The potential health benefits of guava include its ability to help in preventing cancer, regulating blood pressure, and treating diarrhea. It also aids in weight loss, improves the skin, treats cough and cold, constipation, dysentery, and scurvy.
What is a Guava?
Guava is a sweet and delicious fruit cultivated in tropical climates. This seasonal fruit, scientifically known as Psidium guajava, is round or pear-shaped and is light green, yellow or maroon in color when it ripens. It has a white or maroon flesh, depending on its type, and has small hard seeds enveloped in its soft, sweet pulp. The common types of guava include apple guava, yellow-fruited cherry guava, strawberry guava, and red apple guava. It is mostly eaten raw (ripe or semi-ripe) or consumed in the form of juice, jams, and jellies.
Guava’s believed to have originated from Mexico or Central America. It is now very popular in Asian countries and is also increasingly available in American countries, particularly after its health benefits have been revealed.
What makes guava special is that increasing the shelf life of this fruit does not require excessive use of chemicals or pesticidesas in the case of grapes, apple, and other “exotic” fruits. It is one of the least chemically treated and sprayed fruits.
One of the most important benefits of adding guava to your diet is its ability to inhibit the growth and metastasis of cancerous cells. There have been numerous studies done in recent years on guava’s effects primarily on prostate, breast, and oral cancers. Guava leaf oil acts as an antiproliferative and has actually proven to be more effective than some leading modern medicines in reducing cancer cell growth.
Guavas are also rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that can reduce prostate cancer risk. The same antioxidant has also shown its efficacy in inhibiting the growth of breast cancer cells, though more tests are to be done to support this finding.
The naturally high content of vitamin C in guavas, which is four times higher than the content found in oranges (the traditional vitamin C powerhouse), helps boost the immune system. Antioxidants are the major lines of defense against the proliferationof free radicals in the body, which are one of the main causes of serious conditions like cancer and heart diseases. Therefore, adding guava to your diet helps you stay healthy.
The intake of guava can also help patients suffering from diabetes. High level of dietary fiber in it helps lower blood glucose levels in the body. Studies have shown that consuming it can help prevent the appearance of type-2 diabetes.
Guava is an extremely good source of vitamin A, which is well known as a booster for vision health. It can help slow down the appearance of cataracts, maculardegeneration, and improve the overall health of the eyes. It helps protect the cells in your eyes and can also prevent deterioration of eyesight.
Regulates Blood Pressure
Guava helps reduce cholesterol in the blood and prevents it from thickening, thereby maintaining the fluidity of blood and reducing blood pressure. Studies have shown that the food that lacks fiber (such as refined flour) adds to blood pressure. This fruit, being very rich in fiber and hypoglycemic in nature, helps reduce blood pressure.
Improves Thyroid Health
Guava is are a good source of copper, which is important for regulating metabolism by helping to control hormone production and absorption. The thyroid hormones play a significant role in energy regulation and metabolism in the body. So guava can help maintain your health in many ways.
Guava can outdo many fruits, including orange and other citrus fruits, in terms of its concentration of vitamin C. A deficiency of vitamin C can cause scurvy and the only known remedy for this dangerous disease is proper intake of vitamin C. In fact, guavas contain 4times more vitamin C than oranges, which are often heralded as the absolute best source of that beneficial vitamin.
Eliminates Diarrhea & Dysentery
Guava has astringent properties that help treat a number of digestive disorders like diarrheaand dysentery. Whether you chew guava leaves or eat a raw guava, the astringent qualities add substance to loose bowels and reduce the symptoms of diarrhea. These astringents are alkaline in nature and have disinfectant and anti-bacterial properties, thus helping cure dysentery by inhibiting microbial growth and removing extra mucus from the intestines. Furthermore, other nutrients in guava such as vitamin C, carotenoids and potassium, strengthen the digestive system while simultaneouslydisinfecting it. Guava is also beneficial in treating gastroenteritis for the same reasons stated above.
Guava is one of the richest sources of dietary fiber among fruits and its seeds serve as excellent laxatives. These two properties of guava help the formation of healthy bowel movements, aid in retaining water in the body; and thoroughly clean your intestines. It is said that constipation alone can lead to 72 different types of ailments, so any help for constipation is beneficial. Your overall health is affected undeniably by proper digestion, and more importantly, by proper excretion. Frequent consumption of guava can ensure both.
Improves Brain Health
Another tremendous benefit of guava is the presence of vitamin B3 and B6 in them. Vitamin B3 (also known as niacin) can increase blood flow and stimulates cognitive function, whereas vitamin B6 is a great nutrient for brain and nerve function. Eating guava can help relax the nerves and enhance concentration.
Treats Cough & Cold
Juice of raw and immature guavas, or a decoction of its leaves; is very helpful in relieving coughs and colds by reducing mucus, disinfecting the respiratory tract; throat; and lungs; and inhibiting microbial activity with its astringent properties. Guava has one of the richest sources of vitamin C and iron among fruits and both effectively prevent colds and viral infections.
In some areas of India, roasted ripe guava is used as a remedy against extreme cases of cough, cold, and congestion. Ripe guava should be avoided by people who are suffering from cough and cold, as it can exacerbate the problem. Also, avoid drinkingwater immediately after eating a guava as it can lead to a sore throat.
Guava is very helpful for people wanting to lose weight without compromising their intake of proteins, vitamins, and fiber. As guava is high in roughage, it has no cholesterol and has a low number of digestible carbohydrates. This combination makes a filling snack that satisfies the appetite very easily.
Guava, especially the raw one, has far less sugar as compared to apples, oranges, grapes, and other fruits. Add a medium-sized guava to your lunch and you will not feel hungry until evening. Ironically, it can also help lean and skinny people to gain weight. This is probably due to its wealth of nutrients, which regulates the metabolism and promotes proper absorption of nutrients.
Guavas can improve the texture of your skin. They can help you avoid skin problems better than beauty creams and skin toninggels. This is chiefly due to the abundance of astringents available in the fruit (with more astringents present in immature guavas) and in its leaves. Your skin can benefit from either eating the fruits (this helps tighten your muscles apart from your skin); or by rinsing your skin with a decoction of its immature fruit and leaves. It will tone up and tighten the area of loosened skin where it is applied. Guava’s rich antioxidants and detoxifying properties help keep your skin glowing and free from signs of premature aging, wrinkles, and other dermal disorders.
Reduces Oxidative Stress
Guava juice is rich in vitamin C and a number of other important phytonutrients that can help eliminate free radicals and slow down oxidative stress in the body. It is a very popular beverage in tropical and subtropical regions. Furthermore, guava juice can help balance blood sugar, thus lowering your risk of developing diabetes.
Apart from guava fruit, the leaves also have many benefits. The juice of guava leaves has been known to cure toothaches, swollen gums and oral ulcers, and it speeds up the healing process of wounds when applied topically. Finally, it reduces the frequency of convulsions, epilepsy, and bacterial infections.
When consuming guava for medicinal purposes, you must perform your due diligence, and be cautious while adding any new medicinal form of guava to your diet. It is better to stick to eating guava in its natural form as a raw fruit.
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