Guava Health Benefits
Guava Health Benefits
The guava is a tropical fruit native mainly to Mexico, and Central and South America. Guava is of the fruit family Myrtle. It has several varieties but comes in a round or pear shape. The outside of the fruit ranges from yellow to green with the inside color ranging from white to a deep red. The most common species of guava is the apple guava. The guava fruit grows from a small evergreen tree or shrub. Guava health benefits are some of the reasons the fruit is now cultivated in many different parts of the world.
The numerous guava health benefits is the reason it is sometimes referred to as a super food. It is said to contain substantially more Vitamin C than the fruit that is most linked with this nutrient, the orange. Some sources say that it contains more than 5 times the quantity of Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) than the orange contains.
The guava is also a rich source of potassium, Vitamin A (beta carotene), Vitamin B1(thiamine), Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (niacin), dietary fiber, folic acid, manganese, copper, calcium, phosphorus, iron and other useful minerals and nutrients. Guavas also contain important antioxidants such as polyphenols and carotenoids. These are the main antioxidants that give plants their pigment. Because of this factor, guavas that have a darker color have more antioxidant value than those that are lighter in color.
Some of the guava health benefits can be defined according to the role they play in health and include the following:
Cancer prevention – This is one of the very important guava health benefits. This benefit is derived from the fact that the fruit is a rich source of lycophene, which is an antioxidant. Lycophene is also found in the fruit of a tomato though the lycophene in the guava is more easily absorbed by the human body than that found in the tomato. Lycophene is known as a cancer fighting antioxidant. Antioxidants fight against the free radicals that form from the oxidation process and which cause the growth of abnormal cells. The lycophene in guavas have been shown to reduce the risk of prostrate and breast cancer.
Skin protection – Guavas, particularly unripe ones, and its leaves have a high astringent quality which improves skin texture and prevents skin problems. The lycophene in the guavas is also said to protect the skin from the harmful ultra violet rays from the sun. The antioxidants in it also help prevent premature skin aging.
Constipation relief – This is one of the oldest known guava health benefits. The guava fruit was used in folk medicine and is still used today to aid in constipation relief. This is primarily because it is rich in dietary fiber. The seeds of the guava also have a laxative effect. These two actions in combination are therefore excellent in providing relief from constipation.
Dysentery – The astringent quality of the guava is also good for curing diarrhea and dysentery. The astringent is anti-bacterial in nature and therefore inhibits the growth of the bacteria that causes dysentery.
Other guava health benefits include relief for colds and flu, lowering of blood sugar levels which is beneficial for diabetes sufferers (however, they should not eat the skin as it may raise sugar levels), weight loss and remedy for swollen gums and tooth ache.