Learning guava fruit facts is essential if you plan to use the popular tropical treat to fortify your diet.
Guavas are bountiful in tropical locales, such as Hawaii, Brazil, and Mexico. However, you can also find the fleshy fruit in warm regions of the continental United States, such as California and Florida. The guava is likely indigenous to Central America and Mexico, though thanks to Spanish and Portuguese explorers, the fruit later became a cash crop in India and other Asian countries.
The most popular varieties of guavas include:
- Strawberry: Shaped like a ball, the strawberry guava has pink or red flesh and a rough, yellow rind. It has a sweet, musky flavor, somewhat similar to a strawberry. The fruit can be eaten raw, seeds and all, made into jelly, or squeezed for juice.
- Common: The common guava has a bit of an oval shape. It has pale yellow skin and white, yellow, or pink flesh. Like the strawberry guava, the common variety has a sweet taste and a woodsy scent. The common guava grows in trees, which bear fruit as well as white decorative flowers.
Top Guava Fruit Facts
In parts of the Bahamas, a myth exists that ghostly spirits come out at night to eat guavas because of their exceptional taste. However, the living, especially vegetarians, swears by the guava's outstanding nutritional value. Guavas are often categorized as a superfruit given their high amounts of:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
- Dietary fiber
- Folic acid
There are also a host of health benefits associated with consuming guavas.
If you are looking to boost your antioxidant intake, you can't do much better than adding guavas to your diet. The skin of the guava as well as its pulp are loaded with natural antioxidants, including the potent lycopene, which may protect against breast and prostate cancer. In addition, guavas are an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin A. In fact, a medium-sized guava contains four times the amount of vitamin C and beta carotene than an average orange contains.
Constipation and Diarrhea Relief
In many parts of the world, doctors recommend guava seeds to relieve constipation. The seeds are one of the richest natural sources of dietary fiber and serve as an exceptional laxative when ingested whole. In addition, guavas are chock-full of astringents, which bind loose bowels and can stop diarrhea. The astringents inhibit bacterial growth and help remove extra mucus from the intestines so they can function properly.
Many people swear by the guava fruit's ability to treat diabetes. The fruit's leaf extract has been shown to exhibit blood glucose-lowering effects, which aid individuals with type-2 diabetes.
Reduce High Blood Pressure
Many doctors also recommend guavas to patients who need to reduce their cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Some properties in guavas, including fiber, help prevent blood from thickening and may reduce blood pressure.
Other Helpful Guava Fruit Facts
Guavas are quite tasty and extremely versatile. In addition to eating them whole, you can juice guavas or use them for a variety of other purposes:
- Puréed, as a filling in desserts
- Added to breads and muffins
- Cut up and dipped into a mixture of soy sauce and vinegar
- Quartered and sprinkled with a pinch of salt and pepper
- Sliced into a fruit salad
The health benefits associated with guava consumption are vast and varied. With all of its outstanding traits, it's easy to see why millions of vegetarians make guavas an essential part of their diets.