Health Benefits of Guava
Many of you might have tasted this mouth-watering treat, or at least have seen it or heard about it. Guava is very common in Asian countries. It is a good looking pear shaped or round shaped seasonal fruit, light green or yellow or maroon in color from outside when ripe, with white or maroon flesh and lots of small hard seeds enveloping very soft and sweet pulp. It is eaten raw (ripe or semi-ripe) or in form of jams and jellies.
This attractive fruit is a real storehouse of nutrients. If it is “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” in Europe and Americas, it must be “A few guavas in the season keeps the doctor away for the whole year” in the Indian Subcontinent and places where guavas grow. Its scientific name is Psidium Guajava.
Health benefits of guava
Let me share some of its brilliant health benefits with you.
Weight loss: Guava is very helpful for those who want to lose weight without compromising with their intake of proteins, vitamins and fiber. Guava, being very high in roughage and very rich in vitamins, proteins and minerals, but with no cholesterol and less digestible carbohydrates, is very filling and satisfies appetite very easily. Guava, especially raw guava, also has far lesser amounts of sugars as compared to apple, orange, grapes, and other fruits. Just have a medium sized guava in the lunch and you will not feel hungry till evening. But ironically, it helps gaining weight in lean and thin people. This is probably due to its richness in nutrients, which keeps your metabolism right helping proper absorption of nutrients.
Diarrhea & dysentery: Guava is very rich in astringents (compounds those make your gums feel tighter and fresh after you chew guava leaves or eat a raw guava or use some toothpaste) which binds up loose bowels in diarrhea. These astringents are alkaline in nature and have disinfectant and anti-bacterial properties, thus help cure dysentery by inhibiting microbial growth and removing extra mucus from the intestines. Further, other nutrients in guava, such as vitamin-C, Carotenoids and potassium strengthens and tones up the digestive system and disinfect it. Guava is also beneficial in gastroenteritis due to reasons stated above.
Constipation: Guava is one of the riches sources of dietary fiber. Its seeds, if ingested whole or chewed, serve as excellent laxatives. These two properties of guava help forming bowels, retaining water and clean your intestines and excretory system thoroughly. It is said that single constipation can lead to seventy two types of ailments. It is absolutely true. Every way to your total health goes through proper digestion and more importantly, proper excretion. Guava ensures both of these.
Cough & cold: Juice of raw and immature guavas or decoction of guava-leaves is very helpful in giving relief in cough and cold by loosening cough, reducing mucus, disinfecting the respiratory tract, throat and lungs and inhibiting microbial activity due to its astringent properties. Guava has one of the highest quantities of vitamin-C and iron among various fruits. Both are proven to be preventive against cold and viral infections. In some areas in India, roasted ripe guava is used as a remedy against extreme cases of cough and cold and congestion. Ripe guava should be avaoided by people who are suffering from cough and cold. One should also avoid drinking water immedaitely after eating guava as it can lead to soar throat.
Skin care: Guavas can help improve your skin texture and avoid skin problems more than the best of beauty creams or skin toner gels can do. This is chiefly due to the abundance of astringents in its fruits (more in immature ones) and in leaves. You can benefit from it either by eating the fruits (this help tighten your muscles apart from your skin) or by washing your skin with the decoction of its immature fruits and leaves. It will tone up and tighten the loosened skin. In addition to the astringents, guava is very-very rich in vitamin-A, B, C and potassium which are very good anti oxidants and detoxifiers and keep your skin glowing and free from aging, wrinkles and other disorders.
High blood pressure: Guava helps reduce cholesterol in blood and prevents it from thickening, thereby maintaining fluidity of blood and reducing blood pressure. Studies have shown that food stuffs which lack fiber (such a refined flour) add to blood pressure, due to quick conversion to sugar. Guava, being very rich in fiber and hypoglycemic in nature, helps reduce blood pressure.
Scurvy: Guava can outdo many other fruits, including orange and other citrus fruits, when it comes to concentration of vitamin-C, whose deficiency causes scurvy and which is the only remedy to it. It contains five times the vitamin-C in oranges.
Other benefits: Where to begin? Shall I start with the fact that guava helps control diabetes, protects prostrate, its Lypocene reduces the risk of cancer, the juice of the leaves cures toothache, swollen gums & oral ulcers, heals wounds when applied externally, convulsions, epilepsy, bacterial infections and so on and so forth.
Source of photos: sxc.hu and PhotoXpress.com