This tropical fruit was grown originally in Mexico but is now cultivated in Asia and Central and South America. In the United States it is grown mostly in Florida. Its popularity has increases not only because of its delicious, sweet taste but also because of its health benefits.
The scientific name is Psidium Guajava and it is sometimes referred to as the sand plum.
It is considered to be one of the least chemically treated of all the fruits.
The fruit is usually 2 to 4 inches in length and round or oval. The flesh inside is white or red depending on the species. The taste varies from sweet to tart, also depending on the species. There are small seeds in the middle which are edible.
When choosing guava fruit, pick one that has turned from green to a slight yellow. There should also be a sweet smell.
Guava is often eaten alone but can also be added to salads. It is also used to make jams and jellies. Some people add them to their smoothies. Guava juice is popular in many countries.
This small fruit packs a lot of nutrients into its small size and is often considered a “super food” and even referred to as the “nectar of the gods”.
Health Benefits of Guava
Vitamin C – Each guava fruit contains 126mg of this vitamin which is more than the recommended daily allowance. This is four times the amount found in an orange. This vitamin helps promote immunity and fights off infections.
Lycopene – this is a powerful antioxidant that is known for its ability to fight certain types of cancer including prostate and breast cancer.
Fiber – Foods with fiber aid in digestive health and help fight both diarrhea and constipation. Fiber also prevents spikes in blood sugar. Foods high in fiber also help fight high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. After eating foods with a high fiber content people feel full longer and therefore are not as tempted to quickly eat again. This can aid in weight loss goals.
Potassium – This helps balance the fluids in the body which control heart rate and reduces the chance of high blood pressure.
Folic acid – Found to be good for pregnant women by aiding in protecting the unborn baby from neurological problems.
Vitamin A – This vitamin is known for its ability to promote good eye health and lower the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
Copper – This mineral helps regulate your metabolism and the production of red blood cells.
Vitamins B3 and B6 (also known as niacin and pyridoxine) – Support good brain health by improving blood flow. Helps relax the nerves and improves concentration.
Antioxidants – Fight the growth of free radicals in the body which can cause cancer and heart disease.
Many of the nutrients in the guava aid in healthy skin and helps improve a person’s complexion.
The leaves of this fruit have traditionally been used in many countries to treat diarrhea and dysentery.
Don’t miss out on all the benefits of this powerhouse of nutrients.