Asian countries are abundant in a type of fruit called guava, but this fruit is also available in many western countries. The fruit is oval (or pear-like) with light-green, yellow or maroon skin color and white or maroon flesh that contains many small and hard but, edible seeds. When it reaches its ripe stadium, it is very soft with a sweet, musky aroma and creamy texture.
Besides the appealing distinctive flavor, the guava is also distinctive because of its numerous health-boosting qualities. Along with the fruit’s flesh, the guava tree’s bark and leaves also provide numerous health benefits. The guava fruit is a real “medium” of vitamins C and A.
FACT: Only one guava fruit contains 4 times more vitamin C than an average-size orange fruit, and 10 times more vitamin A than a single lemon!
Other nutrients of the guava include:vitamin B2, vitamin E and vitamin K, fiber, calcium, copper, folate, iron, manganese, potassium and phosphorus. Amazingly enough, with all the dense nutrition it provides, the guava hardly contains any fats!
In addition, it is one of the least chemically-treated and pesticide-sprayed fruits. In different fares, this fruit is used as a delicious ingredient in sweet or savory dishes. And the guava juice is nothing short of a ‘paradise drink.’ You can also enjoy the sweet guava taste in jams, candies, marmalades, and jellies.
Here below are the top 10 health benefits of the guava fruit and guava leaves:
1. Guava fruit improves your heart health
А study, published in the Journal of Human Hypertension in 1993, states that any regular guava-fruit intake can decrease blood pressure and blood lipids. What is this effect due to? It is due to guava’s higher content of potassium, vitamin C, and soluble fiber when compared with other fruits.
Its potassium content helps maintain a steady heartbeat and controls high blood pressure, while its high vitamin C content keeps the small blood vessels healthy and clot-free. Moreover, the lycopene found in the pinkish-fleshed guava helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular malfunction in people who eat this fruit regularly.
Also, drinking guava leaf tea prepared by steeping the dried leaves in hot water helps lower total cholesterol level, decrease the low-density lipoprotein level (LDL or the so-called ‘bad’ cholesterol) and triglycerides. This helps keep your heart and vascular system in a good condition.
2. Guava fruit maintains your oral health
Dental plaque is the principal culprit for many oral health problems. It is useful to know that the anti-plaque properties of guava leaves are effective in preventing and treating your oral problems. For this, herbalists recommend using tender leaves of guava (in a toothpaste form) to keep a good mouth hygiene.
The leaves have anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antimicrobial properties that help reduce gum inflammation, and make your breath fresh and clean. Furthermore, you can use the guava leaves to cure toothaches, swollen gums and oral ulcers. You can also use the twigs of guava trees like a toothbrush [or as a chewing stick] for deep-cleaning your teeth.
A tip: To maintain good oral health, simply chew 1 or 2 tender guava leaves daily.
You can also try a homemade mouthwash by boiling 5-6 tender guava leaves in water. Allow the solution to cool to a drinkable temperature, and add some salt do disinfect it. Swish this mouthwash thoroughly inside your mouth and teeth once or twice a day.
3. Guava fruit treats your diarrhea
The guava-leaf tea may help hamper diarrhea-causing bacteria. According to a study of 2008, published in the Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo, guava leaf extract inhibits the growth of staphylococcus aureus bacteria, the most common cause of diarrhea.
If suffering from diarrhea, drink guava leaf tea a few times daily. This tea will cause fewer thin stools, lessen abdominal pain, and stimulate a quick gastrointestinal recovery. The guava fruit is also good for the entire digestive tract.
Its antibacterial property helps “sweep-and-swish” the digestive tract, discouraging bacterial and microbial growth. Its fiber content promotes digestion and proper daily excretion. To prevent stomach-related problems, chew guava leaves or eat raw guava.
4. Guava fruit controls your diabetes
Chinese medicine has used the guava for treatment of diabetic issues for years. A 1983 study, published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine, claims that the hypoglycemic effect of fresh guava juice is useful in the gradual treatment of diabetes mellitus.
The rich fiber content and low glycemic index of the guava are extremely beneficial for diabetic people. On the one hand, the guava’s soluble fiber helps regulate sugar levels, and on the other hand, the low glycemic index stalls a sudden spike in sugar levels.
So, eating 1-2 guavas without the peel can be helpful in maintaining your blood sugar level. For those who are at risk of developing hereditary diabetes we recommend drinking guava-leaf tea:
- Dry the tender guava leaves and crush them into a powder.
- Add 1 tablespoon of crushed guava leaves to a cup of hot water.
- Cover and allow it to steep for 5 minutes, and then strain it thoroughly.
- Drink this tea once a day.
5. Guava fruit improves your immune response
Owing to its high vitamin C content, the guava plays a key role in improving your immunity. Your immunity is your body’s defense mechanism that protects your body from numerous diseases and infections. The guava’s anti-inflammatory action [notably, its ability to inhibit inflammatory molecules such as prostaglandins] help keep you bacteria-and-virus free.
The anticancer (or antitumor properties) of the guava are due to the compounds like lycopene, quercetin, vitamin C and various polyphenols found in it. These compounds work as potent antioxidants that help neutralize damage done by the free-radicals in the body, which can be cancerous.
In a 2010 study, published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer, researchers concluded that guava extract could help reduce the size of prostate tumors. In fact, regular daily consumption of the guava extract can help curb the incidence of prostate cancer in men. Having a guava snack can also help prevent other types of cancer, including: breast, mouth, skin, stomach, colon and lung cancer.
Recommendation: Eat one guava daily to develop body-resistance against common diseases [coughs, colds and the flu]. You can also enjoy the guava flavor in smoothies or salads, or drink a cup of guava tea.
6. Guava fruit improves your eyesight
Of all vitamins, vitamin A is essential for good vision, and guava is a rich source of exactly this vitamin. Vitamin A helps maintain a healthy, clear cornea and protects the cells in your eyes. Night blindness is one of the diseases associated with vitamin A deficiency. Besides, the vitamin C in the guava promotes healthy capillaries and helps maintain proper functioning of ocular retinal cells.
A tip: Regular intake of this fruit will help improve your eyesight. It can also help slow down the development of cataracts and macular degeneration – the 2 common vision problems – that occur with aging. So, make eating the raw guava fruit or guava juice your dietary habit to enjoy good eyesight for years. Do not turn a blind eye to this tip for your eyesight sake!
7. Guava fruit stimulates your cognitive ability
You can also keep your brain, your major organ, healthy with guava. This superfood stimulates cognitive functions and sharpens your focus, especially important for school-going children. Being rich in vitamin C and other powerful antioxidants, this fruit helps nourish and freshen the brain and its mental functioning.
Also, the vitamins B3 and B6 in the guava fruit help improve blood circulation to-and-from the brain. The potassium in the guava also helps maintain the electrical conductivity of the brain, which is very important for improved thinking as well as recall capacity.
A tip: To give your brainpower a boost, do not forget to include this tropical fruit in your diet.
8. Guava fruit keeps your skin healthy
The red guava fruit, possesses strong antioxidant properties. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals that can inflict damage to your body at cellular level. This can lead to visible signs of aging – wrinkled and saggy skin, dryness and dull complexion. The vitamin C in the guava stimulates the creation of collagen and elastin, the structural proteins that help keep your skin firm and supple.
On top of this, the astringent properties in unripe guava and in the guava leaves help improve skin texture, protect it from the damaging effects of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. It also prevents problems like acne and pimples. You can also rinse your skin with a soapy mixture made from immature fruits and leaves. Eat guava daily to enjoy healthy skin!
9. Guava fruit regulates your thyroid health
Did you know that the guava is a precious source of copper? This is vital for your thyroid health, one of the most important glands in the body for regulating hormones and organ function. Indeed, copper helps control hormone production and absorption, which in turn regulates thyroid performance.
This fruit has potassium and powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can also improve thyroid functioning. To prevent thyroid-born problems, make guava fruit and guava leaf tea an important part of your nutrition.
10. Guava fruit helps with your weight loss
Last but not least, you can naturally and healthily shed extra pounds by sipping at guava fresh juice or preparing guava tea as described above. It is a delicious way to lose weight and get refreshed-and-hydrated at the same time.
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