What is Guava?
Guava is a sweet and delicious fruit grown in tropical climates. This seasonal fruit, scientifically known as Psidium guajava, is round or pear-shaped. It is light green, yellow or maroon in color when it ripens. It has white or auburn flesh, depending on the type, and has small hard seeds shrouded in its soft, sweet pulp.
Guava is believed to originate from Mexico or Central America. It is now very popular in Asian countries and is also increasingly available in American countries, especially after its health benefits have been revealed. Some say it has a floral taste, a cross between a pear and a strawberry.
Health Benefits of Guava
1. Antioxidant Properties
The naturally high vitamin C content in guavas, four times higher than that in oranges, helps boost the immune system. According to a study published in 2006, the antioxidants in the fruit help defend the body against the proliferation of free radicals in the body, which are one of the leading causes of serious conditions such as cancer and heart disease.
2. Control Diabetes
The intake of guava can also help patients with diabetes. It contains a high content of dietary fiber, which has a beneficial effect on lowering blood sugar levels in the body. Recent studies in animal models have shown that consuming them can help prevent the risk of type 2 diabetes; however, more research is needed to confirm the full scope of its benefits.
3. Regulates blood pressure
Research published in the American Journal of Cardiology found that guava helped lower LDL cholesterol levels and blood pressure in study participants. The fruit, which is very high in fiber and hypoglycemic in nature, was also helpful in helping to lower blood pressure.
4. Improves Thyroid Health
Guava is a good source of copper, a mineral important for regulating metabolism by helping to control hormone production and absorption. The thyroid hormones play an important role in energy regulation and metabolism in the body.
5. Fights Scurvy
As mentioned, guavas contain 4 times more vitamin C than oranges (oranges are often heralded as the absolute best source of this vitamin, but guavas knock them out!). According to a 2003 study published in Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, vitamin C deficiency can cause scurvy; the only known cure for this dangerous disease is an adequate intake of vitamin C.
6. Eliminates Diarrhea Dysentery
Guava has properties that are thought to help against a number of digestive disorders such as diarrhea and dysentery. Whether you chew the leaves or eat the raw fruit, its astringent properties add substance to loose bowels and reduce symptoms of diarrhea. These astringents are alkaline in nature and have disinfectant and antibacterial properties, helping to combat dysentery by inhibiting microbial growth and clearing extra mucus from the gut. In addition, other nutrients such as vitamin C, carotenoids and potassium strengthen the digestive system while simultaneously disinfecting them. The fruit is also beneficial in cases of gastroenteritis for reasons similar to those mentioned above.
7. Relieves Constipation
Guava is one of the richest sources of dietary fiber among fruits, and its seeds serve as excellent laxatives. These two properties aid in the formation of healthy stools, aid in water retention in the body and keep your intestinal tract in top quality. It is said that constipation can lead to 72 different types of ailments, so any food source to relieve constipation is definitely beneficial! Your overall health is undeniably affected by proper digestion, and more importantly, by proper excretion. Regular consumption of this delicious fruit can guarantee both.
8. Improves brain health
Another huge benefit of guava is the presence of B vitamins, B3 and B6. Vitamin B3 (also known as niacin) can increase blood flow and boost cognitive function, while vitamin B6 is a nutrient correlated with brain and nerve function.
9. Cough Cold Relief
Research published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology on the anticough and antimicrobial activities of guava leaf extract states that it is very helpful in relieving colds and coughs. Juice from raw and unripe guavas, or an infusion of the leaves, is very helpful in relieving coughs and colds by reducing phlegm, disinfecting the airways, throat and lungs, and inhibiting microbial activity with its astringent properties.
Guava is one of the richest sources of vitamin C and iron among fruits — both nutrients effective in preventing or reducing colds and viral infections. In some parts of India, the ripened fruit is roasted and used as a remedy for extreme cases of coughs, colds and congestion. The ripe fruit should be avoided by people who suffer from coughs and colds as it can aggravate the problem. Also, avoid drinking water right after eating the fruit, as it can cause a sore throat.
10. Weight loss
Guava is very helpful for people who want to lose weight without compromising their intake of vital proteins, vitamins, minerals and fiber. It is rich in roughage (fiber), has no cholesterol and contains a low number of digestible carbohydrates. This combination makes a filling snack that satisfies the appetite very easily.
Guava, especially the raw one, has much less sugar compared to apples, oranges, grapes and many other fruits. Add it to your lunch and you won’t feel hungry until the evening. Ironically, it can also help slim and skinny people gain weight. This is likely due to its nutrient richness, which regulates metabolism and promotes proper nutrient absorption.
Guavas can improve the health of your skin and help you prevent skin problems. This is mainly due to the abundance of astringents available in the fruit (more astringents are present in the unripe variety). The skin can benefit from eating the fruits or by rinsing your skin with a decoction of its unripe fruits and leaves. It will tighten and tighten the area of loosened skin where it is applied. Its rich antioxidants and detoxifying properties are also thought to keep the skin glowing and free from signs of premature aging, wrinkles and other skin conditions.
12. Improves eyesight
Guava is a good source of vitamin A, also known as a vision health booster. It can slow the appearance of cataracts, macular degeneration, and improve overall eye health. It helps protect the cells in your eyes and can also slow down vision loss.
13. Reduces oxidative stress
Guava juice is rich in vitamin C and a number of other important phyto-nutrients that can help reduce and even eliminate free radicals, slowing down oxidative stress in the body. It is a very popular drink in tropical and subtropical regions.
14. Dental care
In addition to the fruit, the leaves also have many benefits. The juice of guava leaves is known to provide relief from toothaches, swollen gums, and mouth ulcers.