Move over oranges and tomatoes; guavas equal or surpass the nutrient power these delicious fruits are known for.
The guava is an exotic, tropical fruit that doesn’t receive much attention, except by those who have discovered its amazing abilities to protect the heart, kick cancer to the curb and curtail diabetes.
Inside the Guava
Guavas contain a good amount of protein, carbohydrates, calcium, and phosphorus; lots of soluble fiber (a little over a third of the recommended daily amount), potassium, beta carotene, vitamin C (more than twice that found in an orange), copper, manganese and folate; and trace amounts of iron, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin. Guavas are also full of antioxidants (carotenoids, polyphenols and flavonoids) that make them a powerhouse fruit that fights major diseases.
What’s So Great About Guavas?
Promotes Heart Health – The high amount of potassium in guavas (more than 60 percent of that found in a banana) maintains a steady heartbeat, lowers blood pressure and helps the kidneys eliminate waste. The high amount of soluble fiber in guavas helps to lower cholesterol, because this type of fiber gathers up cholesterol or causes it to clump together so it can be easily flushed out with regular bowel movements.
The high amount of vitamin C in guavas increases the amount of good cholesterol in the blood, while at the same time suppressing bad cholesterol accumulation. Regulated blood pressure, cholesterol and heartbeat together spell heart health. So many of the life-threatening conditions that affect the heart are the result of problems in these three primary areas, and guavas handle them so well.
Battles Cancer – The carotenoid lycopene in guavas is a known cancer blocker. Lycopene is most closely associated with tomatoes, because they have such a rich amount of the carotenoid and lycopene is what gives tomatoes their bright, reddish orange color. In this case, however, guavas have almost 20 percent more lycopene than the average fresh tomato and actually more lycopene than any other fruit or vegetable source!
Vitamin C also fights off cancer and strengthens your body’s natural defenses. The antioxidants in guavas, including vitamin C, search and destroy cancer wherever it’s found. Guavas are especially effective at preventing cancers of the prostate, breast, stomach, lung, and colon.
Fights Diabetes – Guavas effectively lower blood sugar as well, and this can probably most be attributed to the high fiber content which keeps blood sugar from spiking.
Other Abilities – Guavas leaves have been known to prevent diarrhea when ingested. The fruit is also known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, analgesic, and antimicrobial abilities. Legends say that guava leaves can be chewed for toothache relief or applied to wounds to assist in healing and pain relief. Whether or not these legends are true, vitamin C is an immune system builder, which promotes quicker healing, inflammation reduction and pain relief.