Guava is a common tropical fruit which is round or oval in shape with light green to light yellow skin. It comes with tiny edible hard seeds at the center.
It is also known as Amrood in Hindi, Goyave in French, Guayaba in Spanish, and Guave in German. Due to its easy availability and the fruit being cheaper than most other fruits, Guava is many times called as “a poor man’ s fruit” or “a poor man substitute for apple”.
However this seemingly humble and common fruit has considerable nutritional value. The medicinal properties of guava fruit, as well as that of it’s leaves have been recognized worldwide.
While you might be aware of the high Vitamin C content in fruits like orange, it may come as a surprise to you that Guava may contain about 4 times the amount of Vitamin C contained in Orange.
Guava fruit has a unique sweet odor and taste and is best when enjoyed fresh. Guava fruit can also be processed as an ingredient in juice, jellies, jams, shakes or beverages, ice creams etc.
Nothing can match the taste of Guava sprinkled with a little bit salt, red chilli powder and black pepper. In India, guavas are many times sprinkled with Chaat Masala as well.
Besides its unmatched taste, Guava is being recognized all over the world as one of the super fruits due to its myriad of health benefits.
Nutritional Information: Guava (100 g )
|Vitamin C||228 mg|
|Vitamin A||624 IU|
|Magnesium, Mg||22 mg|
|Calcium, Ca||18 mg|
Major Health Benefits of Guava (Amrood)
1. Boosts Immunity
Guava are quite rich in Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps to improve immunity and protects us from common infections.
2. Flavonoids & Anti oxidants
Guava has good amount of anti-oxidants and flavonoids like beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein etc. These help to neutralize free radicals in the body. Thus Guava can be considered useful in preventing the growth of certain cancers, but this has not be proven by studies.
3. Good for Diabetics
Glycemic Index (GI) and Glycemic Load(GL) are two commonly used parameters to evaluate the suitability of a food for diabetics While GI is more about carbohydrate quality i.e. how fast it is broken into sugar, GL is about carbohydrate quantity and gives a better picture of the overall impact that a food product has on blood sugar.
Glycemic Index is a ranking of foods from zero to 100 based on blood glucose levels after eating a definite quantity of carbohydrates. In case of Guava or similar fruits, this could lead to a high GI value since a definite quantity of carbohydrates means a large serving of Guava fruits as Guava are low in Carbohydrates. The GI index value is not a true assessment as one may limit himself to 1-2 Guavas only . On the other hand Glycemic Load which takes into account the serving size has better correlation to the food’s suitability for diabetics as it gives a more accurate picture of the overall effect that the food product has on blood sugar levels.
Guava has a Glycemic Index of 78 and since in general fruits with Glycemic index above 70 are considered to release sugar fast, one may at first look infer that the fruit is not Diabetic friendly. However Guava has a lower Glycemic Load (GL) of 4 which is quite low and as explained earlier GL is a better indicator for this purpose and implies that consuming normal serving of Guava won’t have little impact on blood glucose levels. Thus while consuming Guava raises sugar levels rather quickly, but as the fruit contains less carbohydrates, such rise will only occur on consuming a large portion of Guavas. A normal portion of Guava thus is not only fine but beneficial for diabetics due to other attributes.
High Fiber content in Guava is considered good for diabetics. The presence of anti oxidants in Guava is helpful to prevent nerve damage which may occur in those suffering from diabetes. The skin of the guava fruit is rather high in simple sugars like glucose and thus those with diabetes and with sugar levels not in control may consider to eat the fruit after peeling the skin.
4. Aids Digestion
Guavas are rich in dietary fiber which is beneficial to the digestive system. Thus eating guavas may aid in maintaining healthy bowel movements and prevent constipation. Guava seeds either ingested whole or chewed, are also a rich source of dietary fiber and serve as excellent laxatives. Guava has astringent qualities and being alkaline, it exhibits some anti microbial activity and is helpful in digestive problems like dysentery and diarrhea.
5. Weight-Loss Friendly
Being low in calories and due to their ability to regulate metabolism, Guava is also helpful in weight reduction.
Guava has almost the same potassium levels as banana and thus helps to prevent sodium retention which keeps blood pressure in check.
Vitamin A & Vitamin C in Guava helps to keep the eyes healthy.
8. Good for Skin
The anti oxidants prevent damage to skin and Guava’s high water helps to keep the skin moist. Guavas also contain Vitamin K, which plays a role to get rid of skin discoloration or dark circles on the skin.
9. Rich in Folic Acid
The folic acid (vitamin B-9) in Guava plays an important role in cardiovascular and circulatory system. It is also known for reducing certain birth defects and may be helpful in fertility too.
10. Helpful in Cough & Cold
A juice of of raw guavas (immature) or a preparation made by boiling guava leaves is helpful in cough and colds as it disinfects the respiratory tract, throat and lungs and also lessens the formation of mucus.