Pineapple guava can have a wide range of health effects, including aiding weight-loss goals, improving digestion, lowering cholesterol levels, boosting the immune system, increasing bone strength, decreasing blood pressure, optimizing nutrient uptake, balancing the metabolism, increasing circulation, stimulating cognitive function and regulating blood sugar levels, among others. There are very few reported side effects, although allergies to this fruit do exist, and some reports of gastrointestinal distress and low blood sugar levels have been documented. That being said, for most people who consume this fruit in moderation, it offers far more health benefits than side effects!
What is Pineapple Guava?
Pineapple guava goes by another name in many parts of the world – feijoa. Scientifically known as Acca sellowiana, the plant that bears this fruit is a shrub or small tree native to regions in South America, including Argentina, Brazil and Colombia. It is now widely cultivated for its sweet fruit, as well as for ornamental purposes. The fruit is green and ellipsoid-shaped, and roughly the size of a plum or a small avocado. The unique flavor and impressive supply of nutrients make pineapple guava highly sought after, as it can have many different culinary applications, from an ingredient in smoothies to cocktails, desserts, chutneys and stewed fruit dishes.
Taste of Pineapple Guava
Pineapple guava has a very unique flavor, with sweet, tangy and bitter elements, which many people compare to guavas and pineapples, as the common name implies, but there is also a slight strawberry flavor. In some cultivars, there are very subtle notes of mint, which may increase as the fruit ripens. To ensure the best flavor and taste of pineapple guava, fruits should be collected the day they drop from the tree, as this indicates ideal ripeness. Before that, the taste is more bitter, whereas after the fruit falls, it can quickly become overripe and unpleasant to eat.
Nutrition in Pineapple Guava
Whether you are eating the fruit for its health benefits or its exotic taste, you will benefit from its impressive nutrient content. The calorie content per serving (100 grams) is only 55, which is unusually low. This tropical fruit also contains significant levels of vitamin C (more than 50% of your daily recommendation per serving), as well as a diverse selection of B vitamins and trace amounts of vitamin E, K and A. In terms of mineral content, pineapple guava contains moderate levels of copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, iron and calcium. A single serving of this fruit also delivers more than 15% of your daily recommended dietary fiber, in addition to various phytochemicals, phenols and antioxidants.
Benefits Of Pineapple Guava (Feijoa)
People who regularly consume pineapple guava will receive health benefits related to blood pressure, cholesterol, obesity, immune health, oxidative stress, metabolism, osteoporosis, indigestion, diabetes, circulation, cognitive function, and nutrient deficiencies.
With a strong supply of vitamins and minerals in the pineapple guava fruit, regular consumption can give your immune system a much-needed boost. Vitamin C is able to stimulate the production of white blood cells, the body’s first line of defense, while also acting as an antioxidant to seek out free radicals. A single serving of pineapple guava has more than 50% of your daily recommended vitamin C.
Regulates Blood Pressure
Potassium-rich foods are important for people who are suffering from high blood pressure, and are therefore at high risk of cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis and strokes. Potassium is a vasodilator, meaning that it can reduce the tension in blood vessels and arteries, and generally ease strain on the cardiovascular system.
High levels of dietary fiber (roughly 17% of your daily recommended fiber per serving) means that this fruit is able to optimize digestion by stimulating peristaltic motion and improving nutrient uptake. This can help soothe symptoms of indigestion, constipation, bloating, cramping and general stomach upset.
Besides improving digestion, dietary fiber is also directly linked with lower levels of cholesterol, particularly “bad” cholesterol that can increase your risk of heart disease. By scraping this cholesterol out of the arteries and blood vessels, you decrease your risk of blood clots, heart attacks and strokes.
The antioxidants present in pineapple guava have been associated with increased memory and retention, better focus, and a reduced risk of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The antioxidants can seek out and neutralize free radicals in neural pathways before they can cause the accumulation of plaque.
B vitamins are incredibly important for the overall functioning of the body, particularly when it comes to metabolic activities like synthesizing proteins and red blood cells, directing hormone production, stimulating nervous system function, generating energy within the cells. Fortunately, pineapple guava has moderate levels of numerous B vitamins.
Improves Bone Strength
With significant levels of manganese, copper, iron, calcium and potassium, this tropical fruit is very effective at boosting bone mineral density and helping to prevent the onset of osteoporosis as you age. This can increase your energy levels and keep you more active and able in your later years.
Research has shown that eating pineapple guava fruit is able to help regulate blood sugar levels, due to its low level of calories and carbohydrates, which can help regulate the production and release of insulin in the body.
Although there is a relatively small amount of iron in pineapple guava, it can still aid your red blood cell production and circulation, while the metabolic boost of vitamin B can also stimulate blood flow. This means increased oxygenation to critical areas of the body, and higher energy levels.
Promotes Weight Loss
There are only 55 calories in a 100-gram serving of pineapple guava, but a huge amount of dietary fiber and nutrients. Combined with the low carbohydrate level, this means that the body will feel full and access a significant supply of nutrients without tacking on too many calories or sugar to their daily intake. This can positively impact weight-loss goals and prevent overeating or snacking between meals.
How to Eat Pineapple Guava?
The skin of the pineapple guava fruit is edible, but many people prefer to cut the fruit in half, like an avocado, remove the seeds, and then scoop out the soft, sweet flesh with a spoon. However, simply slicing the fruit, without removing the skin, can deliver even more dietary fiber. The bitter flavor is primarily present near the skin of the fruit, so if you want a sweeter snack, remove the skin entirely. The fruit is at ideal ripeness when the seed pulp is completely clear.
Since this fruit tends to ripen very quickly, there may be some slight brownness or discoloration near the center, but this doesn’t mean that the fruit is rotten, and that creamy flesh is perfectly safe to eat. Avoid eating pineapple guavas that are more than half-browned inside, as these may have begun to spoil.