Banaras Hindu University
Asked 25th Dec, 2014
What are the health benefits of Guava?
Some excerpts from the article "Go guavas – 10 reasons to eat this fruit!" by Sameer:
"Guavas or amrood is blessed with many nutrients by nature. Originally found in South America, this fruit was presumably brought to India by the Portuguese. Here are some of its health benefits:
Improves your immunity
Guavas contain four times the Vitamin C content present in oranges. Vitamin C helps in improving your immunity and thus keeps your body healthy and protects it from pathogens that cause infections. (Read: Immunity-boosting foods that are available in India and easy on the pocket!)
Improves your hormonal function
Copper, present in guava, helps in the production and absorption of hormones. This property helps in improving the function of your endocrine system especially thyroid glands which is responsible for the way in which you metabolize food, use energy, etc.
Lowers risk of cancer
Being diagnosed with cancer can be a person’s worst nightmare. Being rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants like lycopene, eating guavas can protect your cells from damage and reduce your chances of getting cancer. Additionally, Vitamin C boosts your immunity which is critical in fighting cancer cells. (Read: Top 10 food habits to prevent cancer)
Good for diabetics
Rich in fibre and with a low glycaemic index, guavas can be consumed by diabetics and those who want to prevent diabetes. When you have diabetes, your body stops producing insulin which is responsible for the absorption of glucose. Consuming fruits and vegetables rich in fibre is recommended.
Has anti-ageing properties for your skin
Guavas are rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin A and antioxidants like lycopene and carotene which protect your skin from wrinkles and fine lines, thus making you look younger. Old-age is a certainty in everyone’s life, and eating a guava every day can at least prolong the process.
Helps treat constipation
Constipation is caused when food is stuck in our colon. Guava, is rich in fibre which helps in clearing the blocked pathway and thus curing your constipation. (Read: Top 10 home remedies for constipation)
Helps improve vision
Even though, guavas are not as rich in Vitamin A as carrots, they still are still a very good source of the nutrient. Vitamin A helps keep your eyes in good condition, and also helps improve your vision. Night blindness is one of the diseases associated with a Vitamin A deficiency.
Good for pregnant mothers
Guavas contain Folic acid, or Vitamin B-9, which is recommended for pregnant mothers since it can help in developing the baby’s nervous system and protect the newborn from neurological disorders.
Helps you relax
Magnesium present in guavas helps in relaxing your nerves and muscles. In today’s stressful times, consuming a guava to combat stress and relax is certainly a good idea. (Read: Feeling stressed? Try these natural remedies)
Good for your brain
Brain is one of the major organs of our body, and keeping it healthy should be on our priority list regardless of how intelligent we consider ourselves. Guavas contain Vitamin B3 and Vitamin B6, also known as niacin and pyridoxine, which helps in improving blood circulation to the brain and relaxing your nerves."
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See this link also for knowing more on the health benefits of Guava:
Some excerpts below:
"The health benefits of guava include the treatment of diarrhea, dysentery, constipation, cough, cold, skin care, high blood pressure, weight loss and scurvy.
Many of you may have tasted this mouth-watering treat, or have at least seen or heard about it. Guava is very common in Asian countries, but is increasingly available in the western world, particularly as more of its health benefits are revealed. It is a somewhat round or pear-shaped seasonal fruit, and is light green, yellow, or maroon in color on the outside when it is ripe. Guava also has white or maroon flesh and lots of small hard seeds enveloped in very soft, sweet pulp. It is eaten raw (ripe or semi-ripe) or in the form of jams and jellies.
This popular fruit is a powerhouse of nutrients. If the traditional adage says that “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” in Europe and Americas, the phrase is probably changed to “A few guavas in the season keeps the doctor away for the whole year” in the Indian Subcontinent and places where guavas typically grow. Its scientific name is Psidium Guajava.
What makes guava special is that protecting the fruit does not require excessive use of chemical pesticides as in the case of grapes, apple, and other so-called “exotic” fruits. It is one of the least chemically treated and sprayed fruits."
Health benefits of guava fruit can be summarized as follows:
- Guava is low in calories and fats but contain several vital vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant poly-phenolic and flavonoid compounds that play a pivotal role in prevention of cancers, anti-aging, etc.
- The fruit is very rich source of soluble dietary fiber (5.4 g per 100 g of fruit, about 14% of DRA), which makes it a good bulk laxative. The fiber content helps protect the colon mucous membrane by decreasing exposure time to toxins as well as binding to cancer-causing chemicals in the colon.
- Guava-fruit is an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin-C. 100 g fresh fruit provides 228 mg of this vitamin, more than three times the DRI (daily-recommended intake). The flesh just underneath its outer thick rind contains exceptionally higher levels of vitamin C than its inner creamy pulp.
- Scientific studies shown that regular consumption of fruits rich in vitamin C helps human body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge cancer causing harmful free radicals from the body. Further, it is required for collagen synthesis within the body. Collagen is the main structural protein in the human body required for maintaining integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones.
- The fruit is a very good source of Vitamin-A, and flavonoids like beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and cryptoxanthin. The compounds are known to have antioxidant properties and therefore essential for optimum health. Further, vitamin-A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in carotene is known to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
- 100 g of pink guava fruit provides 5204 µg of lycopene, nearly twice the amount than in tomatoes. (100 g tomato contains 2573 µg of lycopene). Studies suggest that lycopene in pink guavas prevents skin damage from UV rays and offers protection from prostate cancer.
- Fresh fruit is a very rich source of potassium. It contains more potassium than other fruits like banana weight per weight. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure.
- Further, the fruit is also a moderate source of B-complex vitamins such as pantothenic acid, niacin, vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin E and K, as well as minerals like magnesium, copper, and manganese. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper is required for the production of red blood cells.
The white-fleshed guava is high in antioxidants, and the red-fleshed variety is even higher. Red- and pink-fleshed guavas, gram for gram, have more lycopene than even watermelon and tomato. A study from the Heart Research Laboratory in India found that people who ate five to nine guavas per day for three months reduced their cholesterol levels by 10%, their triglycerides by 8% and their blood pressure by 9.0/8.0mm Hg, while also boosting their HDL (good) cholesterol by 8%. Along with the antioxidant phytochemicals and vitamin C that prevent the oxidation of LDL, guava also offers fiber and potassium, which make it especially healthy for the heart.
Fruit, Guava, or any other, is a baby of the plant. Plants are the resource that traps solar energy to be consumed by all others (animal kingdom). 'All others' have only one duty and that is to break that plant/fruit to release this trapped solar energy for its journey of existence. Therefore, Guava/fruit/plants have all that is good for health.
Guava however is the one fruit that if taken after drinking alcohol, no one would smell alcohol in your breath ...cool!
Emeritus Scientist ICAR-Central Soil Salinity Research Institute Karnal National Vice President Bhartiya Agro Economic Research Center New Delhi EX Head ICAR-Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation (Earlier known as CSWCRTI)
With due respect to all I would like to make a comment. When we discuss questions we need to refrain from our personal biases, or cultural biases i believe.
Examples; some cultures marry within their family. Others do not marry even within their "Gotra" (genealogical paternal linkage). Some cultures/religions forbid consumption of alcohol and have no problems with tobacco smoking. Some people like green tea and others 'Nescafe'. My answer where I mentioned smell of alcohol after taking guava was affected was merely a fact shared, learnt through experience of people and experimented by myself, it does not ask anyone to start drinking alcohol due to its association with guava and smell.
If one feels, however, to refrain from alcohol intake (like tobacco), it certainly must be good for that person.
I believe that "too much of everything is bad, even rice, guava, or love and hatred."
One of the best health benefits of consuming a guava is that it’s rich in ascorbic acid. Micro nutrients present in a guava like folic acid and vitamin B-9 are good for healthy circulatory system. Also consumption of such nutrients helps your baby from risk of neurological disorders, cardiovascular disease and regulates nervous system development.
Guava contains high amount of lycopene (5204 microgram) which is carotenoid phytonutrients. Lycopene has an anti-tumor property. Lycopene protects from oxygen free radicals as it actively fights to neutralize it. So eating guava will help to fight prostate cancer.
Guava is a rich source of antioxidants, phytonutrients and flavonoid that make it highly beneficial to protect from cancer. It contains high amount of Vitamin C which protects from oxygen free radicals. Free radicals are produced due to oxidative stress. These free radicals damage DNA of cells which turns it into a cancer cell. But antioxidants neutralize these free radicals and acts as a shield to protect DNA from free radicals.
As we know the main cause of cancer is free radicals and the damage caused by them to DNA marks the onset of cancer.Guava contains antioxidants that protect from free radicals and lycopene prevents tumor growth. So with both these nutrient guava becomes healthiest food to prevent cancer.
Lycopene is effective to protect from prostate cancer. Guava is effective to protect from breast, mouth, skin, stomach, oral cavity and lung cancer. It also contains dietary fats which help to clean toxins from the colon. Thus it reduces the effects of toxin in the colon and protect from colon cancer .
It is red Guava (deep pink or pink pulp, AND not the white or yellow Guava) that contains Lycopene (around 50 ugms/Gm) which is 40-50 times less Lycopene than it is contained in Gac (pronounced 'yek'), and less than half that quantity that is contained in Tomato.
There are many permutations and combinations of 'kind of' balanced food in all fruit and vegetables/plants. No one item, or one 'goody' in one fruit is enough for any life. Wholesome is more important than good fractions.
Any roughage from plant source (fruit/vegetables/Guava) is what binds to toxins, etc. to take them out, or nutrients to take them in.
Guava is 'cool' yet like many others is of minimal use if not combined with others (fruit and vegetables) to give humans a healthy life, complimenting each other.
If Guava is to be taken for Lycopene, then Tomato is twice better and Gac (jackfruit variety) is 50 times better.
Moral of the story is, we must look at parts, or individual fruits and vegetables where we can, while never forgetting that it is for the understanding of the whole we are looking at it's parts.
Thanx for the good discussion, love you all.
Consumption of guava fruits boosts the immune system and strengthens the bones of the body. It provides relief against constipation. Guava is hypoglycemic thus helpful in regulating adequate blood flow throughout the body. Being a rich source of vitamin C, guava fruits are used in treatment of scurvy.
Please have a look at these useful links for detail information on health benefits of guava.
Besides its unique flavour and fragrance, guava has been hailed as one of the super fruits due to the numerous health benefits it offers. It indeed is a powerhouse of nutrients. “This humble fruit is extraordinarily rich in vitamin C, lycopene and antioxidants that are beneficial for skin.
There are many reasons why eating a variety of fruits and vegetables. The different colored fruits and vegetables provide a source for unique phytochemicals that can protect cells from damage and may help lower risk for some chronic diseases. Adults should consume 1.5 – 2 cups of fruit per day and 2-3 cups of vegetables per day.
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