Guava; Types, Nutritional Value, Uses, Guava Health Benefits

Guava; Types, Nutritional Value, Uses, Guava Health Benefits

Guava is 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. 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.[1]

Types of Guava

The most frequently eaten species, and the one often simply referred to as “the guava”, is the apple guava (Psidium guajava). Guavas are typical Myrtoideae, with tough dark leaves that are opposite, simple, elliptic to ovate and 5–15 centimetres (2.0–5.9 in) long. The flowers are white, with five petals and numerous stamens. The fruits are many-seeded berries.The genera Accara and Acca (formerly Feijoa, pineapple guava) were formerly included in Psidium.[2]

Nutritional Value of Guava

Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 285 kJ (68 kcal)
Carbohydrates
14.32 g
Sugars 8.92 g
Dietary fiber 5.4 g
Fat
0.95 g
Protein
2.55 g
Vitamins Quantity%DV
Vitamin A equiv.

beta-Carotene
4%

31 μg

3%

374 μg

Thiamine (B1)
6%

0.067 mg

Riboflavin (B2)
3%

0.04 mg

Niacin (B3)
7%

1.084 mg

Pantothenic acid (B5)
9%

0.451 mg

Vitamin B6
8%

0.11 mg

Folate (B9)
12%

49 μg

Vitamin C
275%

228.3 mg

Vitamin K
2%

2.2 μg

Minerals Quantity%DV
Calcium
2%

18 mg

Iron
2%

0.26 mg

Magnesium
6%

22 mg

Manganese
7%

0.15 mg

Phosphorus
6%

40 mg

Potassium
9%

417 mg

Sodium
0%

2 mg

Zinc
2%

0.23 mg

Other constituents Quantity
Lycopene 5204 µg
[4]
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Health Benefits of Guava

  • Prevents Cancer – One of the most important benefits of adding guava to your diet is its ability to inhibit the growth and metastasis of cancerous cells. There have been numerous studies done in recent years on guava’s effects primarily on prostate, breast, and oral cancers. [5] Guava leaf oil acts as an antiproliferative and has actually proven to be more effective than some leading modern medicines in reducing cancer cell growth. Guavas are also rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that can reduce prostate cancer risk. [6] The same antioxidant has also shown its efficacy in inhibiting the growth of breast cancer cells, though more tests are to be done to support this finding.
  • Antioxidant Properties – The naturally high content of vitamin C in guavas, which is four times higher than the content found in oranges (the traditional vitamin C powerhouse), helps boost the immune system. [7] Antioxidants are the major lines of defense against the proliferation of free radicals in the body, which are one of the main causes of serious conditions like cancer and heart diseases. Therefore, adding guava to your diet helps you stay healthy. Controls DiabetesThe intake of guava can also help patients suffering from diabetes. [8] High level of dietary fiber in it helps lower blood glucose levels in the body. Studies have shown that consuming it can help prevent the appearance of type-2 diabetes.
  • Immunity Booster – Guavas are one of the richest sources of vitamin C? It’s true. Guava fruit contains 4 times the vitamin C content present in oranges. Vitamin C helps improve immunity and protects you against common infections and pathogens. [9]Moreover, it keeps your eyes healthy.
  • Diabetes-Friendly – Due to the rich fibre content and low glycaemic index, guavas prevent the development of diabetes. While the low glycemic index inhibits a sudden spike in sugar levels, the fibre content ensures the sugar levels are well regulated.
  • Heart Healthy – Guava fruit helps improve the sodium and potassium balance of the body, thereby regulating blood pressure in patients with hypertension. Guavas also help lower the levels of triglycerides and bad cholesterol (LDL), which contribute to the development of heart disease.[10] This magical fruit improves levels of the good cholesterol (HDL).
  • Improves Eyesight – Guava is an extremely good source of vitamin A, which is well known as a booster for vision health. [11] 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 your eyes and can also prevent deterioration of eyesight.
  • Regulates Blood Pressure – Guava helps reduce cholesterol in the blood and prevents it from thickening, thereby maintaining the fluidity of blood and reducing blood pressure. [12] Studies have shown that the food that lacks fiber (such as refined flour) adds to blood pressure. This fruit, being very rich in fiber and hypoglycemic in nature, helps reduce blood pressure.
  • Improves Thyroid Health – Guava is are a good source of copper, which is important for regulating metabolism by helping to control hormone production and absorption. [13] The thyroid hormones play a significant role in energy regulation and metabolism in the body. So guava can help maintain your health in many ways.
  • Treats Scurvy – Guava can outdo many fruits, including orange and other citrus fruits, in terms of its concentration of vitamin C. A  deficiency of vitamin C can cause scurvy and the only known remedy for this dangerous disease is proper intake of vitamin C. [14] In fact, guavas contain 4times more vitamin C than oranges, which are often heralded as the absolute best source of that beneficial vitamin.
  • Treats Constipation – It is one of the richest sources of dietary fiber in comparison to other fruits and just 1 guava fulfills about 12% of your daily recommended intake of fibre, which makes it extremely beneficial for your digestive health. Guava seeds, if the ingested whole or chewed, serve as excellent laxatives too, helping the formation of healthy bowel movements.
  • Improves Eyesight – Due to the presence of Vitamin A, guava is well known as a booster for vision health. It can not only prevent degradation of eyesight, but even improve eyesight. It can help slow down the appearance of cataracts and macular degeneration.[15] Even though guavas are not as rich in Vitamin A as carrots, they are still a very good source of the nutrient.
  • Guava During Pregnancy – Guava’s benefits pregnant women too as it contains folic acid, or vitamin B-9, which is recommended for pregnant women since it can help in developing the baby’s nervous system and protect the newborn from neurological disorders.
  • Beats Toothache – Guava leaves have a potent anti-inflammatory action and a powerful antibacterial ability which fights infection and kills germs. [16]Thus, consuming guava leaves works as a fantastic home remedy for a toothache. The juice of guava leaves has also been known to cure toothaches, swollen gums and oral ulcers.
  • Stress-Booster – The magnesium present in the fruit is responsible for one of the many benefits of guava, helps to relax the muscles and nerves of the body. So after a hard workout or a long day at the office, a guava is certainly what you need to relax your muscles, combat stress and give your system a good energy boost.
  • Good for Your Brain – Guavas contain vitamin B3 and vitamin B6, also known as niacin and pyridoxine respectively, which help in improving blood circulation to the brain, stimulating cognitive function and relaxing the nerves”
  • Cough and Cold – Guava has one of the highest quantities of vitamin-C and iron among fruits, and both are proven to be preventive against cold and viral infections. The juice of raw and immature guavas or a decoction of guava-leaves is very helpful in relieving cough and cold since it helps get rid of mucus and disinfects the respiratory tract, throat and lungs.
  • Anti-Ageing Properties – Guavas are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C and antioxidants like carotene and lycopene which help protect the skin from wrinkles. A guava a day, keeps fine lines away!
  • Improves Complexion – Guava helps regain the skin’s radiance and freshness. Reap the benefits by preparing a DIY scrub at home: All you have to do is mash some guava flesh with an egg yolk and apply it on your face. Rinse off after 20 minutes with warm water. When used once or twice a week, this scrub will remove dead cells from your skin and lighten your complexion. Guavas are also a great source of Vitamin K, which helps get rid of skin discoloration, dark circles, redness, and acne irritation.
  • Improves Texture – Guavas rank high in astringent properties, guava leaves and unripe guavas even higher. Guava helps tone up and tighten the facial muscles, so apply a decoction of the leaves and fruit on your skin and voila!
  • Eliminates Diarrhea & Dysentery – Guava has astringent properties that help treat a number of digestive disorders like diarrhea and dysentery. Whether you chew guava leaves or eat a raw guava, the astringent qualities add substance to loose bowels and reduce the symptoms of diarrhea. These astringents are alkaline in nature and have disinfectant and anti-bacterial properties, thus helping cure dysentery by inhibiting microbial growth and removing extra mucus from the intestines. [17]Furthermore, other nutrients in guava such as vitamin C, carotenoids and potassium, strengthen the digestive system while simultaneously disinfecting it. Guava is also beneficial in treating gastroenteritis for the same reasons stated above.
  • Relieves Constipation – Guava is one of the richest sources of dietary fiber among fruits and its seeds serve as excellent laxatives. [18] These two properties of guava help the formation of healthy bowel movements, aid in retaining water in the body, and thoroughly clean your intestines. It is said that constipation alone can lead to 72 different types of ailments, so any help for constipation is beneficial. Your overall health is affected undeniably by proper digestion, and more importantly, by proper excretion. Frequent consumption of guava can ensure both.
  • Improves Brain Health – Another tremendous benefit of guava is the presence of vitamin B3 and B6 in them. [19] Vitamin B3 (also known as niacin) can increase blood flow and stimulates cognitive function, whereas vitamin B6 is a great nutrient for brain and nerve function. Eating guava can help relax the nerves and enhance concentration.
  • Treats Cough & Cold – Juice of raw and immature guavas, or a decoction of its leaves, is very helpful in relieving coughs and colds by reducing mucus, disinfecting the respiratory tract, throat, and lungs, and inhibiting microbial activity with its astringent properties. [20] Guava has one of the richest sources of vitamin C and iron among fruits and both effectively prevent colds and viral infections. In some areas of India, roasted ripe guava is used as a remedy against extreme cases of a cough, cold, and congestion. Ripe guava should be avoided by people who are suffering from a cough and cold, as it can exacerbate the problem. Also, avoid drinkingwater immediately after eating a guava as it can lead to a sore throat.
  • Weight Loss – Guava is very helpful for people wanting to lose weight without compromising their intake of proteins, vitamins, and fiber. [21]As guava is high in roughage, it has no cholesterol and has a low number of digestible carbohydrates. This combination makes a filling snack that satisfies the appetite very easily. Guava, especially the raw one, has far less sugar as compared to apples, oranges, grapes, and other fruits. Add a medium-sized guava to your lunch and you will not feel hungry until evening. Ironically, it can also help lean and skinny people to gain weight. This is probably due to its wealth of nutrients, which regulates the metabolism and promotes proper absorption of nutrients.
  • Skin Care – Guavas can improve the texture of your skin. They can help you avoid skin problems better than beauty creams and skin toning gels. This is chiefly due to the abundance of astringents available in the fruit (with more astringents present in immature guavas) and in its leaves. Your skin can benefit from either eating the fruits (this helps tighten your muscles apart from your skin) or by rinsing your skin with a decoction of its immature fruit and leaves. It will tone up and tighten the area of loosened skin where it is applied. Guava’s rich antioxidants and detoxifying properties help keep your skin glowing and free from signs of premature aging, wrinkles, and other dermal disorders.[22]
  • Reduces Oxidative Stress – Guava juice is rich in vitamin C and a number of other important phytonutrients that can help eliminate free radicals and slow down oxidative stress in the body. It is a very popular beverage in tropical and subtropical regions. Furthermore, guava juice can help balance blood sugar, thus lowering your risk of developing diabetes.
  • Dental Care – Apart from guava fruit, the leaves also have many benefits. The juice of guava leaves has been known to cure toothaches, swollen gums and oral ulcers, and it speeds up the healing process of wounds when applied topically. Finally, it reduces the frequency of convulsions, epilepsy, and bacterial infections.

References

  1. https://www.nlm.nih.gov/nativevoices/exhibition/healing-ways/medicine-ways/healing-plants/images/ob1690.html
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guava
  3. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/health-benefits-of-guava.html
  4. https://food.ndtv.com/health/

Guava

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