What Is Guava?
Guava is a tropical fruit that grows in dry or humid heat. Both the fleshy fruit of the guava plant and the leaves are edible, with the fruit most often eaten as a snack and the leaves commonly boiled into an herbal tea.
The texture of guavas is similar to pears but with a little more crunch. They have a sweet, tropical flavor that instantly takes your taste buds on an island vacation. But hidden inside this sweet snack are a number of health benefits.
Guava Health Benefits
Guava is loaded with nutrients. Not only does it have more vitamin C than oranges, but guava is also rich in other antioxidants and has been shown to have a number of health benefits. Here are just a few of the benefits of eating this tropical fruit.
Studies also show that guava leaf extract can help reduce the intensity and duration of diarrhea. People with certain digestive disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome, may benefit from adding guava to their diet.
Relieve painful periods
Women who have painful menstrual cramps may want to give the guava leaf a try. One study found that guava leaf extract was more effective than painkillers at dealing with menstrual cramps.
Improve your immune system
Guava is bursting with vitamin C, which is critical for maintaining immune health. Studies show that vitamin C can reduce the length of a cold’s duration and fight bacteria.
Guava Leaf Tea Benefits
Several lab and animal studies have been conducted with guava leaf tea. This research has revealed a few potential health benefits associated with drinking guava leaf tea.
Scientists have studied the traditional use of guava leaf tea as a diarrhea treatment and found substantial evidence in its favor.
Lowering blood sugar
The polyphenols in guava leaf tea have been shown to regulate the absorption of carbohydrates from food. This effect is especially beneficial to some people with diabetes. Drinking guava leaf tea after meals can help suppress blood sugar spikes and has not shown to interact negatively with medications people with diabetes may be taking.
Several lab studies of various guava leaf extracts, including guava leaf tea, have demonstrated antibacterial and antifungal properties. There are several compounds in the leaves that may contribute to these properties including flavonoids, tannins, and acids (gallic and betulinic).
One guava contains more than twice the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. In addition to its high vitamin C content, guava is also packed with other nutrients, including:
- Vitamin A
Nutrients per serving
One whole guava contains:
- Calories: 37
- Fat: 0.5 gram
- Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
- Sodium: 1 milligram
- Carbohydrates: 8 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Sugar: 5 grams
- Protein: 1 gram
One guava makes up one of the 4-5 recommended servings of fruit per day. Like many fruits, guava has a significant amount of sugar in it, and it’s important to moderate your sugar intake. Too much sugar in your diet can lead to problems, including weight gain and tooth decay.
How to Eat Guava
To eat guava fresh, cut it in half. You can then either cut it into slices the way you would an apple, or scoop out the fleshy part of the guava fruit with a spoon like an avocado. Guava rind is edible, but some people don’t enjoy the taste.
In addition to eating guava fresh, you can also use guava in recipes.
Fresh guava goes great in smoothies, salads, juices, and salsas. Guava can also be cooked and is used in a number of baked goods, including:
- Breakfast cakes