The Guava is the fruit of the guava tree. With a rounded shape and green, yellow or purple skin, the guava has a succulent pulp that can be white, yellowish or reddish, depending on the variety, with numerous seeds. Its flavor, when ripe, ranges from sweet to slightly acidic.
Guava can be consumed fresh , which is the best way to obtain its nutritional benefits, in addition to being very tasty. It is also possible to prepare juices and numerous sweet recipes based on the fruit, such as the famous guava paste, puddings, mousses and pies. In this article, you will learn about the main health benefits of guava and will have answers to some frequently asked questions about this fruit.
Guava is a fruit native to South America and the Caribbean. Its scientific name is Psidium guajava , from the botanical family Myrtaceae . It is considered one of nature’s most complete foods, for having in its composition several essential nutrients for the maintenance of physical and mental health. Are present in the guava:
- Vitamin A (Retinol ). Nutrient that protects the corneas and is therefore very important for the maintenance of eye health. Contributes to the protection of skin and mucous membranes. Vitamin A also plays important roles in the growth process, as it is necessary for the development and division of the body’s cells, in addition to regulating the production of the growth hormone, GH.
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamin). Contributes to the proper functioning of the nervous and circulatory systems. It also works to prevent aging and improve brain functions, preventing and combating fatigue and depression.
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin). This vitamin helps in the processes that result in the protection and regeneration of the skin, in addition to being important for the production of adrenaline, a hormone with a neurotransmitter function. Prevents cataracts.
- Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid). A water-soluble vitamin that plays important roles in maintaining the connective system and strengthening the immune system. It also has an antioxidant action, facilitators of the absorption of iron by the body and is necessary for the production of certain amino acids.
- Calcium. Essential mineral for the formation of bones and teeth. It also acts on blood clotting, enzyme activation and muscle contraction processes.
- Phosphor. Essential element for the absorption of glucose, metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Lack of this mineral can cause memory loss, tachycardia and bone pain.
- Iron. Mineral responsible for the production of hemoglobin (red blood cells). It helps in the growth process, prevents physical exhaustion and anemia, in addition to strengthening the immune system.
- Magnesium. Magnesium is necessary for normal enzymatic action in the body and for bone growth. Lack of this nutrient can cause irritability, loss of appetite, drowsiness and muscle spasms.
- Potassium. Fundamental element for the processes of muscle contraction and conduction of nerve impulses. It also regulates heart rate and energy production by cells.
BENEFITS AND HARMS OF GUAVA
With such a rich nutritional composition, guava is a fruit that can bring many health benefits. But, can its consumption bring any harm? Ask your questions about the benefits and harms of guava.
- Strengthens the body’s immunity . A guava can contain up to four times as much vitamin C as an orange. The high concentration of this nutrient strengthens the immune system, thus helping to prevent infections by viruses and bacteria.
- Helps prevent many types of cancer. Because it contains antioxidant compounds such as vitamin C, lycopene and polyphenols, guava helps prevent breast, prostate, intestine and lung cancer, among others.
- Protects against premature aging. Guava has elements that help keep the skin young and healthy, such as vitamins A and C, carotene, lycopene and the aforementioned antioxidants. These substances help the body in its cell renewal process, preventing the appearance of wrinkles and expression lines.
- Prevents and fights cardiovascular problems. Potassium, which is abundantly present in guavas, is a fundamental nutrient for maintaining the health of the cardiovascular system. By balancing the amounts of potassium and sodium in the body, guava helps lower blood pressure, lower levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol (the “bad cholesterol”), in addition to increasing “good cholesterol” (HDL).
- It is a good food for eye health. As a source of vitamin A (although it does not surpass the champion carrot), guava cannot be missing from the menu of those concerned with maintaining eye health. Remembering that vitamin A is responsible for preventing macular degeneration, cataracts and night blindness.
- Prevents constipation. Rich in fiber, guava contributes to good intestinal functioning. This is because the fibers provide water retention in the intestine and increase the volume of the fecal bolus, accelerating the elimination of feces. We will answer later the question “guava holds the intestines? ”.
- Decreases stress. The mineral magnesium, found in guavas, is essential to maintain a good mood and allow muscle and nervous relaxation.
- Friend of diabetics. Because it has a low glycemic index and is high in fiber, guava helps diabetics avoid insulin and blood glucose spikes. Recent studies indicate that guava may also have a preventive effect against type 2 diabetes.
Some nutritionists claim that guava can be harmful to people prone to constipation, as it reduces bowel movement, delaying its emptying. But this cannot be taken as an absolute truth, since, as explained above, the consumption of fiber is essential for the proper functioning of the intestine. To avoid constipation, the ideal is to associate the consumption of fibrous foods, such as guava (without exaggeration), with an adequate intake of water.
DOES GUAVA HOLD THE INTESTINES?
In cases of diarrhea, guava can help to “trap the bowel”, by increasing water retention in the bowel, normalizing bowel movements.
DOES GUAVA MAKE YOU FAT?
The answer is no. We can say that guava is not fattening. It is a low-calorie fruit (100 g contains an average of 68 calories) and rich in fiber, two factors that make it a good food for anyone looking to lose weight.
Exchanging industrialized cookies, cakes and sweets for a guava at snack time is an excellent option for those who want to lose weight. In addition, the high fiber content of guava produces a prolonged feeling of fullness, helping to control hunger between meals.
White guava is preferred on the foreign market, while red is the most traded and consumed in Brazil. After all, what differentiates red guava from white? In nutritional terms, only red guava has lycopene, a substance that helps neutralize free radicals in the body. But in relation to other elements, white guava has in its composition more vitamin C, A, Potassium and Phosphorus than the red variety.
Guava is a candy made from ripe guava, sugar and water. The consistency varies from the hardest, cut, to the creamiest, to be eaten with a spoon.
About its origin, it was created in colonial Brazil, when Portuguese colonists replaced quince with guava in the preparation of marmalade (a traditional Portuguese sweet).
The cascão guava is made of guavas with the skin, which gives it a different texture from the sweet prepared with the peeled fruit. It is much appreciated and considered more nutritious, as it contains more fiber, vitamins and minerals than common guava, although it has a large amount of refined sugar.
It is believed that guava cascão was created by slave cooks in Minas Gerais in the first half of the 19th century. According to this version, the sweet prepared for you was made with peeled and seedless guavas. These despised parts were reused by slaves when preparing guava for their own consumption.
GUAVA LEAF AND BARK PROPERTIES
The guava tree is not only used for its fruits. Its leaves and bark are used in natural medicine, as ingredients for the preparation of teas and tincture for external and internal use.
The guava bark tea has antiseptic and healing properties, being indicated for skin injuries. Guava leaf tea can be used to treat thrush and other vaginal infections, applied in the form of showers or sitz baths.
Guava leaf tea can also be taken to treat a variety of problems. However, it must be remembered that it is advisable to consult the doctor before consuming any new medication, even if it is a natural tea. In the case of children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with chronic diseases, prior consultation with the doctor is essential.
THE GUAVA LEAF TEA IS INDICATED FOR:
- Lower LDL levels, the bad cholesterol.
- Treating diarrhea.
- Reduce menstrual flow.
- Improve liver function.
- Lower blood sugar without increasing insulin production.
- Treat food poisoning, stomach pain, nausea and vomiting.
- Treat sore throat through gargling.
- Assist in the elimination of mucus by the body, in cases of flu and colds.
As we have seen, guava is a fruit that cannot be missing from the diet of those seeking to have better physical and mental health. And the best part is that it is easy to find, at the fair or supermarket, at affordable prices. It’s healthy, cheap and not fattening. Long live the guava!
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