of the fruit including the rind and seeds are edible and highly nutritious too.
Guava – Nutritional facts
Guava is packed with nutrients and several health promoting benefits. Regular consumption of this fruit can help you meet your daily requirements of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Guava is low in cholesterol and saturated fat but at the same time high in dietary fiber. It is a rich source of vitamin C and other vitamins like A, E, K and B complex vitamins like thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and folate. Only 25 grams of guava is sufficient to meet daily dietary requirement of Vitamin C! It can also provide you with minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium. Guava is high in flavonoids like lycopene, beta-carotene, lutein and cryptoxanthin that have powerful antioxidant properties.
Health benefits of Guava
Being a super fruit and a powerhouse of nutrients, guava offers several health benefits. Some of the beneficial effects of this tropical fruit are listed below.
Guava is wonderful antioxidant
Termed as poor man’s apple and has ability to keep doctor away. It offers amazing antioxidant properties with its package of vitamins – Vitamin A, Vitmain E and flavonoid content. It helps remove free radicals from body which have harmful effect on body organs.
Guava has anti-ageing properties
Guavas are high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and potent antioxidants like lycopene and beta- carotene which fight off the free radicals and protect your skin from the aging signs such as wrinkles and fine lines. Eating guava regularly can thus help you look younger and delay the aging process. Guava is also a natural toner. The nutrients in this fruit help in increasing the elasticity of your skin and in keeping it toned and wrinkle free. Pink guavas have more antioxidant properties than white guava due to presence of lycopene.
Other skin benefits of Guava
Because of its various skin care benefits, the pulp of guava is often used in the manufacture of cosmetic products. Exfoliating your skin with guava scrub can remove dirt and dead cells and help in improving your complexion. Guava contains the antioxidant lycopene that protects your skin from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. This fruit has astringent properties that help to get rid of acne, blemishes and pimples. Guava has high amount of water content and hence eating it can help in hydrating your skin and body.
Try out homemade guava face pack. Cut fresh guava and remove its seeds. Also take couple of fresh green guava leaves. Grind them together in milk to form a paste. Apply this paste to your face and leave for 15 minutes. Find a glow on your face once cleaned. Another way of using guava facial mask is blending ripe guava along with its seeds, then adding some milk and gram flour to form anti-aging guava paste.
Guava is beneficial for your hair
The vast array of nutrients in guava promotes the healthy growth of your hair and also prevent hair fall.
Guava and eye health
Guava is a rich source of vitamin A that helps in improving your vision and also in keeping the various types of eye disorders like cataract, night blindness and macular degeneration at bay. With its antioxidant properties it protects eye from oxidative stress and degeneration.
Guava improves digestive health
Guavas contain high amounts of pectin that helps in improving your appetite and digestion. This fruit is also an excellent source of fiber that adds bulk to your stool and helps in regularizing your bowel movements, thereby preventing digestive problems like constipation. The seeds of guava have laxative effect that is also helpful in treating constipation. As mentioned before, guava has astringent properties that help in getting rid of the harmful bacteria in your intestines and in binding together loose bowels. Hence it is a good remedy for curing diarrhea. The high level of potassium in guava helps in preventing heartburn and acidity. Guava seeds offer roughage for smooth movement of bowels and have mild laxative effect.
Guava is great for weight loss
Guava is a wonderful and effective remedy for weight loss. This fruit is low in fat and cholesterol and is a rich source of fiber and other nutrients that aid in weight loss. The fiber in guava makes you feel fuller for a long time and prevents overeating. Guava also improves your digestion and boosts your metabolism which helps you achieve weight loss faster. The potassium in guava helps in building muscle mass and also in burning fat effectively.
Guava improves your immunity
Guava has been found to contain four times more Vitamin C than an orange. Vitamin C is very useful in enhancing your immunity. A strong immune system protects your body from pathogens and germs that cause infections and keeps your body healthy.
Guava may prevent cancer
One of the important properties of guava is its ability to control cancer cells. This can be attributed to antioxidant property of guava. Guava is an excellent source of Vitamin C and antioxidants like beta-carotene and lycopene. These antioxidants protect the cells of your body from oxidation damage by destroying the free radicals. This property lowers your risk of developing cancer. Various studies have research benefits of antioxidant properties of guava in treatment of cancers like prostate cancer, oral cancer and breast cancer. Amongst various medicinal properties of Guava leaf oil, an important property is its ability to reduce cancerous growth.
Guava is excellent for diabetics
Being a rich source of dietary fiber and having a low glycemic index, guava is an excellent food option for people with diabetes. According to a study on diabetic rats issued in the “The Indian Journal of Medical Research”, the consumption of guava peel caused a decrease in the blood glucose levels as well as cholesterol levels. Guava leaves are also considered to be effective in reducing blood sugar levels and in preventing diabetes.
Guava ensures proper functioning of hormones
Guava is a good source of copper, a mineral that helps in the production of hormones. It also makes sure that your endocrine system functions at its best.
Guava for healthy thyroid
Although guava does not contain any iodine, it helps in improving the health of your thyroid glands because of the abundance of copper in it. Copper is a mineral that helps in regulating the metabolism of thyroid glands by controlling the production and absorption of hormones.
Guava prevents kidney stones
It has been found that the regular consumption of guava is effective in treating as well as in preventing the formation of kidney stones. The abundance of vitamin C in guavas promotes the absorption of excess amounts of calcium in the body and hence prevents the formation of kidney stones.
Guava helps in regulating blood pressure and cholesterol
Guavas have been found to be highly beneficial in controlling blood pressure. Studies indicate that a single guava has almost the same amount of potassium contained in bananas. This mineral is very effective in reversing the effects of sodium, which in turn helps in regulating the blood pressure. The high levels of dietary fiber in this fruit help in lowering the levels of LDL or bad cholesterol and triglycerides. By lowering cholesterol levels and high blood pressure, guava has a huge impact on the health of your heart. It keeps your heart healthy and prevents heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases.
Guava improves brain function
Guava is considered to optimize the functioning of your brain. This fruit is rich in vitamins like vitamin B3 (Niacin) and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) that is associated with the health of your nervous system. While vitamin B3 improves blood circulation, vitamin B6 helps in the proper functioning of your brain and nerves.
Guava activates your enzymes
Guava is a rich source of manganese that stimulates the activities of enzymes by making use of other nutrients like biotin, thiamin and ascorbic acid.
Guava helps you relax
According to researchers, the magnesium content in guava helps the muscles and nerves in your body to relax.
Guava promotes fertility in women
Guava is a rich source of folate, a nutrient that helps in promoting fertility. So the regular consumption of guava can help women with fertility issues.
Guava is good for pregnant women
Guava contains good amount of folate, which is a vitamin often recommended by doctors for pregnant mothers. Folate is important for the baby as it helps in the proper development of the nervous system and also in protecting the baby from disorders of the nervous system.
Get relief from menstrual cramps with guava
Guava has been found to be an effective remedy for curing menstrual cramps and stomach pain. Consuming the pulp of guava with milk and honey can help in easing stomach pain.
Guava fights cold and cough
Guava, especially raw guava is an excellent remedy for cold and cough. It is a rich source of iron and vitamin C that helps in not only preventing the common cold but also in fighting off viral infections. This fruit is also effective in loosening cough and in reducing mucus secretions. The astringent properties of guava help in disinfecting the respiratory tract, lungs and throat and also in preventing microbial infections.
Benefits of guava leaves
Guava leaves also offer body with wonderful phytochemcials which have wide medicinal benefits. Guava leaves are found to be useful in treating diabetes. A Japanese study found that guava leaf tea can reduce blood glucose in body by interfering with glucose digesting enzyme activity. It is also useful in reducing blood cholesterol. It offers anti-inflammatory properties that make it useful over skin inflammation, allergies, cold cough, gum diseases.
There are many ways of enjoying natural flavor, taste and health benefits of this amazing fruit – Guava. Try eating this fruit raw – yes you may eat the seeds as well. Guavas taste great in salads and desserts. For those who feel eating guava is testing health of your teeth – try guava fruit juice. Alternately you may try some guava candies, guava gum, guava jellies, jams or marmalade.
Guava is an exotic fruit that helps people meet their nutritional needs. It contains powerful nutrients that boost your immune system and help in fighting off all types of illnesses and ailments. If you have never eaten guavas before, it’s high time that you tried them. With its sweet taste and tons of health benefits, you may find this fruit becoming a regular addition to your diet.
Learn how to make guava cake?
This recipe has three parts – guava cake, guava gel and cheese cream topping. To make guava gel, mix some organic guava juice and sugar and boil in a pan. Add some water and cornstarch to make it thick. And again boil for a minute. Remove from heat, add some butter and stir. Allow this to cool. Guava contains pectin which forms gel when cooled. Cake can be made like regular cake, just add some guava juice while making batter. Serve this guava cake with cheese cream topping and guava gel placed above cheese topping.Image Credits: Wikimedia - Rajesh Dangi, Flickr - J. Stephen Conn