A tropical fruit that’s tastes delicious when stewed and added to salads, preserved as jams, baked into cakes, churned into ice cream, grilled along with cheese in sandwiches, or even stuffed into french toast, there are no limits to the versatility of guavas. And its nutritional quality has accorded it the title of a “superfood” in most nutritional circles. Here are all the health benefits this popular fruit provides.
8 Health Benefits of Guava Fruit and Leaves
- Aids Weight Loss
- Improves Skin Health
- Promotes Digestion
- Boosts Immune Function
- Relieves Menstrual Cramps
- Manages Blood Sugar Levels
- Protects Heart Health
- Prevents Cancer
If you’re on a diet, guavas might just be your new best friend. One medium-sized fruit only sets you back by 37 calories while offering you 12% (2.97 g) of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber slows down digestion and makes you feel full for a long time, keeping you from overeating. Besides, the low-calorie nature of guavas makes them a good snacking option that offers nutrition without packing on the pounds.
Include guavas in your skincare regime. They contain a host of vitamins and antioxidants that might aid skin health. Their antioxidant content, in fact, has been found to protect skin from damage and slow its aging process, in turn preventing wrinkle formation. In addition to this, guava extract has been found to treat acne and lower inflammation when applied directly to your skin. Another study, conducted in test tubes, found that guava extract effectively killed acne-causing bacteria. This could be due to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. However, further research is needed to fully validate this benefit.
Eating guavas regularly can keep your digestive health in check. As stated earlier, they are an excellent source of dietary fiber, 70% of which is insoluble. This type of fiber does not dissolve in water and can help food move through your digestive system, promoting regularity and helping prevent constipation. In addition to this, studies have found that guava extract may reduce the intensity and duration of diarrhea. Besides this, several studies have found that the antibacterial properties of guava extract neutralize harmful microbes in your gut that can cause diarrhea.
If you tend to fall sick each time there’s a slight change in the weather, adding guava to your diet might help keep the sniffles away. One medium-sized fruit contains 126 mg of vitamin C, which makes up for a whopping 140% of the recommended daily intake. This is almost twice the amount you would get from eating an orange. Vitamin C has been found to reduce the duration of a cold. It might also kill off bad bacteria and viruses that can lead to infections. And since vitamin C can be flushed out of the body easily, it’s important to get enough regularly through your diet.
If that time of the month is painful for you, stock up on some guava. Guava extract has been found to relieve the intensity of menstrual cramps, which is often the result of dysmenorrhea. A study, conducted in 197 women with painful symptoms, found that consuming 6 mg of guava leaf extract daily lowered the intensity of pain, more effectively than certain painkillers. Guava extract has also been found to relieve uterine cramps.
If you’ve been trying to manage your blood sugar levels, adding guava to your diet might be the key. Several test-tube and animal studies have found that guava extract improved blood sugar levels, promoted long-term blood sugar control, and increased insulin resistance. Studies involving humans have also shown similar benefits. One such study, conducted in 19 people, noted that drinking tea with guava leaf lowered blood sugar levels after a meal, with the effects lasting for up to 2 hours. Another such study noted that drinking this particular tea reduced blood sugar levels by more than 10%.
Including guava in your diet may help keep heart disease at bay. The high levels of antioxidants and vitamins in guava may help protect your heart from damage by free radicals. In addition to this, a medium-sized guava fruit offers 229 mg of potassium, which makes up for 6.54% of the recommended daily intake and has been found to lower the risk of heart disease. Moreover, the fiber in guava may lower the risk of coronary heart disease by 40%.
Besides this, guava extract has been found to lower blood pressure, decrease “bad” LDL cholesterol, and increase “good” cholesterol. And since high blood pressure and high levels of LDL cholesterol are linked to a higher risk of heart disease and stroke, consuming guavas regularly could protect your heart. Additionally, a 12-week study, conducted in 120 people, found that eating ripe guava before meals decreased blood pressure by 8–9 points. It also reduced total cholesterol by 9.9% and increased “good” HDL cholesterol by 8%. Similar benefits have been found in other studies as well.
In order to tell whether guava is ripe or not, stick your fingernail into its skin. If it goes through the skin easily, then the guava is ripe. But if it encounters resistance, then the guava isn’t ripe enough.
The antioxidants in guava may keep cancer and its development at bay. Guava extract has been found to, in test-tube and animal studies, prevent and even stop the growth of cancer cells. This could be due to the fact that its antioxidant-content keep free radicals from damaging cells, which is one of the main causes of cancer. One test-tube study found that guava leaf oil was 4 times more effective at halting cancer cell growth than certain cancer drugs. And although research has been promising, further studies are needed to fully validate this benefit of guavas. That said, adding them to your diet is bound to keep you healthy.
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