Guavas are considered to be a super-food as it contains numerous important health benefits and can help prevent certain serious health conditions such as cancer, diarrhea, dysentery, hypothyroidism, obesity, constipation and skin ailments. As guava juice has the ability to increase insulin production, it is used in Asia to treat diabetes. Studies have shown that guava can lower the levels of blood glucose, regulating blood sugar levels close to normal.
Health Benefits Of Guavas
Guavas contain lycopene, a carotenoid that is an important antioxidant that helps fight free radical damage that may lead to serious diseases such as cancer. It is also higher than most fruits in fiber that helps keep the digestive system functioning well by moving food through the stomach and intestines for efficient elimination. This helps keep the intestines clean and free from accumulated waste that may cause health problems such as constipation and weight gain. Fiber also acts as an appetite suppressant by causing feelings of satiety for longer periods of time, helping to prevent weight gain. Finally, the high content of fiber can help to lower cholesterol levels and maintain normal cholesterol levels in the body.
To maximize the health benefits of guavas, choose organic, high quality fruits that are firm, free from bruises and have a fruity, fragrant aroma. Store guavas at room temperature until very ripe when they can be kept refrigerated until use. The entire food can be eaten, including the skin and seeds. The pulp is sweet and succulent and the flesh has a firm texture. Although the peel is slightly sour, it contains the highest source of phytochemicals.
Vital Nutrients In Guavas
Guavas are loaded with 228mg of vitamin C which computes to approximately 395% of the daily recommended intake. It has 70 times more fiber than an orange and is packed with B vitamins and folate. It also contains important minerals such as calcium magnesium, potassium, iron, manganese and vitamin E. Phytonutrients are beta-carotene and lycopene.
Varieties Of Guava
Varieties of Psidium Guajava include yellow guava, lemon guava, apple guava, pink guava and red guava. It is native to South America, the Caribbean, and southern parts of Mexico. During the 17th century it was introduced to India.
Health Benefits Of Guava Juice
– Treatment of Diabetes
Guava juice has a high glycemic index of 78 and a low glycemic load of 4. Studies have shown that guava juice has the ability to lower blood sugar levels in both type 1 and type 2 diabetics and is effectively used in tradition Chinese medicine for the treatment of diabetes.
– Digestive Health
The high fiber content of 5.4g per 100g in guava juice promotes healthy digestion and proper bowel movement. It has been shown to prevent constipation and reduce symptoms of diarrhea and assist in the prevention and cure of digestive ailments such as diverticulitis and dysentery.
– Heart Problems
The high fiber content in guavas may help to reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol levels which are associated with risk factors in heart disease. High fiber and potassium content aid in reducing blood lipids and pressure as well as high-density HDL lipoprotein cholesterol.
– Weight Management
The low sugar and high fiber content in guavas makes it a nutrient dense and filling food as a snack to satisfy appetite between meals. High potassium content in guavas will help burn fat and increase lean muscle mass.
– Cancer Prevention
Lycopene extraction from pink guavas displayed anti-cancer activity in studies for prostate cancer where a high concentration was found in prostate tissue. It has also shown to be effective in the prevention of breast and colon cancer.
The health benefits of guavas tend to be endless and including lowering the frequency of epileptic convulsions, bacterial infections, oral ulcers, toothache, and vision problems. For best results consume guavas in their raw state or juiced in a blender to preserve all the fiber and concentrated nutrition.