NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS OF GUAVA
Many people know the benefits of the guava fruit, but are unaware that its plant counterpart also provides several medicinal compounds. Guava leaves are full of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, antibacterials, and contains beneficial tannins. The guava plant (Psidium guajava) is native to Central America, Mexico, and South America and is now being grown in the tropics and subtropics of Africa, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Caribbean, and several other regions.
Guava has an incredibly high content of vitamin C. In fact, one guava fruit contains four times more vitamin C than an average-sized orange; and ten times more vitamin A than a lemon. Guava is an excellent source of fiber, almost 70 times more fiber than can be found in an orange. Other key nutrients are vitamins B2 and E, calcium, copper, folate, iron, manganese, phosphorus and potassium.
The high content of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in guava makes it a powerhouse in combating free radicals and oxidation that are key enemies that cause many degenerative diseases.
Cancer: The anti-oxidant virtue in guava’s are believed to help reduce the risk of cancers of the stomach, oesophagus, larynx, oral cavity and pancreas.
Cholesterol: The vitamin C in guava makes absorption of vitamin E much more effective in reducing the oxidation of the LDL cholesterol and increasing the (good) HDL cholesterol.
Constipation: The fibers present in guava promote digestion and ease bowel movements.
Diverticulitis: The insoluble fiber is beneficial in preventing and treating diverticulitis.
Vision: The high content of vitamin A in guava plays an important role in maintaining the quality and health of eyesight, skin, teeth, bones and the mucus membranes.
Dr. Dhyal Singh
Department of Zoology
Uttaranchal (P.G.) College of Bio-Medical Sciences & Hospital