Guava is a tropical fruit that is like the shape of pear, with green rind and pinkish or white flesh and small seeds. Some people say Guava is better than orange because guava contain more Vitamin C than citrus fruits (the edible rind contains a lot of it) and it contains appreciable amounts of Vitamin A as well. They are also a good source of iron and pectin, an enzyme used in making jams as well as promoting digestion.
Once they’re ripe, eat them quickly because they’re only at their peak for about two days. The guava leaf extract is also effective in treating gastrointestinal problems as it is rich in quercetin and other flavonoids. A drug used for the treatment of diarrhoea has been developed using guava leaves for this very reason. The bark extract is also supposed to protect the heart and improve its functionality and has been recently used to treat irregular heartbeats in South America. Guava leaves are also supposed to be good for weight loss.
Nutritional Value of Guava
Given below is the amount of nutrients present in 1 cup (165 gm) of Guava, apart from Iron and Folic Acid:
- Calcium – 50 mg
- Carbohydrates – 19.6 gm
- Fiber – 8.9 gm
- Niacin – 2 mg.
- Phosphorus – 48 mg
- Protein – 1.35 gm
- Total Fat – 0.9 gm
- Vitamin A – 412 IU
- Vitamin B – 1.15 mg
- Vitamin C – 498 mg
- Calories – 84
Guava are chemicals that fruit, leaves and bark of guava trees contain tannin. Guava leaves also contain various acids, such as acid ursolat, psidiolat, kratogolat, oleonolat, guajaverin.Guava beans also are rich in fiber helps prevent cancer known channel lower cholesterol and indigestion.
Guava fruit is rich in vitamin a, and vitamin c. A single guava has four times the amount of vitamin c as an orange. The ripe fruit is also a rich source of antioxidants. In addition the seeds have high levels of omega-3 and omega-6. Thus, very poor rural people can afford to cultivate or buy the fruit. It’s a nutrient dense fruit, making it a good dietary choice for the people of Honduras.
Here are the 16 health conditions which are targeted by the nutrients present in guava:
- Cancer Prevention: Guava is an excellent source of the cancer-fighting antioxidant, lycopene. Lycopene in guava is more easily absorbed by our body than lycopene from tomato becuase of the difference in the cell structure that allows the antioxidant to be absorbed whether the fruit is raw or cooked. Lycopene consumption is associated with significantly lower rates of prostate cancer, and it has also been found to inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells. Lycopene promotes good health by acting against the influence of “free radicals”, which can damage cells and can contribute to developing cancer and coronary Heart disease. All varieties of guava are loaded with antioxidants but the one with the red flesh type contains more than the white-fleshed apple guava.
- High Blood Pressure: Guava, being hypoglycemic in nature (if taken without skin) and fiber rich, helps in decreasing blood pressure and cholesterol levels. This makes guavas highly beneficial for those at risk for Heart disease and hypertension. Also, a medium guava (165 gm) provides you with 20 percent of the recommended daily value (DV) for potassium. Studies have shown that people who consume more potassium have lower blood pressures than those who consume less.
- Diarrhea: Guava has proved to be beneficial to individuals suffering from Diarrhea. Guava has astringents (chemical compound that tends to shrink or constrict body tissues, for example compounds those make your gums feel tighter and fresh after you eat a raw guava), which are helpful in binding up loose stools during the conditions of diarrhea. These alkaline compounds display antibacterial properties and have the ability to prevent microbial growth during dysentery. Other disinfectants present in guava include Carotenoids, Vitamin C and Potassium. These properties and ingredients of guava also support healing in cases of gastroenteritis.
- Cough and Cold: The decoction of guava leaves or the juices of raw or immature guavas bring relief to individuals suffering from cough and cold. This can be attributed to the astringent properties of guava juice. The juice works by loosening the cough, decreasing mucus and by making the respiratory tract, throat and lungs infection-free. Guava is also rich in vitamin C and iron, which provide protections against cold and viral infections.
- Skin Care: The astringents of guava enhance the skin texture and tighten loosened skin. In fact, guava works more effectively than any other skin nourishing lotions in the market. Decoction of immature leaves and fruits can be applied on the skin for tightening and toning purposes. Additionally, guava has high contents of vitamin A, vitamin C and Potassium, which are characterized by their antioxidant functions. These nutrients carry out detoxification processes and keep the skin healthy and wrinkle-free.
- Constipation: High amount of dietary fiber present in guava helps prevent constipation. A medium guava provides you with 36 percent of the recommended daily value for dietary fiber. Also, the seeds of guava are very effective laxatives. Both these attributes help in the formation of bowels and the cleaning up of the excretory system.
- Diabetes: According to a study conducted on rats, both the guava fruit and its leaves can help diabetic patients by lowering their blood glucose levels. However, if consumed along with its skin, it can be bad for your blood sugar. According to the research published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research and conducted by researchers at the Medicinal Research Laboratory of the University of Allahabad, blood sugar levels in rats injected with guava peel extract rose by 91% in sub-diabetic rats within two hours of administration and by 27% in normal rats after eight hours of administration. So, the best way to consume a guava for diabetics is to peel off its skin.
- Weight Loss: Guava forms an essential component of a weight loss diet. Guava is rich in fiber, proteins and vitamins and this implies that individuals looking to lose weight would not have to compromise on their intake of these nutrients! Guava with no cholesterol and low Carbohydrates, can still offer a feeling of fullness. A medium sized guava for lunch is enough to supply nutrition till dinner. Again, guava can help thin people Gain Weight. This can be attributed to its nutrients which aid in the better absorption process of the body.
- Scurvy: The Vitamin C content of a common guava (apple guava) is about four times than what we find in an orange. Thus, guavas are effective remedies for scurvy, which is characterized by swollen and bleeding gums due to deficiency of Vitamin C.
- Dental Care: The juice of the guava leaves containing astringents and vitamins is a remedy for toothaches, swollen gums and ulcers of the mouth.
- Anti-Ulcer : Study showed rats pretreated with P guajava extract from fresh tender leaves showed antiulcer activity in aspirin-induced gastric ulcer model with a significant reduction of ulcer index, pepsin activity, free and total acidity, volume and mucus content of gastric juice.
- Antioxidant / Hypocholeterolemic : A study done to determine the effects of guava consumption on antioxidant status and lipid profile in normal male youth showed a significant increase in level of total antioxidants and reduced oxidative stress and also increase the level of HDL cholesterol significantly.
- Phytochemical / Trypanocidal : Study showed that PG leaf extract possessed trypanocidal properties attributed to broad antimicrobial and iron chelating activity of flavonoids and tannins. Iron chelation was suggested as a effective way of killing trypanosomes.
- Nosebleeds: Densely roll the bayabas leaves and place into the nostril cavity.
- Vaginal wash: Because of antiseptic properties, warm decoction of leaves as vaginal wash (after childbirth) or douche.
- Cosmetic:Leaf extract used in skin whitening products.
The medicinal properties of the Guava fruit and Leaf:
1. Guava leaves and bark are used traditionally as a disinfectant and antiseptic for dressing wounds and sores
2. A decoction of Guava leaves is used for relieving tooth-ache and gum boils when used for gargling
3. The flowers of Guava are used for treating bronchitis
4. The Guava fresh leaf extract (decoction) is used to treat digestive disorders like diarrhoea and vomiting
5. Application of powdered leaves is believed to have soothing effect in rheumatic pains.
6. The fruit helps reduce high blood pressure.
7. It is also considered to increase the good cholesterol.
8. The guava leaf extract is also effective in treating gastrointestinal due to the presence of quercetin and other flavonoids.
9. The bark extract protects the heart and improve its functionality.
10. It is also used to treat acne and painful menses.
11. Guava bark is used medically as an astringent and to treat diarrhea in children,
12. The flowers are used to treat bronchitis, eye sores and to cool the body.
13. The fruit is also used as a tonic and laxative, and for the treatment of bleeding gums.
14. It is used to prevent and treat scurvy.
15. Use of the plant in treating malaria also finds mention in few reports.
16. Guava leaf tea is commonly used as a medicine against gastroenteritis (dysentry) and child diarrhea
17.The roots, leaves, bark and immature fruits are used for gastroenteritis as they are astringents.
18.The fiber content in guava controls blood pressure and cholesterol. As a result it is very beneficial for heart.
19.Vitamin C in guava fruit regulates heart beat and fights with free radicals. The potassium content and fiber in guava helps kidney in eliminating wastes.
20.Lycopene in guava reduces the risk of cancer.
21.Guava controls diabetes and it is good for constipation.
22.Apply the crushed leaves on wounds and aching places to get relief from pain.
23.Chew the leaves of guava after washing thoroughly to get relief from toothache.
24.The decoction of leaves of guava is a good remedy for cough and throat pain.
25.Gargling with the decoction of guava leaves relieves from swollen gums and oral ulcers.
26.The decoction is also beneficial for skin diseases and it is very useful in stopping the puking sensation.
27.In traditional medicine, the extraction of leaves is used to cure epilepsy and cholera. Convulsions in children can be treated by rubbing the stain on their spines.
28.In some tribes, the decoction of leaves and bark is used to expel the placenta after childbirth.