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Guava - The Super Fruit: Do You Need Guava in Your Diet?

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 2 2

Fight Cancer Nutritionally

Fight Cancer With Lycopene-Rich Fruits

Fight Cancer With Guava
Credit: Anna Strumillio

Improve Your Health With Lycopene-Rich Fruits

Prevent Cancer With Lycopene-Rich Fruits

 

Guava is a tropical fruit that should be welcomed in any dietary protocol that appreciates healthy nutrition and good health.  Guava is  called a supper fruit because of its numerous health benefits.  The health benefits of guava are due largely to its richness in  antioxidants like lycopene and beta carotene; and trace minerals such as selenium and manganese.  The recognized spheres of significant biological effects for guava are shown below.

u  Anti-cancer effects

u  Support for healthy skin

u  Improvement in digestive health

 Anti-cancer Effects

 Guava is an antioxidant-rich food.  These antioxidants  are largely responsible for the anti-cancer effects of guava.  This fruit  is remarkably rich in lycopene, a potent  antioxidant.  Guava has the second highest level of lycopene among fruits and vegetables.  It contains four times as much lycopene as tomato, a highly regarded lycopene-rich food.  Only one uncommon fruit, gac, has a higher level of lycopene than guava.  Gac is an emerging anti-cancer fruit found mainly in Southeast Asia, particularly in Vietnam. Besides lycopene, guava contains other antioxidants that help to fight cancer and support good health.  These other antioxidants include  vitamin C, beta carotene, selenium,  zinc and manganese.   

Healthy Skin

 Guava is important for healthy skin and prevention of skin cancer.  One important effect of guava is that it protects the skin from the sun's ultraviolet  rays  (UV rays).  Ultraviolet rays  promote  wrinkling of the skin and skin cancer.  This  skin protective effect of guava is attributed  to  its anti-oxidant constituents, particularly lycopene.

Blood Pressure

 Guava supports healthy blood pressure.  Metabolites like potassium and magnesium are important for preventing high blood pressure. The high  potassium  content of this fruit may be the key factor for the healthy blood pressure from guava.   According to the USDA Nutrient Data Base for Standard Reference, guava contains 417mg potassium per 100 gram.  This potassium content is approximately four times the concentration in the apple, a highly regarded healthy fruit.  Good blood pressure is critical for a healthy cardiovascular system.  Therefore, the blood pressure effect of a given nutrient can be used as an index of the beneficial cardiovascular effects of the nutrient.  The magnesium in guava is another nutrient that may contribute to healthy blood pressure.  The magnesium content of guava is  also about four times  the value in apple. 

 Healthy Digestive System

 Guava supports food digestion and healthy digestive system.  The high content of dietary fiber in guava is a key factor for this beneficial effect on the digestive system.  The fiber content of guava is about 5.4 grams per 100 grams,  a significant fraction of  which is soluble fiber.   Fruits, such as apples and papayas, typically have fiber contents of  1.7  to 2.4 grams per 100 grams. This high fiber content supports good health by stabilizing blood glucose and improving regularity.

 Dietary fibers, particularly soluble fibers, help to stabilize plasma glucose (blood sugar) by slowing down the rate of glucose absorption from the small intestine. This prevents huge spikes in plasma glucose and helps you to maintain healthy levels  of  insulin activity (insulin sensitivity).  Many chronic diseases such as diabetes and ischemic heart disease are preventable at the inception by maintaining normal  insulin sensitivity.           

 Dietary fibers also support good health by improving regularity.  Improvements in gastro-intestinal motility (peristalsis) and proper moisture levels in the gastro-intestinal content are the primary changes responsible for the regularity.  Consequently, dietary fibers can prevent both constipation and diarrhea.  Diarrhea would tend to cause dehydration and nutrient losses.  Constipation, on the other hand, raises the risk for hemorrhoids, diverticulitis and colon cancer.

Guava

Guava is grown in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world.  The tree can reach a height of 4 to 7 feet.  The fruit is similar in size and shape to a typical lemon.  A typical guava fruit is about 3.5 inches long.  The unripe guava fruit is green in color; whereas, a ripe one can be green, yellow or maroon.   The maroon colored fruit (pink guava) is very rich in lycopene.  This tropical fruit has  small seeds that are dispersed in the flesh.  All parts of this fruit are edible, and like most fruits, guava is often eaten raw. It can also be consumed as jam or jelly.  Additionally, beverages can  be made from this tropical fruit.  Beverages from guava such as  agua freca are  popular in some parts of the world such as Mexico.  Apart from Mexico, guava is a common component of the diets in many countries, including Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Columbia, Venezuela,  India, Pakistan, Philippines, Taiwan, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Egypt and South Africa.

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Comments

Aug 12, 2012 10:40pm
nextyear
Very helpful. I like the way you put a bibliography on this article.
Aug 14, 2012 4:54pm
onwoc234
Thank you for reading the article.
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Bibliography

  1. Gutierrez R. M. et al. "Psidium guajava: A Review of Its Traditional Uses, Phytochemistry and Pharmacology.." J. Ethnopharmacol.. 117 (2008): 1 -27.
  2. Riccardi, G, and Rivellessem A. A. ". Effect of Dietary Fiber and Carbohydrate on Glucose and Lipoprotein Metabolism.." Diabetic Care. 14 (1991): 1115 -25.

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