Guava – Benefits, Nutritional Facts, & Healthy Recipes
Guava is a fruit that will not only keep you healthy but also provide you with all the nutrients for proper functioning of your body.
Guava, also known as “Amrood” in Hindi, is round/oval and is full of tiny hard seeds in the centre. It is native to Central America and has a versatile inner and outer layer. In addition, it also possesses a unique flavour and fragrance. People call it one of the best superfruits due to the numerous health benefits it offers.
Guava is a powerhouse of nutrients. It is rich in antioxidants, vitamin C & A, lycopene, calcium, manganese, and potassium. Besides this, guava is also low in calories, high in fibre, and makes for a great addition to your everyday diet.
Physical Structure of the Guava Fruit
Guava belongs to a family of dicotyledonous plants called the myrtle family. The plants have dark green leaves of 5 to 15 cm in length. The guava flowers are white with multiple stamens.
Guavas are about 4 to 12 cm in length. They have a sweet fragrance that is comparable to the subtle aroma of a lemon rind. When ripe, the outer skin becomes soft, and the pulp inside gets a sweet taste.
Nutritional Facts of Guavas
100 grams of guava contains:
- Calories: 68
- Total Carbohydrate: 14g
- Sugar: 9 g
- Fibre: 5 g
- Protein: 2.6g
- Fat: 1g
- Saturated fat: 0.3g
- Sodium: 2mg
- Potassium: 417mg
- Vitamin C: 228.3mg
- Vitamin B6: 5% of RDA
- Vitamin B9: 12% of RDA
The calorie content per serving of guava is reasonable considering its immense goodness. It has a very minimal fat content and is rich in fibre and proteins. The sugar content gives guavas their unique sweetness.
Other vitamin B constituents like niacin, thiamine, and riboflavin are present in considerable quantities. Smaller amounts of vitamin A and K are also present. In addition, guavas contain a significant amount of manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium. Some other minerals like zinc, calcium, and iron are present in smaller quantities.
Proven Health Benefits of Guava
There are many benefits of consuming Guavas. However, guava leaves contain more benefits than the fruit itself. Many research studies prove this claim. It is rich in phenolic compounds with antibacterial effects. These compounds help protect you from infectious and parasitic diseases such as Staph and Candida (yeast) infections. In addition, guava leaves help relieve coughs and colds and work as an excellent home remedy for toothaches, swollen gums, and oral ulcers despite keeping you safe from infections.
Guava Helps Build Immunity
Guavas are a rich source of vitamin C and contain twice the amount of vitamin C present in oranges. Vitamin C plays a vital role in improving your immune system and protecting you from infections by killing harmful bacteria and viruses.
Though there is no evidence to support that guava can prevent a cold, studies suggest that vitamin C can lessen a cold’s duration. That is because vitamin C flushes out of your body relatively fast. Hence, it is essential to include vitamin C in your regular diet. In addition, guava reinforces iron absorption, thereby maintaining your body’s immunity levels and making you stronger.
Guava is a Diabetic-Friendly Fruit
Guava is a good source of fibre and possesses a low Glycemic Index, making it diabetic-friendly. While the low Glycemic Index inhibits a sudden spike in sugar levels, the fibre content ensures that the sugar levels are well regulated.
A study shows that guava leaf extracts can improve blood sugar levels. In addition, they can help control hyperinsulinemia, long-term blood sugar, hypercholesterolemia, hypoadiponectinemia, and hyperglycemia.
Therefore, it is one of the best fruits consumed by diabetic patients and those looking to prevent diabetes.
Guava Keeps the Heart Healthy
Guavas contain high amounts of potassium and sodium, which help regulate high blood pressure in patients suffering from hypertension. According to a study, eating ripe guava before meals may lower blood pressure, decrease total cholesterol, and increase “good” cholesterol by 8%. All these factors contribute to improved heart health.
Another study suggests that guava leaf extracts help decrease blood pressure, reduce “bad” cholesterol, and increase “good” cholesterol. Therefore, it is safe to say that guava leaf extracts minimise the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Guava May Help with Weight Loss
Guava is an excellent choice if you are looking to lose weight as it helps regulate your metabolism and makes sure your intake of proteins, fibre, and vitamins remain uncompromised. Moreover, guavas make for a very filling snack and keep you full for long.
There are not many studies linking guavas directly to weight loss. However, replacing sugary beverages or food items with guava tea or guavas will help you lose weight. That is because guavas are lower in calories and yet very filling.
Guava Improves Digestive Health
Guava contains high amounts of dietary fibre than other fruits. Fibre helps bulk up and soften stool which tends to ease constipation and diarrhoea. One guava contains 12% of your recommended daily fibre intake. That makes it highly beneficial for digestive health and healthy bowel movements. Also, guava seeds, when ingested whole or chewed, act as excellent laxatives.
A study shows that you may also use guava leaf extracts to reduce the intensity or duration of diarrhoea. Another study shows that these extracts contain antimicrobial properties, which helps kill harmful diarrhoea-causing bacteria in the gut.
Guava May be Good for the Brain
Guavas are also rich in vitamins such as B6 and B3, known as pyridoxine and niacin, respectively. These two vitamins help improve blood circulation to the brain, relax the nerves, and stimulate cognitive function.
Guava Improves Skin Health
If you are among the many looking to keep fine lines and wrinkles away from your face, then guava is the fruit for you.
Guavas are rich in antioxidants like carotene, lycopene, and vitamins A and C, which help protect the skin from various skin-related issues. In addition, a study confirms that antioxidants, which are present in guavas, have anti-ageing effects.
Studies also show that guavas have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Therefore, consuming guava helps regain the skin’s radiance and freshness. In addition, it keeps away problems like discolouration, dark circles, redness, and acne. The fruit also helps tone and tighten the facial muscles, thereby leaving your skin young and supple.
Guava Helps Relieve Stress
The presence of magnesium in the fruit helps relax the muscles and nerves in your body. In addition, it helps you effectively calm down and unwind. So, after a long day’s work or a tiring workout session, eating guava will relieve you of stress and also give your system a much-needed boost of energy.
It is Helpful During Pregnancy
Neural tube defects (NTDs) are among the most common congenital disabilities, contributing to miscarriage, infant mortality, severe congenital abnormalities and profound disabilities. In addition, it is burdensome to patients, caregivers, healthcare systems and society. A study suggests that a daily intake of 400 micrograms of folic acid at least one month before pregnancy and the entire first trimester of pregnancy could reduce the risk of NTDs by up to 80%.
Guava is rich in folic acid. Therefore, it is excellent for pregnant women. That is because it helps develop the baby’s nervous system and protects the fetus from congenital disabilities. In addition, the B-vitamin present in the fruit allows cells to divide and helps your body create DNA and genetic material for the fetus. Therefore, guava would be a great addition to your diet during pregnancy.
Guavas are also rich in vitamin C, which increases iron absorption. It, in turn, helps pregnant women deliver oxygen to their babies. Studies have linked this to increased fetal and infant growth till the age of 6 months.
Guava Helps Reduce Menstrual Pain
Many women experience painful stomach cramps during their menstruation (dysmenorrhea). However, a study on 197 women with painful menstrual cramps who took 6 mg of guava leaf extract every day showed decreased pain intensity. The study also suggests that guavas can produce an effect more potent than some painkillers.
Guava Helps Reduce the Risk of Cancer
While there is no evidence of guavas being helpful in cancer treatment, it can help reduce the risk of getting it in the first place. The presence of antioxidants such as lycopene, quercetin, vitamin C, and other polyphenols neutralise the body of free radicals and prevent the growth of cancerous cells. According to a study, guava leaf extracts reduce the risk of prostate cancer and inhibit cancer cells’ growth.
Guava Improves Eyesight/Vision
After carrots, guavas are the next well-known fruit that helps improve eyesight and vision health. Not only does the presence of vitamin A prevents the deterioration of eyesight, but it also helps to improve it. In addition, it also protects one from developing macular degeneration and cataracts.
Where in India is Guava Popular?
The climatic condition of India makes it an ideal place for growing guavas. Hence, guavas are one of the top four fruits cultivable here. Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra are the top guava-growing states. Bihar, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh closely follow this list. The guava season varies depending on each state and its crop patterns. The last four decades show a 55% increase in guava production in India.
- Sardar and Allahabad Safeda are two of the most famous guava types in India. It is due to their excellent quality and high-yielding abilities.
- Vijayawada and Nuzvid are some of the significant cultivators of the Sardar or Lucknow variety.
- The Allahabad variety finds its majority cultivators in Odugathur, Madurai, and Theni.
- Some of the other guava varieties are Lalit, Dhareedar, Safed Jam, etc.
Uses of Guava Fruit
Many cuisines use guavas for their juice. For example, Agua Fresca is a popular guava juice used in Latin American countries. Sauces, candies, and snacks use this juice to enhance the flavour. In addition, sauces and other pickled food items use red guavas mainly to mimic the taste of tomatoes.
Guavas contain high amounts of pectin, whose main component is sugar. So, this makes guavas a good option for candies, jams, and jellies. Guava pulp makes for a great flavour in ice creams and milkshakes. The guava leaves are edible in the form of herbal teas and supplements.
Ways to Consume Guava
Fully ripe guavas have a sweet taste. Check for guavas with pale yellow or green skin. Ripe guavas are soft to touch, similar to a ripe avocado. Choose the sweetest ones for all the recipes given below.
- The easiest way to consume guava is to eat them as they are. The entire fruit, along with the seeds and the skin, is edible. You can bite into the whole fruit like an apple as well. Moreover, those who do not prefer the rind can scoop out the flesh with a spoon.
- Additionally, you can consume guavas with chilli powder or pepper and salt. Slice up the guavas and sprinkle some chilli powder and salt on its flesh. The spicy and salty flavour perfectly complements the fruit’s sweetness.
- It is equally essential to pair up guavas with other fruits. It increases the potency of your fruit platter. Cut the guavas with other fruits and add them to a fruit salad.
- It is a healthy dessert or breakfast option. In addition, guavas taste amazing in coleslaw as well.
- Guava juice is an excellent alternative to eating fruit. The mildly sweet taste and the soft flesh make it a good option for blending juices. Besides, you can grind guava pieces with some milk to make smoothies.
- Also, take the smoothie up a notch and add other fruits of your choice, some raw honey, chia seeds, and some nuts. It is a filling snack or breakfast item.
- Cook guavas with some jaggery powder to make a sauce out of them. The sauce works very well with pancake, yoghurt and oatmeal.
- Guavas add a delicious flavour to ice creams, jellies and candies. So, it makes for a healthy option of dessert while satisfying your sweet tooth.
Best Nutritionist-approved Healthy Recipes using Guava
#1 Guava Yogurt Smoothie
- Guava chopped – 1 cup
- Frozen banana slices – ½ cup
- Low-fat yoghurt – ½ cup
- Ice cubes
- Blend all ingredients and serve chilled
#2 Guava Pomegranate Salad
- Guava chopped: 1 cup
- Pomegranate pearls: 1 cup
- Roasted peanuts: 1 tbsp
- Mint chopped: 1 tbsp
- Lime juice: 1 tbsp
- Black salt: ¼ tsp
- Cumin powder: ¼ tsp
- Red chilli powder: ¼ tsp
- Chat masala: ¼ tsp
- Mix the ingredients for the dressing
- Combine the fruits, peanuts, mint and dressing in a bowl and mix well
While there are many benefits to consuming guavas, there are a few precautions or things before adding them to your daily diet. They are as follows:
- Pregnant or breastfeeding people: There isn’t any conclusive evidence on whether guavas, as a medicine, are safe for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Therefore, to be on the safe side, eat it in small quantities as a regular fruit. Also, make sure to wash and peel the skin off the guavas before eating to reduce the likelihood of ingesting any harmful bacteria. Most importantly, consult your doctor before taking supplements of any kind.
- Diabetic patients: We know that guavas may reduce your blood sugar. However, people with diabetes must constantly keep track of their blood sugar levels while eating guavas.
- Patients with skin conditions: The extracts from guava leaves may contain chemicals that irritate your skin. It can exacerbate skin conditions like eczema. So, if you have eczema or other similar conditions, consume guavas cautiously or avoid them altogether.
- Patients with upcoming surgeries: Those scheduled for any kind of surgery should try to avoid eating guavas in the two weeks leading up to it. That is because guavas may interfere with blood sugar control or worsen the risk of bleeding during and/or after the surgery.
- The extract from a guava leaf may also cause stomach pain, nausea or bloating as a temporary side effect.
Guavas are a magical fruit. It is low in calories yet packed with nutrients. The pale yellow or light green guavas are the ripest. Its mild sweetness and soft flesh make it a delicious choice of fruit. As of 2019, India is a leading producer of guavas. Allahabad Safeda and Sardar are the most famous varieties within India.
It is fibre-rich and full of vitamins and minerals. The immunity-boosting and skin-healing vitamin C is abundant in them. It is a diabetic-friendly fruit and also promotes the functioning of a healthy heart.
Guava leaf extracts have immense power. Therefore, they aid in digestion and relieve menstrual pain. Some studies even say they have anti-cancer properties.
The bottom line is; guavas are a perfect addition to your diet. There are almost no side effects to consuming guavas. The nutrients in it will alter your health for the better. Add it to your grocery list to benefit from its goodness.
Eat guava daily if you want a surge of vitamin C for better immunity or simply a tasty, healthy option that you can have in different ways.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Does guava contain Vitamin C?
A. Yes, guava is a rich source of vitamin C. 100 grams of guava contain approximately 228 grams of vitamin C.
Q. What is the permissible quantity of guava consumption per day?
A. You can consume one to two guavas daily. There are no side effects of consuming guavas. However, too much of anything is wrong.
Q. Can guava upset the stomach?
A. Guava is a rich source of fructose. However, our body cannot digest a large quantity of these elements. Hence, many might experience bloated stomachs after having too many guavas, as it disrupts smooth bowel systems.
Q. Does guava help in weight loss?
A. Guava is the perfect fruit for those who are trying to lose weight. It is low in calories yet rich in fibre content. It gives a feeling of fullness for a longer duration. The nutrients in guavas make it a healthy option during weight loss.
Q. Can guava help fight lifestyle diseases like diabetes?
A. Guava leaf extracts help to manage diabetes, if not prevent it. Studies show that drinking the leaf extract tea after a meal reduces blood sugar levels. It offers a significant reduction in blood sugar in type 2 diabetic patients. In addition, its low glycaemic index and high fibre content helps to maintain sugar levels.
Q. How often can one eat Guava in a day?
A. You can include 1 to 2 guavas in a day. You can eat them as mid-day snacks, either in mid-morning or evening.
Q. What is the ideal amount of guava one can eat in a day?
A. 80 to 100 grams of guava is ideal as one portion in a day.
Q. Are guava seeds harmful for the body?
A. No, guava seeds have numerous health benefits because of their high fibre content. These benefits include relieving constipation, acidity and promoting satiety.
Q. If consumed too much, what are the side effects guava can have on the body?
A. The high fibre in guava can cause diarrhoea and bloating if consumed in excess.
Q. What is the best time to eat Guava?
A. Any fruit such as guava is best consumed as a midday snack. It can also be added to your breakfast as a smoothie or in a salad as well.
Q. What are the benefits of guava?
A. There are numerous benefits to consuming guavas. Some include weight loss, lowered blood sugar, improved eyesight, improved heart health, reduced risk of cancer, etc.
Q. Who should not eat guava?
A. People with eczema or other skin conditions should avoid consuming guava leaf extracts since they might irritate their skin further. People scheduled for surgery should also avoid eating guavas in the two weeks leading up to it. It may worsen the risk of bleeding during/post-surgery.
Q. What disease can guava cure?
A. It can be used for pain, diabetes, stomach and intestinal problems, menstrual cramps, wound healing, and high blood pressure.
Q. Can you eat guava raw?
A. Yes, any part of the guava can be eaten raw. However, make sure to wash the outer surface/rind before eating.
Q. Which is better: pink or white guava?
A. Pink guavas are better since they contain less sugar and starch.
Q. Is guava high in sugar?
A. Guavas contain a lot of fructose which is a type of natural sugar.
Q. Does guava boost the immune system?
A. Yes, guavas can boost one’s immune system due to the presence of vitamin C.
Q. Does guava cause weight gain?
A. No, guava does not cause weight gain. Its high-fibre content can help reduce your hunger and thus, help you lose weight. It’s also on the lower end of the calorie scale.
Q. Is guava bad for cough?
A. No, guavas help prevent and/or cure a bad cough or cold. However, try to avoid consuming it at night.
Q. Can we drink tea after eating guava?
A. Steer clear of acidic teas after eating guava. However, you can drink oolong tea, white tea or black tea after eating guava.
Q. Can guava leaves clean the uterus?
A. There isn’t any conclusive evidence regarding whether guava leaves can clean the uterus. However, it can help reduce menstrual pain and blood clotting.
Q. Is guava bad for kidney stones?
A. Eating too many guavas may lead to the formation of kidney stones. However, if you eat guavas in moderation, you will reap the benefits mentioned in this article.
Q. Which fruit can be eaten at night?
A. Bananas are the best fruit to eat at night since they contain vitamin E, healthy fats, and magnesium.
Q. Does guava leaves reduce belly fat?
A. Guava leaves can help in reducing weight. However, it cannot help you reduce fat in only one specific part of your body.
Q. Are guavas acidic?
A. Yes, due to the presence of citric and malic acids, guavas have a pH level of around 3-4.
Q. Does eating guava at night increase weight?
A. No, eating guavas at night does not increase your weight.
Q. Can guava leaves heal wounds?
A. Yes, guava leaf extracts can help in wound healing.
Q. Can we eat guava and milk together?
A. Since guavas are rich in vitamin C, it is best not to consume them with milk. It can cause digestive issues or acidity.
Q. Can diabetics eat guava?
A. Yes, they can. However, people with diabetes must keep track of their blood sugar levels since guavas can lower one’s blood sugar.