Packed with superpowers, guavas are gaining more attention in the medical world. Guava (Psidium Guajava L.) is a tropical tree indigenous to Central and South America, but has become naturalized in Florida. Here you’ll find two types of guava fruit: The pink pulp and the white pulp variety. Rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, and antioxidants, a guava a day may keep wrinkles away. Moreover, studies show adding guavas to your diet may regulate blood pressure. And that’s not all! From managing and preventing diabetes to aiding fertility in women, guava may prove to be the ultimate superfood.
“Does this mean I can eat as many pastelitos de guayaba as I want?” No. Although this delish Cuban pastry can satisfy a sweet tooth, one serving packs 260 calories and 18 grams of fat. In order to benefit from the power of guava, you’ll want to eat it raw. Next time you reach for a banana or an orange, why not grab a guava instead? One fruit (55 grams) contains 37 calories, 1 gram of fat, and 1 gram of protein. Plus, one guava provides more potassium than a banana and has more vitamin C than an orange. This makes guava a great addition to your next salad.
According to the Medicinal & Aromatic Plants journal, guava leaves, pulp and seed have been used to treat various ailments, especially respiratory and gastrointestinal disorders. In a 2012 study published in Journal of Diabetes Mellitus, researchers found that guava could play a role in the management of diabetes and in the prevention of vascular complications. Studies have also shown that a higher intake of potassium-rich foods helps keep your muscles in check. These foods defend against the loss of muscle mass and help burn fat. In one cup of guava (165 grams), you’ll find 688 milligrams of potassium, or 20% daily value.
High in fiber (8 grams per fruit), guavas keep you full longer. By including this tropical fruit in a high-fiber diet, it may help you reach your weight-loss goals. A recent study published in Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that eating 30 grams of fiber daily can help trim your waistline, lower blood pressure, and improve your body’s response to insulin. Also, guavas are cholesterol free.
Foods rich in vitamin C help in collagen production and protect the skin from free radical damage. One guava contains 126 milligrams of vitamin C, or 209% daily value. The guava leaf, however, has more potent free radical scavenging properties. In a study published in the Food Chemistry journal, researchers found a “linear relationship between antioxidant potency, free radical-scavenging ability and the content of phenolic compounds of guava leaf extracts.” No wonder guava leaf tea and the topical use of guava leaves have been part of traditional medicine.
For women trying to boost their fertility levels, they may want to add guava to their diet. The tropical fruit contains 27 micrograms of the fertility-boosting vitamin. Studies show a diet that includes folate-rich foods not only aids fertility, but it also safeguards the health of the unborn baby.
You’ll find plenty of more reasons to love this super food. As with many healthful foods, however, consuming too many guavas could prove hurtful to your health. Guavas do contain fructose, which can be harmful in excess amounts. And, as always, you should discuss with your physician and/or dietician if adding guava to your diet would prove beneficial for your specific health goals.