What is Guava?
Guavas are common tropical fruits cultivated and enjoyed in many tropical and subtropical regions. It is an evergreen, tropical shrub or low-growing small tree probably originated in the central Americas. Guavas actually thrive well under both humid and dry climates and can tolerate brief periods of cold spells, but can only withstand a few degrees of frost.
The guava tree bears numerous round, ovoid or pear-shaped fruits, each about 5-10 cm long and weigh around 50–200 g. Different cultivar types of guava grown all over the world which may vary widely in flavor, pulp colour, and seed composition. The fruit is soft when ripe with sweet musky aroma and creamy texture flesh. Internally, its flesh varies in colour depending up on the cultivar and may be white, pink, yellow, or red. Ripe fruits have rich flavor with sweet-tart taste. Each fruit contains numerous tiny, semi-hard edible seeds, concentrated especially at its center.
Health Benefits of Guava
Skin care: Guavas can improve the texture of your skin and help you to avoid skin problems more than even the highest ranked beauty creams or skin toner gels. This is chiefly due to the abundance of astringents in the fruit (more astringent is present in immature guavas) and in its leaves. . It will tone up and tighten the area of loosened skin where you apply it. In addition to the astringents, guava is very rich in vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C and potassium which are good antioxidants and detoxifiers, which keep your skin glowing and free from signs of premature aging, wrinkles and other dermal disorders.
High blood pressure: Guava helps reduce cholesterol in the blood and prevents it from thickening, thereby maintaining the fluidity of blood and reducing blood pressure.
Constipation: Guava is one of the richest sources of dietary fiber in terms of fruit. Its seeds, if ingested whole or chewed, serve as excellent laxatives. These two properties of guava help the formation of healthy bowel movements, and aid the body in retaining water and thoroughly cleaning your intestines and excretory system. It is said that constipation alone can lead to 72 different types of ailments, so any help with constipation is beneficial. Your total health is undeniably affected by proper digestion, and more importantly, proper excretion. Frequent consumption of guava can ensure both.
Another of the tremendous positive benefits of guavas is the presence of vitamin B3 and vitamin B6. B3 (also known as niacin) can increase blood flow and stimulates cognitive function. B6 is a great nutrient for brain and nerve function. Therefore, eating guava can help you increase brain function and sharpen you focus.
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. Guava has one of the highest quantities of vitamin C and iron among fruits, and both are proven to be preventive against colds and viral infections. In some areas of India, roasted ripe guava is used as a remedy against extreme cases of cough, cold, and congestion. Ripe guava should be avoided by people who are suffering from cough and cold, as it can exacerbate the problem, and one should also avoid drinking water immediately after eating guava as it can lead to a sore throat.
Diabetes: In a related benefit to blood pressure mentioned above, an intake of guava can also help those patients who suffer from diabetes. The high level of dietary fiber in guava helps to regulate the absorption of sugar by the body, which decreases the chances of major spikes and drops in insulin and glucose in the body.
Eyesight: Guavas are extremely good sources of vitamin A, which is well known as a booster for vision health. It can help slow down the appearance of cataracts, mascular degeneration, and general health of the eyes. It can not only prevent degradation of eyesight, but even an improvement in eyesight once it has begun to degrade.
Cancer Prevention: One of the most celebrated and 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 cancer, breast cancer, and oral cancers. Guava leaf oil is extremely successful as an anti-proliferative substance, and has actually been shown to be more effective than some leading modern medicines in reducing cancerous growth. Guavas are also rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to be wildly successful in reducing prostate cancer risk. That same antioxidant has also shown to inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells, although further human trials need to be done. Finally, the naturally high levels of vitamin C in guavas, which are four times higher than the levels found in oranges (the traditional vitamin C powerhouse), provides the immune system a huge boost in antioxidants. 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 disease. Therefore, adding guava to your diet has numerous ways in which it helps you stay health and cancer-free.
Scurvy: Guava can outdo many other fruits, including orange and other citrus fruits, in terms of its concentration of vitamin C. A deficiency of vitamin-C can cause scurvy, and proper intake of vitamin C is the only known remedy for that dangerous disease. In fact, guavas contain 5times more vitamin C than oranges, which are often heralded as the absolute best source of that beneficial vitamin.
Diarrhea & dysentery: Guava is very rich in astringents (compounds that make your gums feel tighter and fresher). After you chew guava leaves, eat a raw guava, or use some guava-based toothpaste), your mouth feels healthier, and the astringent qualities also add substance to loose bowels and reduce symptoms of diarrhea. These astringents are alkaline in nature and have disinfectant and anti-bacterial properties, thus helping to cure dysentery by inhibiting microbial growth and removing extra mucus from the intestines. Furthermore, other nutrients in guava such as vitamin C, Carotenoids and potassium, strengthen and tone the digestive system while simultaneously disinfecting it.
Thyroid Health: They are a good source for copper, which is an important part of regulating thyroid metabolism by helping to control hormone production and absorption. The thyroid gland is one of the most important glands in the body for regulating hormones and organ system function, so guava can help balance your health in many ways.
Weight loss: Guava is very helpful for those who want to lose weight without compromising their intake of proteins, vitamins and fiber. Guava is very high in roughage and rich in vitamins, proteins and minerals, but it has no cholesterol and a low number of digestible carbohydrates. It is a is very filling snack and satisfies the appetite very easily. Guava, especially raw guava, also has far less sugar as compared to apples, oranges, grapes, and other fruit. Adding a medium-sized guava to your lunch and you will not feel hungry again until the evening. Ironically, it can also help with weight gain in lean, thin people. This is probably due to its wealth of nutrients, which keep the metabolism regulates and helps to promote the proper absorption of nutrients
Uses of Guava
- It is used In Mexico, to make the guava agua fresca beverage.
- It is used to make punch and juice.
- The fruit is also often prepared in fruit salads.
- Guavas are extensively used to make candies, preserves, jellies, jams, and marmalades
- Red guavas can be used as the base of salted products such as sauces, substituting for tomatoes, especially to minimize acidity.