Guava (Psidium Guava) is a tropical fruit, originally from America, whose cultivation and consumption has spread to countries around the world, from India or China, to the warmer regions of Europe. It comes from the guava tree, a shrub from which not only the fruit is used, but also its leaves and root for various uses. Its intense aroma, its fleshy pulp and its flavor, which ranges from the sweetest to the bittersweet, has made it conquer the most exquisite palates. In addition, guava has interesting properties when it comes to keeping our body in good condition. Do you want to know what they are? we discover the properties of guava, its benefits and its contraindications.
Although there are different varieties of guava, in most cases it is a fruit that is not too large, ovoid in shape and does not usually exceed 200 grams in weight. Inside, it keeps a soft and delicious pulp although with abundant seeds. Its color varies between whitish yellow, pink and even intense red when the fruit is very ripe. Its predominant flavor is sweet, although generally with a touch of acidity. These are its main properties:
- Guava is basically water (more than 80% of its total content)-
- It highlights the high amount of vitamin C that it is capable of providing to the body (273 mg/100 grams according to data from the Spanish Food Composition Database ), an amount much higher than some varieties of citrus fruits, such as the Orange.
- It is also a source of provitamin A and it is precisely the presence of these two vitamins that gives guava important beneficial antioxidant properties when it comes to caring for the body as a whole, helping to stop the action of free radicals and cell deterioration.
- The ancient civilizations of Mexico, Peru or Brazil already knew the properties of guava when it comes to relieving gastrointestinal discomfort, since the fruit is astringent, especially when it has not reached its maximum ripening point and also contains a good proportion of fiber, specifically pectin, which helps care for and recover the intestinal flora and intestinal transit.
- Potassium, phosphorus and calcium are some of the minerals present in this tropical fruit that make it a good ally both for bone health, to keep bones healthy and strong, and for proper brain and nervous system activity.
Its rich composition of nutrients is what makes guava, in general, a beneficial food, which can be included in a varied and balanced diet.
- The presence of fiber with high satiating power, the high-water content and the low caloric intake (about 60 kcal. /100 grams) make it a good ally for a slimming or weight control diet.
- Due to its astringent and antimicrobial properties, guava can also be an excellent remedy for stomach problems, mainly to deal with episodes of diarrhea. When it is ripe, the pectin it contains promotes proper intestinal transit, helping to cleanse the body naturally and protecting the bacterial flora, as pointed out by different studies, such as the one published in the journal Experimental & Molecular Medicine .
- The high content of vitamin C makes guava also beneficial when it comes to preventing colds, being also effective when it comes to avoiding iron deficiency anemia, since this vitamin is essential in the absorption of iron.
- The presence of provitamin A and also of vitamin B6 means that guava is considered to help care for eye health and favors the good state of the different cognitive functions.
- Although there is still no scientific confirmation, some research suggests that guava could help maintain adequate levels of cholesterol in the blood, thus being an ally of cardiovascular health. If this is your case, here you can learn some tips on following a Diet for cholesterol.
How to eat guava
There are many ways to eat guava:
- The guava fruit can be eaten like any other fruit, directly and raw (even with the skin), since, especially when fully ripe, it gives off an intense and pleasant aroma and is delicious due to its sweet but not cloying flavor.
- In addition, guava is perfect for inclusion in rich and nutritious juices. Combined with papaya, mango or pineapple, it is a ‘bomb' of healthy vitamins with a more than pleasant taste. Here we explain how to make guava juice.
- It is also ideal to include it in fruit salads with other fruits and even in salads, cutting it into thin slices or small cubes.
- Guava is widely used in confectionery. Guava jam is exquisite and you can also find it as a syrup or as an ingredient in sweet syrups or ice cream. Learn about these recipes on How to make guava jam and how to make guava jam.
- If you want, you can also try a guava tea, which is made with guava leaves and has a beneficial relaxing effect while facilitating good digestion.
Contraindications of guava
Guava, in moderate doses, does not have to cause adverse reactions, but in certain cases, especially if there are ailments or diseases, its intake may be contraindicated (especially guava leaf tea).
- Of course, people who are allergic to any of its components should avoid it. In addition, in the case of pathologies related to the digestive system, especially irritable colon, it is advisable to consult a doctor before including fruit in the diet.
- Infusions with leaves or roots of the plant are not recommended for pregnant women or young children.
- It is also not recommended to eat large amounts of this fruit if you suffer from constipation, because due to its astringent properties it will worsen the problem.