What is a Guava?
Guavas (singular guava) are common tropical fruits cultivated and enjoyed in many tropical and subtropical regions. Psidium guajava (common guava, lemon guava) is a small tree in the myrtle family (Myrtaceae), native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America.
Although related species may also be called guavas, they belong to other species or genera, such as the “pineapple guava” Acca sellowiana. In 2011, India was the largest producer of guavas. Guavas are rich in Vitamin C, A, B-6, folate, thiamine, riboflavin, fiber, potassium, sodium and calcium. It has many health benefits which includes skin care, improves vision, controls diabetes among others.
It is one of the richest sources of Vitamin C which is about 3 times more than our daily requirement. Because of its high nutritional value, it is considered one of the healthiest fruits. Not only is guava, the fruit beneficial but many studies have shown that its bark and leaves can also provide you with numerous other health benefits.
Guava is a high energy fruit that is a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals. It has a healthy composition of dietary fiber that is essential for the body and can be derived only from food sources. Compared with pineapple, guava contains three times more protein, four times more fiber and more 30 calories. They are excellent source other nutrients that make it a ‘super fruit’.
Guava fulfills about 20% of our daily folate (Vitamin B9) requirement. It is not produced in the body and is essential for DNA repair and synthesis. Vitamin C content of pineapple is 131% of Daily RDA while guava contains 628% that makes it a special choice. 100 grams fruit contains 5204 µg of lycopene, nearly twice of tomato lycopene content (2573 µg).
Vitamin A content is also about 21% of daily RDA. Similarly, it makes up for vital nutrition in the form of Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium and Phosphorus. With all the nutrition that it requires, guava hardly contains any fat. Guava is considered one of the healthiest fruit because it has proven positive effects on body’s numerous functions.
Right from strengthening our immune system to regulating a healthy and ideal blood pressure, Guava provides multiple health benefits. It is a known antioxidant and vitamin rich composition makes it healthy for your eyes, skin and hair.
Amount Per 100 grams
- Calories 68
- Fat 1 g – 1% RDA
- Cholesterol 0 mg
- Sodium 2 mg
- Potassium 417 mg – 11% RDA
- Carbohydrate 14 g – 4% RDA
- Dietary fiber 5 g – 20% RDA
- Sugar 9 g
- Protein 2.6 g – 5% RDA
- Vitamin A 12% RDA
- Vitamin C 380% RDA
- Calcium 1% RDA
- Iron 1% RDA
- Vitamin B-6 5% RDA
- Magnesium 5% RDA
Health Benefits of Guava
1. Reduces Cancer Risk
Guava is rich in antioxidant which inhibit the growth and metastasis of cancerous cells. Guavas are also rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that can reduce prostate cancer risk. The same antioxidant has also shown its efficacy in inhibiting the growth of breast cancer cells.
2. Controls Diabetes
Guava have a high level of dietary fiber which helps lower blood glucose levels in the body. Studies have shown that consuming it can help prevent the appearance of type-2 diabetes.
3. Improves Vision
Guava are a rich source of vitamin A which aids in vision health. It can help slow down the appearance of cataracts, macular degeneration, and improve the overall health of the eyes. It helps protect the cells in the eyes and can also prevent deterioration of eyesight.
4. Regulates Blood Pressure
Guavas are rich in potassium which can help regulate and steady the heartbeat and high blood pressure while vitamin C keeps the blood vessels healthy.
5. Treats Diarrhea
According to a study, guava leaf extract impedes the growth of staphylococcus aureus bacteria which is a common cause of diarrhea. Guava leaves tea is actually a common cure for diarrhea. The tea will cause fewer watery stools, decrease abdominal pain allowing for a quicker recovery. The
antibacterial effects of guava fruits aid in the cleaning of the digestive tract, impeding microbial and bacterial growth. While the fiber improves proper excretion and digestion.
6. Boosts Immunity
Guava is rich in vitamin C which help boost the immunity. They also have anti inflammatory properties which inhibit inflammatory molecules like prostaglandins help keep you disease free.
7. Stimulates Cognitive Function
Being rich in vitamin C guava stimulates cognitive functions and sharpens our focus. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant which helps nourish the brain and mental functioning.
Vitamin B3 and B6 improves blood circulation to the brain.The potassium in guava also helps maintain the electrical conductivity of the brain, which is important for improving thinking as well as recall capacity.
8. Skin Care
Guava contains strong antioxidant properties which help neutralize free radicals that can damage your body at the cellular level. This can lead to signs of aging like wrinkles and saggy skin, dryness and a dull complexion. The vitamin C in guava stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, the
structural proteins that help keep your skin firm and elastic.
9. Regulates Thyroid Health
Guava has copper which is important for thyroid health which is important for regulating hormones and organ system function. Copper helps control hormone production and absorption, which inadvertently regulates the functioning of the thyroid. Guava also contains potassium and powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can help improve thyroid functioning.
10. Oral Health
Guava leaves are extremely efficient in preventing and treating oral problems because of the anti-plaque properties. Herbalists recommend the use of tender leaves of guava to maintain oral hygiene. The leaves have antimicrobial, analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties which aid in the reduction of gum inflammation and refreshment of your breath.