Fruit of The Week: Guava

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Guava is a tropical fruit and is in season in Nigeria. It is quite similar in shape to pear and has a rind that is green in color and changes to yellow when it becomes over-ripe. Inside the rind, which is consumed along with the fruit and not peeled, there is flesh that is either white or pinkish/reddish in color. You can find lots of small hard seeds enveloping the soft and sweet pulp of the fruit.

Guavas are rich in vitamins A and C, and if the seeds are eaten too, Omega-3 and Omega-6 and especially high levels of dietary fibre. A single Apple Guava (P. guajava) fruit contains over four times the amount of vitamin C as a single orange (over 200 mg per 100 g serving) and also has good levels of the dietary minerals, potassium, magnesium, antioxidants and essential nutrients.

Benefits of Antioxidants
Antioxidants are substances or nutrients in our foods which can prevent or slow the oxidative damage to our body. When our body cells use oxygen, they naturally produce free radicals (by-products) which can cause damage. Antioxidants act as “free radical scavengers” and hence prevent and repair damage done by these free radicals. Health problems such as heart disease, macular degeneration, diabetes, cancer etc are all contributed by oxidative damage. Indeed, a recent study conducted by researchers from London found that 5 servings of fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of stroke by 25 percent. Antioxidants may also enhance immune defense and therefore lower the risk of cancer and infection.

For Example: In your body, the antioxidant process is similar to stopping an apple from browning. Once you cut an apple, it begins to brown, but if you dip it in orange juice, which contains vitamin C, it stays white.

Health and Nutrition Benefits of Eating Guava

  1. Guava is a very good source of vitamins, fibers as well as minerals.
  2. Being rich in Vitamin C; guava is effective in treating male infertility caused by sperm clumping, adhesion and other abnormalities.
  3. Guava has been associated with healing of wounds, when applied externally.
  4. Guava has general haemostatic properties and can be used for treating bleeding nose, gums and minor internal hemorrhaging.
  5. Guava helps cure dysentery, by inhibiting microbial growth and removing extra mucus from the intestines.
  6. Guava helps the body in combating free radicals produced during metabolism and aids in preventing age-related chronic diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, cataract and rheumatoid arthritis.
  7. Guava is one of the richest sources of dietary fiber and thus, is good for those suffering from constipation.
  8. Guava strengthens and tones up the digestive system and even disinfects the same.
  9. Guava, having high content of roughage, no cholesterol and less digestible carbohydrates, is good for those trying to lose weight.
  10. Guavas can improve the texture of skin and help avoid skin problems. For the purpose, you can either eat it raw or make wash your skin with a decoction of its immature fruits and leaves.
  11. Juice of raw and immature guavas or decoction of guava-leaves is known to bring relief in cough and cold. Researches have shown that guava is pretty effective in preventing cancer and even heart diseases in people. The presence of complex carbohydrates and dietary fibers in guava makes it effective in lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
  12. The presence of Vitamin C and other phytonutrients, such as caretenoids, isoffavonoids and polyphenols, in guava has led to it being an effective antioxidant.

Guava has been found to be beneficial for people suffering from the following ailments:

  • Acidosis
  • Asthma
  • Bacterial Infections
  • Catarrh
  • Congestion of the Lungs
  • Convulsions
  • Epilepsy
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Obesity
  • Oral Ulcers
  • Poor Circulation
  • Prolonged Menstruation
  • Scurvy
  • Swollen Gums

After reading the benefits of guava – please run to your closest fruit vendor to pick up a dozen or two while the season lasts.

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