Guava: Health Benefits, Nutrition, & Uses

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated - Medically reviewed by Vanessa Voltolina (MS, RD)

Guava has many health benefits for you. It may help manage blood sugar levels, protects your heart health, and relieves menstrual pain. It may also regulate digestion, boosts immunity, and aids in weight loss. Guava may also help to improve skin health and provides relief from cough.

What is Guava?

Guava is a fruit cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions. The scientific name of the guava tree is Psidium guajava and it belongs to the myrtle family (Myrtaceae). It is believed to have originated in Mexico or Central America. It is now very popular in Asian countries and is also increasingly available in the US. [1] [2]

This seasonal fruit is round or pear-shaped. The skin of guava is green before it matures and can range from is light green, yellow, or maroon in color when it ripens. It has a white or a deep pink flesh, depending on its type, and has small hard seeds enveloped in its soft, sweet pulp. If you wonder what guava fruit tastes like, it has a floral taste, which is a cross between a pear and a strawberry. [3]

The common types include apple guava, pineapple guava, strawberry guava, lemon guava, red Malaysian, Mexican cream, and red apple guava.

Nutrition Facts

Guavas, common, raw
Serving Size :
Water [g]80.8
Energy 68
Energy [kJ]285
Protein [g]2.55
Total lipid (fat) [g]0.95
Ash [g]1.39
Carbohydrate, by difference [g]14.32
Fiber, total dietary [g]5.4
Sugars, total including NLEA [g]8.92
Calcium, Ca [mg]18
Iron, Fe [mg]0.26
Magnesium, Mg [mg]22
Phosphorus, P [mg]40
Potassium, K [mg]417
Sodium, Na [mg]2
Zinc, Zn [mg]0.23
Copper, Cu [mg]0.23
Manganese, Mn [mg]0.15
Selenium, Se [µg]0.6
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg]228.3
Thiamin [mg]0.07
Riboflavin [mg]0.04
Niacin [mg]1.08
Pantothenic acid [mg]0.45
Vitamin B-6 [mg]0.11
Folate, total [µg]49
Folate, food [µg]49
Folate, DFE [µg]49
Choline, total [mg]7.6
Vitamin A, RAE [µg]31
Carotene, beta [µg]374
Vitamin A, IU [IU]624
Lycopene [µg]5204
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) [mg]0.73
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) [µg]2.6
Fatty acids, total saturated [g]0.27
14:0 [g]0.02
16:0 [g]0.23
18:0 [g]0.03
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g]0.09
16:1 [g]0.01
18:1 [g]0.08
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g]0.4
18:2 [g]0.29
18:3 [g]0.11
Tryptophan [g]0.02
Threonine [g]0.1
Isoleucine [g]0.09
Leucine [g]0.17
Lysine [g]0.07
Methionine [g]0.02
Phenylalanine [g]0.01
Tyrosine [g]0.03
Valine [g]0.09
Arginine [g]0.07
Histidine [g]0.02
Alanine [g]0.13
Aspartic acid [g]0.16
Glutamic acid [g]0.33
Glycine [g]0.13
Proline [g]0.08
Serine [g]0.08
Sources include : USDA [4]

Guava Nutrition Facts

This popular fruit is a powerhouse of nutrients. As per USDA’s Food Data Central, guava is a good source of energy, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It contains vitamin C, A, E, B-vitamins, as well as potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, sodium, and zinc. Not only that, but a 100g serving of it also contains only 68 calories. This means that you can enjoy these fruits without worrying about your weight. [5]

Health Benefits of Guava

Let us look at the important health benefits of this tropical fruit.

May Have Antioxidant Properties

Guavas are known to be a possibly rich source of vitamin C, which helps to boost immunity. It can help boost the immune system. According to a study published in the Food Chemistry Journal [6], the antioxidants in this fruit may help defend the body against the proliferation of free radicals, which are one of the main causes of serious health issues.

The polysaccharides in guavas can help reduce the free radical activity and help in slowing down oxidative stress in the body. [7]

May Help Manage Blood Sugar Levels

Guava and its supplements may be helpful for people suffering from diabetes.

In a 2019 research, guava extracts have been found to aid in preventing the rise in blood glucose levels. The study also suggests that foods and supplements containing guava extracts can have the potential to avert insulin resistance. [8]

Another study mentions that guava fruit when consumed without its peel, may help in lowering blood sugar levels. Guava leaf tea is also considered useful for people with type 2 diabetes mellitus. [9] [10]

Many studies on animal models have shown that consuming guavas may help treat type -2 diabetes. However, more research is needed to confirm the entire scope of its benefits. [11]

A basket of fresh and ripe guavas with sliced guavas on a wooden table

Guavas can have a white or pink interior. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

May Protect Heart Health

Guavas may help in protecting your heart in many different ways.

The Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research [12] published a study in 2016, which suggests that having guava after removing its peel helps lower LDL or bad cholesterol levels. The results of this study also mention that guava also helps in increasing HDL or good cholesterol levels.

A 2016 study shows that guava leaves extract can help in regulating blood pressure levels. This extract has also been used by many rural African communities to manage hypertension. [13] [14]

May Improve Stomach Health

Guavas may help to treat many digestive problems like diarrhea and dysentery. Whether you chew on its leaves or eat the raw fruit, the astringent qualities add substance to loose bowels and reduce the symptoms of diarrhea.

Guava is one of the richest sources of dietary fiber amongst fruits, and its seeds are known to serve as excellent laxatives. These two properties may help the formation of healthy bowel movements, aid in retaining water in the body, and keep your intestinal tract in top-notch health. [15]

May Provide Relief from Cough

Research published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology on the anti-cough and antimicrobial activities of guava leaf extract, states that it is very helpful in providing relief from cough. [16]

May Reduce Menstrual Cramps

Research shows that guava leaf extract is likely to reduce the intensity of menstrual cramps.

A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology examined 197 women who experienced painful symptoms. Upon taking 6 mg of this leaf extract on a daily basis, it was observed that there was a stark reduction in the intensity of the pain. The study concluded that in many ways, the extract turned out to be more helpful than painkillers. [17]

May Aid in Weight Loss

Guavas are helpful for people wanting to lose weight. Studies suggest that the powder made from its leaves is also helpful in preventing obesity. [18]

It is possibly high in roughage (fiber), low in calories, has no cholesterol, and contains a small number of carbohydrates. This combination makes a filling snack that satisfies the appetite very easily.

May Aid in Skin Care

Guavas can improve the health of your skin and help you avoid skin problems. This may be chiefly due to the abundance of astringents that may be available in the fruit and its leaves.

The leaf extracts of this fruit have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, which help in treating acne. [19]

May Improve Oral Health

Guava leaf extracts may help in getting rid of dental plaque. But researchers say that more detailed trials are needed. [20] [21]

Health benefits of guava infographic

Guava is a fruit cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions.

Uses of Guava

There are plenty of ways to consume the fruit, ranging from it raw, juicing the fruit and drinking it as a beverage, to slicing it, putting it on top of ice cream to jams and jellies, or including it in your next veggie or fruit smoothie. Adding guava cubes to your salad can make a healthy breakfast, too. Here are a few suggestions on including guavas in your diet.

  • Make a cup of fresh guava tea by following this recipe.
  • Instead of your regular juice, make guava juice for breakfast this time.
  • Add guava cubes to your colorful salads.

Make sure you pick fresh, ripe guava that does not have any blemishes. Our guide on how to pick guavas will help you.

Can you eat guava seeds?

Yes, you can eat guava seeds without any negative effects. In fact, people intentionally eat the seeds because the high fiber content helps with digestive issues. If you want to reap the benefits of the seeds and not eat them, you can blend them into a juice or a smoothie. Guava ice cream is also a good idea to enjoy the fruit like a dessert.

Word of Caution: There are no known adverse effects of having guava and its supplements. However, medicines that have a huge concentration of guava extracts may not be suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Do consult your doctor before adding it as a supplement to your diet. [22] Protection Status
About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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