Guava belongs to the myrtle family. It is a tropical fruit and easily available in the market. It is an inexpensive fruit but highly rich in nutrients.
The most common type is the Apple Guava, which is grown in many tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world.
Guava is a culinary dream and is used in the form of sauces, juices, candies, snacks and deserts.
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.
See also: 45 Healthiest Fruit List On The Earth
Nutritional Facts of Guava
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’.
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.
Health Benefits of Guava
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.
1. Antioxidant Vitamin C for Immunity
Guava is an excellent source of Vitamin C. It contains 337 mg of Vitamin C which is equal to 628% of RDA required in the daily diet.
Vitamin C is water soluble which means it is washed out of the body through excretion and thus needs to replenish every day.
A guava a day can restore the loss of this vitamin completely.
Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant and increases immune system function of our body. It is known to develop resistance in the body against common diseases like a cough, cold and flu.(2)
It has been found particularly beneficial in combating stress-related impairment of immune system.
Vitamin C as an antioxidant contributes in maintaining a good skin health by cleaning the body off the free radicals and other impurities thereby delaying skin ageing. It also plays a significant role in growth and repair of body tissues.(3)
In studies, it was found to quicken healing of scars and wounds. (4)
Wrap up: Guava has anti-oxidant properties that help in improving the immunity of the body.
2. Antitumor and Cancer controlling properties
Guava contains a high amount of lycopene (5204 micrograms) which is carotenoid phytonutrients. Lycopene has an anti-tumor and anti-cancer property.(5)
Lycopene protects from oxygen free radicals as it actively fights to neutralize it. So eating guava will help to combat prostate cancer.(6)
Guava is a rich source of antioxidants, phytonutrient and flavonoid that make it highly beneficial to protect from cancer. It contains a high amount of Vitamin C which protects from oxygen free radicals. (7, 8)
Free radicals are produced due to oxidative stress. These free radicals damage cells DNA that turn it into a cancer cell.
But antioxidants neutralize these free radicals and acts as a shield to protect DNA from free radicals.
As we know the main cause of cancer is free radicals and the damage caused by them to DNA marks the onset of cancer.
Guava contains antioxidants that protect from free radicals and lycopene prevents tumor growth. So with both these nutrient guava becomes the healthiest food to prevent cancer.
Lycopene is effective to protect from prostate cancer.
Guava antioxidants combination of Vitamin C and beta-carotene are effective to protect from breast, skin, stomach, oral cavity, pancreas, rectum, cervix and lung cancer due to its dense antioxidants.(9)
It also contains dietary fiber that helps to clean toxins from the colon. Thus, it reduces the effects of toxin in the colon and protect from colon cancer.(10)
Wrap up: Lycopene and antioxidant property of Guava help in protecting from tumors and cancerous growths in the body.
3. Balancing Electrolyte
Guava contains enough Potassium to fulfill about 9% of our daily requirement. Potassium is required to maintain sodium and fluid level in the body also known as an electrolyte.
The electrolyte is a composition of minerals like Potassium, Sodium and Chloride and is necessary to transmit the electrical impulses through the body. These electrically charged particles carry neurotransmission and enable muscle function. (11)
Many sports persons, after a heavily charged session of exercise and practice experience severe cramps. Those cramps are a direct result of the loss of electrolyte through sweating. (12)
So food items rich in these minerals is recommended before and after the physical exertion.
Guavas can make a great before or after snack in these robust sessions because they are light, have a bit of fiber and contribute in balancing the electrolyte in the body.
Wrap up : Guava restores the lost potassium reserve of the body thereby maintaining a sound balance of this mineral in the electrolyte.
4. Blood Pressure & Blood Production
The Potassium and Vitamin C have an important role to play in overall cardiac health. Potassium is a key element in maintaining the rhythm and function of all the muscles in our body including the heart. (13)
The beat of heart lets the blood flow in and out of the heart is muscle contraction. The balance of this rhythm is maintained by potassium that is plentiful in Guava.
Apart from muscle function, Vitamin C helps in growth and repair of body tissue and cartilage resulting in healthy blood vessels. This way, together Potassium and Vitamin C regulate blood pressure and help in normalizing the blood flow through the body.
Guava also contains vitamins like Vitamin E, K, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, Vitamin B6 and minerals like copper, manganese and magnesium that are important for blood formation.
Also due to the high content of Vitamin C, guava increases body’s capacity to absorb iron.
Wrap up: The nutritional composition of Guavas especially Potassium, Vitamin C, K, Folate, B6, Copper and Manganese help in maintaining a healthy blood pressure and aid in blood formation and iron absorption.
5. Anti- Aging properties
Aging is natural and inevitable, but our modern day lifestyle is bringing in the symptoms of aging much earlier than expected.
Factors like increase in pollution, stress, UV radiations and smoke, aging is knocking at an early age and is bringing the symptoms faster.
The science behind aging is free radicals produced in our body due to high oxidative stress caused as a result of pollution. But antioxidants have proven to destroy these free radicals thereby slowing down the aging process.
Guavas are rich source of active antioxidants like Vitamin C, lycopene, beta-carotene, lutein and Cryptoxanthin. These combinations provide guava a potent anti-ageing property.
It has also been found that people eating high antioxidant foods have delayed ageing symptoms than usual.
The massive antioxidant content in guava proves it to be the best food to slow down and delay the process of aging naturally.
Wrap up : Process of ageing can be effectively slowed down and delayed by consuming guavas that are naturally fortified with anti-oxidant properties.
6. Controls Diabetes
Studies have shown that fiber rich guava consumption can reduce the absorption of sugar in the body.
Guava contains a good amount of dietary fiber that is known to reduce the chances of Type II diabetes significantly. Eating fiber rich food also reduces sugar spikes in a diabetes patient.(14)
The fact that the glycemic index of guava is quite low makes it such an effective fruit against the excessive sugar absorption in the body.
The high amount of Vitamin C further ensures that there is regular and effective flushing out from the body that helps in effective diabetes management.(15)
At times, diabetes is a direct fall out of unhealthy weight gain. Guava can prove to be the perfect fruit if you plan to go on a strict diet.
It doesn’t have fats but is very rich in dietary fiber, anti-oxidants that help in maintaining the balance of potassium in the electrolyte of our body. This nutritional profile is almost perfect for people looking at healthy weight loss options.
Wrap up : The low Glycemic index of guava make them a safe sweet treat for diabetics and also help in controlling the sugar spikes that they experience.
7. Eye & Skin Health
As Vitamin A is a potent antioxidant, it is highly recommended for improving eye health. It also acts as a barrier between the vulnerable eye parts and the potential bacterial and viral infections.(16, 17)
Also, it has been found to be effective in preventing retinal damage caused due to free radicals by removing them from our system regularly. Thus, it improves eye vision and protects from cataract.
Another common eye condition called macular degeneration is effectively tackled by Beta Carotene in combination with other anti-oxidants in Guava.(18)
Apart from arresting the pace of aging, Guava has been proven to control a skin condition called erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP) due to its high Beta Carotene content.
People who inherit EPP are extremely vulnerable to sunburn and sun-related skin damage. Beta Carotene does not cure this condition but does decrease the extent and sensitivity in such people.
Wrap up: The Vitamin A in Guava improves the vision and eye health including protecting from infections whereas Beta Carotene fights against sunburns by reducing your body’s sensitivity to sun damage.
8. Guava for Digestion
A high fiber diet are recommended for maintaining the healthy digestive system and maintaining proper bowel movement.(19)
Fiber or roughage are derived from the food items consumed as a part of our daily diet. Fiber adds bulk to the stool while softening them as well. It makes it very easy for the body to pass them out.
Deficiency of roughage in the body directly results in a bout of severe constipation. Intake of enough fluid in the form of juices and water is also necessary to ensure that fiber plays its role in alleviating constipation properly.
The astringents in guava clean the stomach and intestine lining discouraging bacterial and microbial growth. It wards off stomach infections and symptoms of dysentery and Gastroenteritis.
Additionally, antioxidants like vitamin C and Vitamin A also flush the impurities out of the body maintaining a good digestive health.
Wrap up : Digestion and good digestive health is encouraged by Vitamin A, C and high fiber in Guava. It prevent constipation and cleanses the digestive tracts.
Plants Compounds That Make It Special
Antioxidants and flavonoids are abundant in guavas. But few of these compounds make it an excellent choice.
- Lycopene: Lycopene a powerful antioxidant, has multiple benefits but major is that it protects skin from UV rays damage and also from prostate cancer. It is an excellent nutrient that protects cells DNA damages from free radicals. Lycopene is dense in pink guava variety.
- Beta-carotene: It protects from lung and oral cavity cancer. It also boost eye health and protect from free radicals damage.
- Lutein: Studies has found that Lutein protects from age-related macular degeneration(AMD) and cataracts.(20)
- Cryptoxanthin: A potent antioxidant protects from free radicals damage thus protect from degenerative diseases.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C plays varied roles from protecting from degenerative diseases, boost immunity and cardiovascular health.
Surprising Facts About Amazing Guava
Guava Originated in America but is still relatively unknown to Europeans who might raise a brow when you talk about the many health benefits this fruit can bring.The bark of Guava tree and its leaves are used as a substitute to toothpaste in many cultures.
They have astringent quality and make the gums tighter leaving your breath fresh and clean.Guava comes in many varieties approximately 150 in number, and the ripe flesh of guava in some breeds comes in hues of dark pink. It has five times more vitamin C in it than the oranges and about 70 times more fiber!
The common guava is an excellent fruit and after knowing the incredible health benefits it can bring to you, it is difficult not to include this fragrant and intoxicatingly sweet fruit in your everyday dose of fruits.
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