Health Benefits of Guava
Botanically, this wonderful fruit belongs within the family of
Myrtaceae of the genus: Psidium.
Scientific name:Psidium guajava.
Guavas are sold in varying degrees of ripeness. However, it's best to quickly eat them within two days of getting ripe. You'll be surprised to know that this fruit, that we often take for granted, has so many health benefits. Read on to find out more:
Guava unfortunately have a high glycemic index (GI) of 78 which means if not properly monitored it can lead to weight gain or a huge spike in blood sugar levels. However if the sweet fruit is consumed in the proper amounts it will have little to no impact on your blood sugar levels or weight. Like most fruits that greatly benefit your health, it is packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients which help prevent cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
The guava is an excellent source of vitamin A and C. Did you know that guavas contain four times more Vitamin C than oranges?
A serving (1 cup) of the juicy fruit has: 112 calories, 2 grams of fat, 15 grams of sugar, 4 grams of protein, and 628% of the recommended daily value (DV) of vitamin C. Most of this nutrient is located in the outer thick rind rather than the central pulp. This helps the body develop resistances against viral infections, prevent cellular damage caused by free radicals, and scurvy. There is also 21% of the recommended DV of vitamin A in a single serving, which helps promote healthy mucus membranes and skin. This is linked to lowering the risk of developing respiratory diseases and keeping the skin healthier.
The fruit is a very good source of Vitamin-A, and flavonoids like beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and cryptoxanthin. The compounds are known to have antioxidant properties and are essential for optimum health. Further, vitamin-A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in carotene is known to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers. Recent studies have shown that this substance may help prevent skin damage caused by UV rays and prostate cancer. Eye problems can be kept at bay as an abundance of Vitamin A helps in improving vision.
The delicious fruit is also a rich source of dietary fiber, 36% of the DV in one cup. As, studies have shown that a diet that is high in fibre (5.4 gm per 100 gm of fruit) is linked to a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Individuals suffering from constipation problems, too, can benefit form the high fibre content. Thus this rich in fibre fruit is helpful for diabetic individuals.
Guavas are beneficial in regulating blood pressure. It is said that one guava contains almost a similar amount of potassium that's present in bananas. Potassium reverses the effects of sodium, thereby regulating the balance of blood pressure. Also, it reduces cholesterol levels in the blood by preventing it from thickening.
Women with fertility problems can eat guavas as they contain a good amounts of folate, which contain fertility-promoting properties.
Guava is good for the skin, too. Because of its Vitamin E content, astringent properties and antioxidants, the skin is nourished. Skin ailments like scurvy can be dealt with due to the high Vitamin C content in guavas.
Pink guavas are said to contain twice the amount of lycopene present in tomatoes. Lycopene protects the skin from being damaged by UV rays and also works against prostate cancer.
Further, the fruit is also a moderate source of B-complex vitamins such as pantothenic acid, niacin, vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin E and K, as well as minerals like magnesium, copper, and manganese. Manganese that acts as an enzyme activator utilising nutrients like thiamine, biotin and ascorbic acid.
Copper is required for the production of red blood cells. Even though guavas don't contain iodine, they are still beneficial in promoting healthy thyroid function, because it contains copper, which aids the production and absorption of hormones. Niacin, better known as Vitamin B3, promotes blood circulation, thereby stimulating brain function. Vitamin B6, that is pyridoxine, helps in brain and nerve function.
Even the leaves of guava have medicinal properties.
The juice of the leaves is said to provide relief from cold and cough by reducing the formation of mucus, disinfecting the respiratory tract and preventing bacterial activity in the throat due to its astringent properties.