14 Powerful Health Benefits of Guava

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

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The potential health benefits of guava are many and include its ability to help control blood sugar levels, regulate blood pressure, and provide relief from diarrhea. It further helps strengthen the immune system and digestive system. It also aids in weight loss, improves the skin, provides relief from cough and cold, dysentery, and scurvy.

Due to the unique and high concentrations of minerals and vitamins, guava can also help increase energy.

What is 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. It is light green, yellow or maroon in color when it ripens. It has 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. Guava is mostly eaten raw (when ripe or semi-ripe) or consumed in the form of juice, jams, and jellies.

Guava is believed to have originated in 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. Some say it has a floral taste, a cross between a pear and a strawberry.

What makes it special is that increasing the shelf life of this fruit does not require excessive use of chemicals or pesticides as in the case of grapes, apple, and other “exotic” fruits. It is one of the least chemically treated and sprayed fruits. Guava leaves also have many benefits as noted above, are used to make guava leaf tea and guava leaf juice.

Watch Video: 5 Best Benefits Of Guava


Nutrition Facts

Guavas, common, raw
Serving Size :
NutrientValue
Water [g]80.8
Energy [kcal]68
Protein [g]2.55
Total lipid (fat) [g]0.95
Carbohydrate, by difference [g]14.32
Fiber, total dietary [g]5.4
Sugars, total [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
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg]228.3
Thiamin [mg]0.07
Riboflavin [mg]0.04
Niacin [mg]1.08
Vitamin B-6 [mg]0.11
Folate, DFE [µg]49
Vitamin B-12 [µg]0
Vitamin A, RAE [µg]31
Vitamin A, IU [IU]624
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) [mg]0.73
Vitamin D (D2 + D3) [µg]0
Vitamin D [IU]0
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) [µg]2.6
Fatty acids, total saturated [g]0.27
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g]0.09
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g]0.4
Fatty acids, total trans [g]0
Cholesterol [mg]0
Caffeine [mg]0
Sources include : USDA

Guava Nutrition Facts

This popular fruit is a powerhouse of nutrients. As per USDA National Nutrient Database, guava is a good source of energy, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The guava fruit contains vitamin C, A, E, B-vitamins, as well as potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, sodium, and zinc.

Health Benefits of Guava

The traditional adage says, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” in Europe and America. Given the plentiful benefits of guava, the phrase can be probably changed to “a few guavas in the season keep the doctor away for the whole year,” in their native tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Let us look at the most important health benefits of this tropical fruit.

Antioxidant Properties

The naturally high content of vitamin C in guavas, four times higher than that found in oranges, helps boost the immune system. According to a study published in 2006, the antioxidants in the fruit help defend the body against the proliferation of free radicals in the body, which are one of the main causes of serious conditions like cancer and heart diseases.

Controls Diabetes

The intake of guava can also help patients suffering from diabetes. It contains a high level of dietary fiber, which has a beneficial effect on lowering blood glucose levels in the body. Recent studies in animal models have shown that consuming it may help prevent the risk of type-2 diabetes; however, more research is needed to confirm the entire scope of its benefits.

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

Regulates Blood Pressure

Research published in the American Journal of Cardiology found that guava helped reduce LDL cholesterol levels and blood pressure in study participants. The fruit, being very rich in fiber and hypoglycemic in nature, was also beneficial in helping to reduce blood pressure.

Improves Thyroid Health

Guava is a good source of copper, a mineral 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.

Fights Scurvy

As mentioned, guavas contain 4 times more vitamin C than oranges (oranges are often heralded as the absolute best source of this vitamin, but guavas beat them out!). According to a 2003 study published in Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, the deficiency of vitamin C can cause scurvy; the only known remedy for this dangerous disease is an adequate intake of vitamin C.

Eliminates Diarrhea & Dysentery

Guava has properties that are thought to help against a number of digestive disorders 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. These astringents are alkaline in nature and have disinfectant and anti-bacterial properties, thus helping against dysentery by inhibiting microbial growth and removing extra mucus from the intestines. Furthermore, other nutrients such as vitamin C, carotenoids and potassium, strengthen the digestive system while simultaneously disinfecting it. The fruit is also beneficial in cases of gastroenteritis for similar reasons to those stated above.

Relieves Constipation

Guava is one of the richest sources of dietary fiber amongst fruits, and its seeds serve as excellent laxatives. These two properties help the formation of healthy bowel movements, aid in retaining water in the body and keep your intestinal tract in top-notch health. It is said that constipation can lead to 72 different types of ailments, so any dietary source to relieve constipation is certainly beneficial! Your overall health is affected undeniably by proper digestion, and more importantly, by proper excretion. Frequent consumption of this delicious fruit can ensure both.

Improves Brain Health

Another tremendous benefit of guava is the presence of B vitamins, B3 and B6. Vitamin B3 (also known as niacin) can increase blood flow and stimulates cognitive function, whereas vitamin B6 is a nutrient correlated with brain and nerve function.

Relief from Cough & Cold

Research published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology on the anticough and antimicrobial activities of guava leaf extract, states that it is very helpful in providing relief from cold and cough. 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 is one of the richest sources of vitamin C and iron among fruits – both of which are nutrients effective in preventing or lessening colds and viral infections. In some areas of India, the ripened fruit is roasted and used as a remedy against extreme cases of a cough, cold, and congestion. The ripe fruit should be avoided by people who are suffering from cough and cold, as it can exacerbate the problem. Also, avoid drinking water immediately after eating the fruit as it can lead to a sore throat.

Health benefits of guava - infographic

Weight Loss

Guava is very helpful for people wanting to lose weight without compromising their intake of vital proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It is high in roughage (fiber), has no cholesterol and contains 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 many other fruits. Add it 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.

Skin Care

Guavas can improve the health of your skin and help you avoid skin problems. This is chiefly due to the abundance of astringents available in the fruit (more astringents are present in the immature variety). The skin can benefit from either eating the fruits or by rinsing your skin with a decoction of its immature fruit and leaves. It will tone and tighten the area of loosened skin where it is applied. The rich antioxidants and detoxifying properties are also thought to help keep skin glowing and free from signs of premature aging, wrinkles, and other dermal disorders.

Improves Eyesight

Guava is a good source of vitamin A, well known as a booster for vision health. It can help slow down the appearance of cataracts, macular degeneration, and improve the overall health of the eyes. It helps protect the cells in your eyes and can also slow the deterioration of eyesight.

Reduces Oxidative Stress

Guava juice is rich in vitamin C and a number of other important phytonutrients that can help reduce and even eliminate free radicals, slowing down oxidative stress in the body. It is a very popular beverage in tropical and subtropical regions.

Dental Care

Apart from the fruit, the leaves also have many benefits. The juice of guava leaves has been known to provide relief from toothaches, heal swollen gums and oral ulcers.

Uses of Guava

  • Guava leaves are used in the preparation of herbal medicines for several health issues, including diarrhea, diabetes, infection, and obesity.
  • Guava leaf tea has many benefits that include weight loss, managing diabetes, and preventing or lessening diarrhea. It can be prepared easily at home.
  • The leaves have been an important constituent in folk medicines as these contain palmitic acid and palmitoleic acid.
  • Guava speeds up the healing process of wounds when applied topically. It also reduces the frequency of convulsions, epilepsy, and bacterial infections.
  • Intake of guava seeds helps fight common problems like constipation and other gastrointestinal issues. It can help bulk up your stool and will pass through your system without any problem.
  • The fruit can be halved, then the fibrous center and the seeds removed. The fruit can then be used as a topping or eaten raw, made into candies or jellies, or blended in a fruit/vegetable smoothie. Alternatively, it can be juiced, making a delicious and healthy beverage.

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.

Click here to read more about how to eat guava and some recipes to try.

Note: Make sure you pick fresh, ripe guava that does not have any blemishes. Consume the fruit only after washing thoroughly.

FAQs

Can you eat guava seeds?

Yes, you can eat guava seeds without any negative effects. In fact, people intentionally eat the seeds because of the high fiber content help with gastrointestinal issues, such as constipation. They can help bulk up your stool and will pass through your system without any problem.

How to grow guava?

If you live in a tropical or subtropical region, growing your own guava tree actually isn’t that difficult. Guava trees respond very well to mulch, so clear out a 2-3 inch space in the soil where you can plant the tree. Then, water the tree once a week and fertilize it once a month. Adding more mulch may be required, but the tree should grow rather quickly. Thinning out excess branches can also promote more growth.

How many calories does guava contain?

One of the best things about guava is the low level of calories – there are only 38 calories in an average fruit. Given the impressive nutrient density of this fruit (also known as the number of minerals, vitamins, and phytonutrients relative to the low-calorie count) is what so many people love about it. It can provide energy and the nutrients needed to get through the day; without drastically increasing the number of calories you consume.

Word of Caution: Medicines that have a huge concentration of guava may not be suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women. It is always better to eat the fruit in its natural form. Do consult your doctor before adding it as a supplement.

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About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve is a health and wellness enthusiast and started working on Organic Facts since 2012 and is currently responsible for managing it. She follows naturopathy and believes in healing with foods. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University. 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. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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