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Hasn’t everyone enjoyed a plate of guavas sprayed with chaat masala at least once? No other fruit matches up to the sweet and intoxicating aroma of guava fruit that is the characteristic of many luscious jams, jellies, purees, nectar, guava cakes, juices, and murabbas. 

Also, referred to as Amrood in Hindi, guava comes packed with little arduous seeds at the centre, in fact, the taste of guava fruit might not be complete without the crunch of the guava seeds. Guava is a tropical fruit and it grows well beneath subtropical conditions. It possesses its genesis in Central America where it's instead referred to as "Sand Plum". Early Spanish and Portuguese colonizers imported it to New World, the East Indies, and Guam. It was later accepted as a crop in Asia and in warm zones of Africa and is currently grown widely everywhere in the tropics and subtropics.

If pineapple is referred to as the king of fruits, guava is taken into account as the queen. Soft, sweet, and aromatic once ripe, guavas are tiny and spherical or oval, with colours ranging from yellow to pink to red, reckoning on the variability.  It is one amongst the foremost common and important fruits of India and regarded as the fifth most vital fruit in the area after mango, citrus, banana, and apple.  Guavas are excellent even if merely sliced for a snack or added to salads. In different areas of the world, guava is famous as a thick, flavourful paste created in a cheese base. Natural and fresh guava juice is common in Hawaii. In Fiji, guavas are utilized to prepare tasty jelly.

Besides being known for its distinctive flavour and aroma, guava has also been considered as one of the 'superfruits' because of the various health advantages it provides. This gentle fruit is great in ascorbic acid, lycopene, and antioxidants that are helpful for the skin and immunity. In fact, guava is treated as the apple of the tropics because of its high Vitamin C and mineral presence. Guavas are a powerhouse of nutrients and a great source of manganese that helps the body soak up different key nutrients from the food we eat. The advantages of guava on sexual health are attributable to the existence of folate, a mineral that helps promote fertility. Furthermore, the potassium present in guavas helps to regulate blood pressure levels. Interestingly, bananas and guavas contain nearly an identical quantity of potassium.

As an inexpensive nourishing fruit with a good ability to numerous environmental conditions and soil conditions, guava is a perfect crop to grow in developing countries. Guava is a firm, prolific bearer and an extremely remunerative fruit. It provides more return per unit area and can be grown everywhere in the country within the room agriculture, close to the well and tube-well premises and on a commercial basis.

Some basic facts about Guava:

  • Scientific Name: Psidium guajava L.
  • Family: Myrtaceae
  • Common Name(s): Guayabo (Spanish), goiabeira (Portuguese), red guava, guava, kuawa, Guava (English)
  • Genus: Psidium
  • Sanskrit name: Peruka पेरुक
  • Hindi name: अमरूद (Amrood)
  • Native Region and Geographical Distribution: Guava is native to the tropical regions of southern America and Mexico. Other countries that cultivate guava are Thailand, Indonesia, China, Mexico, Brazil, Philippines, Bangladesh and the Federal Republic of Nigeria. India is the largest producer of guava in the world. The state of Maharashtra accounting for 12.8 percent of guava production in India, followed by Madhya Pradesh (10.2%), Uttar Pradesh (10.0%) and Bihar state (9.76%). The best quality guava is grown in Uttar Pradesh. Interestingly, the district of Allahabad in U.P encompasses a fame for growing the best quality of guava not only in India but also in the world.
  • Fun Facts:
    Distinct kinds of guavas exist but they don’t come under one species. They belong to alternative species and typically alternative genera. As an example, the Acca Sellowiana which is the scientific name for Pineapple Guava.
    The foremost and unremarkably found and devoured guavas are known as the “Apple Guavas”.
  1. Guava nutrition facts
  2. Guava health benefits
  3. Guava side effects
  4. Takeaway

Guava is low in calories and fats. However, it consists of many important vitamins, minerals, and polyphenolic compounds. This fruit is a great supply of soluble dietary fiber. Guava fruit is a wonderful source of antioxidants and Vitamin C. It also contains a significant amount of Vitamin-A and flavonoids such as carotene, lycopene, lutein, and cryptoxanthin. 100 grams of pink guava fruit supplies 5204 µg of carotenoid which is nearly double the quantity in tomatoes. Fresh guava fruits are one of the richest sources of potassium. It contains more potassium than bananas. Furthermore, the fruit is a moderate supply of B-complex vitamins like niacin, vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), likewise, minerals such as magnesium, copper, and manganese are also present in considerable amounts in guava.

As per the USDA Nutrient Database, 100 grams of guava contains the following nutrients:

Nutrient Value per 100 g
Water 80.80 g
Energy 68 kcal
Proteins 2.55 g
Fats 0.95 g
Carbohydrates 14.32 g
fiber 5.4 g
Sugars 8.92 g
Minerals  
Calcium 18 mg
Iron 0.26 mg
Magnesium 22 mg
Potassium 417 mg
Phosphorus 40 mg
Sodium 2 mg
Zinc 0.23 mg
Vitamins  
Vitamin C 228.3 mg
Vitamin B1 0.067 mg
Vitamin B2 0.040 mg
Vitamin B3 1.084 mg
Vitamin B-6 0.110 mg
Vitamin B9 49 µg
Vitamin A 31µg
Vitamin E 0.73 mg
Vitamin K 2.6 µg
Fats/ Fatty acids  
Saturated 0.272 g
Monounsaturated     0.087 g
Polyunsaturated 0.401 g

Guava is a nutritionally rich low-calorie fruit that is loaded with therapeutic benefits. It helps to lose weight and helps fight free radical damage; guava is also helpful in promoting digestive health and immunity. Let us explore some of the evidence-based health benefits of this fruit.

  • Improves heat health: Guava is one of the most heart-friendly foods that you can add to your diet. Not only does it help regulate blood pressure levels but also it is helpful in keeping a check on cholesterol levels in body, thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Furthermore, it contains an array of antioxidant compounds which help reduce oxidative stress on heart muscles and keeps it young.
  • Reduces period pain: Clinical studies indicate that consumption of 6mg of guava extract daily is conducive to a reduction in dysmenorrhea. In fact, its painkilling effects are likened to that of some commercial analgesics.
  • Boosts immunity: Guava contains double the amount of vitamin C than an orange, which makes it an excellent immunity-boosting food. Vitamin C plays an important role in stimulating the immune response and preventing the entry of pathogens into the body.
  • Helps lose weight: Guava is a low-calorie, high fibre food that helps you lose weight by making you feel full for a longer period of time. Unlike most foods, it is rich in minerals and vitamins so you don’t have to worry about the lack of necessary nutrition.
  • Improves blood glucose levels: Lab studies suggest that guava helps regulate sugar metabolism in body, which is helpful in maintaining blood sugar levels. It also reduces the resistance of body cells to many hypoglycemic (reduces blood sugar) agents.
  1. Guava for diabetes
  2. Guava for constipation
  3. Guava for weight loss
  4. Guava for scurvey
  5. Guava boosts immunity
  6. Guava for heart health
  7. Guava for menstrual pain
  8. Guava prevents cancer
  9. Guava benefits for skin

Guava for diabetes

There is strong proof that guavas can help in improving the glucose metabolism in the body. Many lab-based and animal studies have found guava leaf extracts to be useful in reducing glucose levels in the blood. It has also been reported to be effective in reducing the resistance of the body to some hypoglycemic agents (blood sugar lowering). Furthermore, guava extracts might facilitate the improvement of glucose metabolism in individuals with the polygenic disorders like diabetes or those at a risk of developing one.

Guava for constipation

Guavas are a significant supply of dietary fiber. Thus, consuming a lot of guavas could aid in healthy bowel movements and provide relief from constipation. One guava offers 12% of the suggested daily intake of fiber. Seeds of guava, if eaten whole or chewed, prove to be a good laxative ensuring an active bowel movement. In addition, guavas could scale back the intensity and period of diarrhoea.

Guava for weight loss

Guavas are one of the many fruits which help weight loss. With solely 37 calories in one fruit and 12% of your suggested daily fiber intake, they're stomach filling and low in calories. So, consuming guavas may increase the gap between your meals and doesn't let you put up any extra weight. In contrast to other low-calorie snacks, they're packed with vitamins and minerals — thus you are not losing out on any necessary nutrients. And what's more, their taste is great too! So, munch on your sweet and crunchy guava salad without hampering your weight loss goals.

(Read more: Diet chart for weight loss)

Guava for scurvey

As per a study in Plant Foods for Human Nourishment, the inadequacy of vitamin C can induce scurvy and therefore the solely famous remedy for this dangerous problem is the correct intake of this water-soluble vitamin. Interestingly, guava outdoes several fruits such as oranges in the aspect of its vitamin C concentration. In fact, guavas contain four times more vitamin C than oranges. So, regular consumption of guava may alleviate the deficiency of vitamin C in the body.

Guava boosts immunity

Low antioxidant levels in your body are usually associated with an increased risk of infections. Guavas are an amazing option to obtain these immunity-boosting nutrients as they are one of the richest food sources of antioxidants. In fact, one guava gives almost double the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) suggested for Vitamin C. It is also double than what you would get from eating an orange. Vitamin C plays a vital role in stimulating and maintaining a healthy immune system in our body.

(Read more: Immunity boosting foods)

Guava for heart health

Guavas could boost heart health in various ways. Firstly, it is a rich source of antioxidants. Several studies claim that antioxidants and vitamins present in guava could reduce the free radical damage to the heart thereby reducing the risk of heart diseases. The upper levels of potassium and soluble fiber in guavas are also believed to be beneficial for the heart. Whereas potassium is a mineral essential for regulating blood pressure, soluble fibers are very useful in reducing the cholesterol levels of the body. Lower blood pressure along with low cholesterol levels go a long way in improving heart health.

(Read more: High blood pressure treatment)

Guava for menstrual pain

Many women experience dysmenorrhea — painful menstruation. However, studies suggest that guava extracts can truly cut back the intensity of menstrual cramps. A clinical study comprising of 197 dysmenorrhea patients found that taking about 6 mg of guava leaf extract daily resulted in reduced pain intensity. It was further claimed that guava is more powerful analgesic than some painkillers.

Guava prevents cancer

Guava juice has been proved to have an anti-cancer impact. Test-tube and animal analysis reveals that guava juice prevents and even stops the expansion of cancer cells. According to a recent study, guava may reduce the growth of cancer by interfering in certain signaling pathways responsible for the generation and spread of cancer cells in the body.

Guava benefits for skin

Guava is packed with a variety of vitamins and antioxidants, which together, could do wonders for the skin. High levels of antioxidants protect the skin from many problems including slowing down the ageing process and reducing wrinkles. Guava extracts could even aid in treating acne.

  1. Pregnancy and breastfeeding
    Guava is safe if eaten as food. However, there is not enough data to understand if it's safe in larger amounts when used as a health supplement. So, It is best to refer to a doctor before taking guava supplements. Since it is high in fiber, it may cause loose motions and consequently trigger dehydration during pregnancy. Ingesting a ripe or unripe guava during pregnancy may also lead to gestational diabetes mellitus.

  2. It can cause irritable bowel syndrome
    Guava contains a naturally occurring sugar known as fructose. Because of the fructose assimilation, you could conjointly experience loose motions and a messed-up digestive system. 

  3. Guavas are extremely high in potassium, fiber, and vitamin C. So, if one is suffering from a health condition which warrants low consumption of fiber or potassium, he/she must keep away from guavas.

Guava is an equatorial fruit. With its distinctive flavour, taste and health-promoting qualities, the fruit simply fits within the new functional food class, usually known as “superfruits.” Guavas are a good source of dietary fibre and ascorbic acid with moderate levels of pteroylmonoglutamic acid. Guava not only tastes great but also has great medicinal value. Although it barely has any side effects, too much of anything is never good. So, enjoy the richness of this fruit in moderation!

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References

  1. United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Basic Report: 09139, Guavas, common, raw. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Legacy Release [Internet]
  2. Oh WK et al. Antidiabetic effects of extracts from Psidium guajava. J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Jan 15;96(3):411-5. PMID: 15619559
  3. Shen SC, Cheng FC, Wu NJ. Effect of guava (Psidium guajava Linn.) leaf soluble solids on glucose metabolism in type 2 diabetic rats. Phytother Res. 2008 Nov;22(11):1458-64. PMID: 18819164
  4. Yoriko Deguchi, Kouji Miyazaki. Anti-hyperglycemic and anti-hyperlipidemic effects of guava leaf extract. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2010; 7: 9. PMID: 20181067
  5. Kim SY et al. Protective effects of polysaccharides from Psidium guajava leaves against oxidative stresses. Int J Biol Macromol. 2016 Oct;91:804-11. PMID: 27296444
  6. Ojewole JA. Hypoglycemic and hypotensive effects of Psidium guajava Linn. (Myrtaceae) leaf aqueous extract. Methods Find Exp Clin Pharmacol. 2005 Dec;27(10):689-95. PMID: 16395418
  7. Doubova SV et al. Effect of a Psidii guajavae folium extract in the treatment of primary dysmenorrhea: a randomized clinical trial. J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Mar 21;110(2):305-10. Epub 2006 Oct 13. PMID: 17112693
  8. Gutiérrez RM, Mitchell S, Solis RV. Psidium guajava: a review of its traditional uses, phytochemistry and pharmacology. J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 Apr 17;117(1):1-27. PMID: 18353572
  9. G.D. Lutterodt, A. Ismail, R.H. Basheer, H. Mohd. Baharudin. Antimicrobial Effects of Psidium Guajava Extract as One Mechanism of its Antidiarrhoeal Action . Malays J Med Sci. 1999 Jul; 6(2): 17–20. PMID: 22589684
  10. Seema Rana, Saleem Siddiqui, Ankit Goyal. Extension of the shelf life of guava by individual packaging with cling and shrink films . J Food Sci Technol. 2015 Dec; 52(12): 8148–8155. PMID: 26604388
  11. Chen KC et al. Brain derived metastatic prostate cancer DU-145 cells are effectively inhibited in vitro by guava (Psidium gujava L.) leaf extracts. Nutr Cancer. 2007;58(1):93-106. PMID: 17571972
  12. Shaik-Dasthagirisaheb YB et al. Role of vitamins D, E and C in immunity and inflammation. J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 2013 Apr-Jun;27(2):291-5. PMID: 23830380
  13. Julio César Camarena-Tello et al. Chemical composition of biomass generated in the guava tree pruning .EXCLI J. 2015; 14: 204–212. PMID: 26417359
  14. Wu-Qing Huang et al. Excessive fruit consumption during the second trimester is associated with increased likelihood of gestational diabetes mellitus: a prospective study . Sci Rep. 2017; 7: 43620. PMID: 28272552
  15. James J. DiNicolantonio, Sean C. Lucan. Is Fructose Malabsorption a Cause of Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Med Hypotheses. 2015 Sep; 85(3): 295–297. PMID: 26059250