Botanical name: Psidium guajaba L.
Other names: Goyave, Guyaba, Guayaba, common guava
Guava is the fruit of the guava tree, Psidium guajaba L., a tree of the botanical family Myrtaceae, which reaches up to 6 meters in height.
What are the properties of Guava fruit
• Guava contains carbohydrates in reasonable amounts, representing about 6% of its total content.
• It contains proteins and fats in very low amounts, representing less than 1% each.
• Guava is highly noteworthy of its supply of vitamin C. Giving about 183 mg/ 100 g, it becomes one of the richest fruits in this vitamin. Only the acerola fruit and brier hip are richer than guava in vitamin C. The presence of some organic acids such as malic and citric acid present in guava, facilitate the absorption of vitamin C, as well as giving the fruit its acidic taste. Just a single guava of about 100 g of weight, ” provides three times the daily recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C”.
Other vitamins present in guava in significant amounts are vitamin E and the B group vitamins with only the exception of vitamin B12.
• Guava contains minerals in significant amounts such as iron, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium. Trace elements such as manganese, zinc, and copper are also present in reasonable amounts. Of all these minerals, potassium is the most abundant.
• It contains vegetable fiber composed mainly of pectin and mucilage, and most of which are soluble. This vegetable fiber represents about 5.4% of its total content.
What are the health benefits / medicinal uses of guava fruit
The medicinal values of guava are quite many. Below are some of its medicinal indications:
A study conducted in India found out that after adding guava to the diet of 61 patients of hypertension for about three months, lowered their systolic and diastolic blood pressure by 9 mm/Hg and 8 mm/Hg respectively. Even though the exact component of guava that is responsible for its hypertensive effect is not known, but it is being associated with the fact that guava contains very low sodium and high potassium content.
• Excess cholesterol
From the experiment conducted in India above, it was noticed that there is an overall 9.9% reduction of cholesterol and 7.7% reduction in triglycerides in the blood. This lipid reducing effect of guava is due to its richness in soluble vegetable fiber, which helps ‘clean’ the intestine and facilitates the elimination of cholesterol and biliary salts (which produce cholesterol) through feces.
• Physical fatigue
Guava has an ability of making someone to feel healthy and full of energy. This is mostly important in cases of fatigue and weakness caused by an illness.
Guava is well known for its effect in preventing the risk factors that cause arteriosclerosis such as high cholesterol level and hypertension. Thus, guava is considered an excellent fruit in maintaining a good and healthy arteries.
• Nicotine addiction
The very high amounts of vitamin C found in guava helps neutralize the effect of nicotine. Nicotine which causes hardening of arteries can be neutralized with the consumption of guava like two-three pieces a day. This also can be very beneficial to those who are ready to quit smoking.