15 Interesting Facts About Guava

interesting facts about guava

Introduction

The guava (Psidium guajava) is an oval-shaped fruit with light green or yellow skin and sweet, pink, or white flesh. It belongs to the myrtle family and is native to Mexico, Central America, and South America. While there are over 150 species of guava, the most common variety is the apple guava1.

Guava has a unique flavor that is a cross between a pear and a Strawberry. Its fragrance is similarly sweet and musky. The entire guava fruit is edible, including the rind and seeds.

This superfruit is not only delicious but highly nutritious. It contains ample amounts of vitamin C, lycopene, antioxidants, and fiber. Guava has been used medicinally for centuries in tropical regions.

Keep reading to learn 15 fascinating facts about the origins, health benefits, and uses of guava.

Guava juice with guava slice. Mint leaves as a garnish.

1. Guava is packed with vitamin C

Guava is one of the richest natural sources of vitamin C. One guava contains over 250 mg of vitamin C, which is 4 times the recommended daily allowance.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that strengthens the immune system and helps the body absorb iron. It also keeps the eyes, skin, and joints healthy.

2. The seeds and leaves have benefits too

The seeds and leaves of the guava plant have therapeutic uses. Guava leaf tea and extracts are used to treat diarrhea, lower cholesterol, and prevent diabetes.

The seeds are eaten as a laxative and to expel intestinal parasites. They are also high in fiber and vitamin C.

3. Guava aids digestion

With its high fiber content, guava helps promote digestive health. The seeds act as a mild laxative as well.

Eating guava can help relieve constipation and prevent diarrhea. Compounds in guava leaf extracts inhibit the growth of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria which can cause diarrhea.

4. It helps regulate blood sugar levels

Guava fruit isolated on white

Guava is considered a diabetes-friendly fruit. Despite its sweetness, it has a low glycemic index that prevents spikes in blood sugar.

Studies show guava leaf extracts lower blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. The high fiber content also slows the absorption of sugar in the body.

5. Guava leaves have antimicrobial properties

Research indicates that guava leaf extracts inhibit the growth of various bacterial strains, including Staphylococcus, E. coli, and Salmonella.

Compounds like flavonoids, tannins, and eugenol give guava leaves their antimicrobial abilities. This makes guava leaf tea a natural remedy for many infections.

6. It improves heart health

With its high fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and lycopene content, guava promotes heart health.

Potassium helps control blood pressure2, while lycopene protects against LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol oxidation. Guava’s nutrients keep the circulatory system healthy and lower risk of heart disease.

7. Guava aids weight loss

Guava is low in calories and high in fiber. This combination helps promote satiety and prevents overeating.

The fiber content also regulates digestion and metabolism, aiding weight loss. Guava leaf tea suppresses the genes responsible for fat production as well.

8. It helps fight cancer

The antioxidants and phytochemicals in guava, especially lycopene, have strong anti-cancer properties.

They protect cells from oxidative stress and damage by free radicals. This may lower the risk of prostate, breast, and oral cancers.

9. Guava relieves menstrual cramps

Compounds like flavonoids and tannins in guava leaf tea exhibit pain-relieving effects.

Drinking guava leaf tea can help alleviate painful menstrual cramps. It also has an antispasmodic effect on smooth muscles which reduces abdominal cramps.

10. It improves brain function

Guava contains vitamins B3 and B6 which boost brain function and cognitive abilities3.

It also has potassium which increases blood flow to the brain and improves concentration, focus, and memory retention.

11. Guava supports eye health

The high vitamin A content in guava promotes good vision health. It protects the eyes from macular degeneration and delays the onset of cataracts.

Vitamin C in guava also helps treat eye infections and prevent night blindness.

12. It enhances skin health

Fresh guava fruit on wooden table background.

Guava is rich in vitamin C and lycopene which defend against skin damage from UV radiation and environmental pollution.

These nutrients increase collagen production, reducing wrinkles and acne. Guava’s antioxidants also help fade dark spots and control hyperpigmentation.

13. Guava has a fascinating history

Guavas originated in Central America and were distributed throughout tropical regions by Spanish and Portuguese colonizers.

The ancient Mayans revered guavas as sacred fruits. In the 17th century, guavas first arrived in Hawaii and became naturalized across the Pacific islands.

14. It is very versatile

Both the fruit and leaves of guava have many culinary uses. Guava fruit is used to make juices, jams, jellies, desserts, candies, and even barbecue sauces.

Young guava leaves are used to wrap tamales in Central America. Guava wood is also used to smoke meat and fish.

15. Guava can be invasive

Certain guava species like strawberry and apple guava have become invasive plants in tropical regions outside their native range.

They outcompete native species and take over habitats in Hawaii, the Galapagos, and Florida Everglades. However, they provide food for wildlife.

Fresh guava fruit on wooden table background.

Conclusion

In summary, guava is a unique, versatile fruit with a long history of medicinal uses. It is rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, fiber, and other nutrients that offer many benefits from improving digestion to fighting cancer.

Guava is worth adding to your diet thanks to its delicious flavor and superfruit powers. Try it fresh or as juice, jam, tea, and even as an ingredient in entrees. Let us know your favorite ways to enjoy guava!

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/food-science/guava []
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/salt/potassium.htm []
  3. https://www.healthifyme.com/blog/guava-fruit/ []

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