Superfoods are packed full of nutrition and have superior health benefits. Despite some beliefs, superfruit is not merely a trend; itâs a part of daily food intake for many Americans. Even the most common foods you eat can be classified as âsuper.â
This includes your daily intake of spinach, broccoli, avocado, apple, banana, and green tea. But people want to know the latest âbest superfoodâ so they can jump on the bandwagon and start reaping the benefits.
Meet the guava fruit (Psidium guajava). Varieties include the lemon guava, yellow guava, pink apple guava, and red guava. If youâre from Central America or India, you are likely familiar with the guava fruit. It is native to south Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean, and was introduced in India during the 17th century.
Guava Nutrition Facts
The tropical fruit is not called a superfood or superfruit for nothing. Itâs not surprising that guava can be found in many superfood products on your grocerâs shelves. After all, itâs loaded with nutrientsâmost notably, vitamin C. It contains 228 mg of vitamin C, or a whopping 396% of your recommended daily recommendation!It is also an excellent fiber source, with 70 times more fiber than an orange. The guava fruit is packed with B-vitamins like folate, B1, B2, B3, B5, and B6. It contains important nutrients like magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, vitamin E, and phytonutrients like lycopene and beta-carotene.
Health Benefits of Guava
All that nutrition makes guava on its own a recipe for better health. And after one bite, you will notice the flavor! You can actually consume the entire fruit, from rind to seeds. The pulp is the sweetest and most delicious part of the fruit, whereas the peel is very sour. However, the peel is the fruitâs greatest source of phytochemicals.
Letâs take a look at some guava health benefits.
1. The Diabetic Holy Grail
According to traditional Chinese medicine, the guava fruit is an effective treatment for diabetes. Although guava has a high glycemic index of 78, it has a low glycemic load of four. Many believe that a glycemic load is a better indicator of blood sugar and insulin level activity. Studies also suggest guavaâs ability to prevent and treat diabetes.
In one study, guava juice produced a hypoglycemic effect in normal and alloxan-treated diabetic mice. In humans, guava also lowered blood sugar levels in both type 2 diabetics and healthy volunteers.
2. Promotes Digestive Health
Guava promotes proper digestion and better bowel movements. Itâs among the types of fruit with the highest fiber countsâwith 5.4 g in every 100 g. Guava consumption can help reduce symptoms of diarrhea and constipation as well. It helps with the treatment and prevention of other digestive conditions such as dysentery and diverticulitis.
3. Effective for Heart Problems
High blood pressure and high cholesterol are risk factors associated with heart disease. The high fiber and potassium content in guava fruit may help reduce cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
In a randomized, single-blinded, controlled study published in the Journal of Human Hypertension in 1993, researchers suggested that increasing your intake of guava fruit may reduce blood pressure and blood lipids from its high soluble fiber and potassium levels.
Moreover, it will not reduce high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. The study observed 145 hypertension patients where 72 were assigned 0.5 to 1 kg of guava per day.
4. Sufficient Weight Management Fruit
Guava is also considered a good fruit for weight management. It is high in fiber, low in sugar, and contains no cholesterol. Guava fruit is considered a very filling and nutrient-dense snack, and is therefore a good way to satisfy your appetite until your next meal. The high potassium also helps you burn fat and increase muscle mass.
5. Cancer Prevention
Guava contains anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties like the antioxidant and phytochemical lycopene. It contains 5,204 Âµg of lycopene. It also contains fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, lutein, cryptoxanthin, beta-carotene, flavonoids, quercetin, various polyphenols, and other antioxidants that help fight cancer-causing free radical cells.
In a review published in the Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry last year, lycopene extracted from pink guava displayed anti-prostate cancer activity. Lycopene is known to reach a much higher concentration in prostate tissue than other tissues in the body. Guava is also known for the prevention and treatment of breast and colon cancers.
Other Great Guava Health Benefits
Guava health benefits appear to be endless! There are several other guava health benefits, including the treatment and prevention of skin problems, thyroid conditions, vision issues, coughs and colds, scurvy, varicose veins, asthma, mental health conditions, oral ulcers, toothaches, stress, kidney stones, and eyesight degradation.
Guava also lowers the frequency of bacterial infections, epilepsy, and convulsions.
Guava Consumption Tips
To get the most of its wonderful health benefits, eating guava as you would an apple, in its raw form, is the best and most simple method. It should be stored at room temperature and refrigerated when ripe.
Including guava into recipes will add that âsuperâ quality. You can slice it into cubes and add it to a fruit salad. Or take advantage of ripe guava fruitsâtheyâre perfect for jams, jellies, marmalades, preserves, and desserts. The juice from guava can also be used to marinate meat.
Homemade Guava Juice Recipe
Thereâs a super-easy guava juice recipe for a nice, warm day. Juicing is the best way to take advantage of guavaâs health effects. To create your homemade guava juice, you can use a high-powered blender, or a quality juicer.
The harder guava fruits may wreck your appliance, so be careful of that. Be sure to choose smaller, softer, and riper guava fruits and cut them into smaller pieces.
- Juicer option: 6-8 guava fruits
- Blender option: 2 cups of fresh guava, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1/2 inch piece of ginger (optional)
- Optional: 1 tsp of sugar or sugar substitute (xylitol, yacon syrup, or stevia)
- Ice cubes (optional)
1. Wash your guava fruits and cut off the stem end.
2. a) If your method is the juicer, put a bowl or glass under the juicer. Place your whole or cut guava fruits into the juicer, pressing them into the juicer blade. Pour in about half a cup of water to help the juice flow from the juicer.
b) If you are using a blender, place about two cups of guava into the blender with a half-cup of water. Add more water if necessary. Blend until everything is mixed.
3. For both juicing methods, you have the option to add a piece of ginger to the juicer or blender for some extra flavor. For some added sweetness, mix in a teaspoon of sugar, or a sugar substitute like xylitol, stevia, or yacon syrup.
4. Once your juice is complete, add some ice cubes and enjoy this guava drink on a nice sunny day!
A Healthy Guava Snack: Strawberry Guava Fruit Popsicle
When guava fruit is in season, it is great to make larger batches of guava juice. However, freshly squeezed guava juice only lasts two days in the refrigerator.
Luckily, there is another guava recipe that requires very little effort that will solve this problem.
- 1/2 cup of freshly squeezed guava juice
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/2 pound of rinsed and hulled strawberries
- 1/2 cup of plain coconut yogurt
1. Place all the ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth.
2. Pour the mixture into plastic popsicle molds. You can add a wooden stick in each mold to make them easier to handle later.
3. Freeze for at least four hours or until completely frozen.
4. When you are ready to eat, run the mold cup under warm running water, twist, remove, and enjoy.
Guava Trend Here to Stay
Needless to say, the guava fruit is healthy, versatile, and easy to use. While some food trends come and go, the guava fruit doesnât seem to be going anywhere. If you havenât already given it a try, itâs about time the guava fruit made its way into your daily routine.
Sources for Todayâs Article:
âStrawberry Guava Popsicles,â Dessert Now Dinner Later, May 10, 2012; http://www.dessertnowdinnerlater.com/2012/05/strawberry-guava-popsicles/.
Cheng, J.T., et al., âHypoglycemic effect of guava juice in mice and human subjects,â The American Journal of Chinese Medicine, 1983; 11(1-4): 74-76.
Singh, R.B., et al., âCan guava fruit intake decrease blood pressure and blood lipids?â Journal of Human Hypertension, February 1993; 7(1): 33-38.
âHealth Benefits of Guava,â Juicing for Health website; http://juicing-for-health.com/basic-nutrition/healing-foods/health-benefits-of-guava.html, last accessed April 14, 2015.
Chen J., et al., âThe effect of lycopene on the P13K/Akt signaling pathway in prostate cancer,â Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry, 2014; 14(6): 800-805.
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