With the weather heating up and summer finally in session, my fruit obsession is officially in full swing. I have long been a fan of munching on cold and yummy fruits all summer long. Some of my favorites are papaya, pineapple, grapefruit, kiwi, and mango, to name a few.
One fruit I've long been neglecting, however, is guava. A friend of mine just came home from a 6 month stint in Mexico and wouldn't quit talking about this tropical fruit. To appease her, we went to our local grocery store so I could taste one of these fantastic fruits.
I bit into one and couldn't believe my taste buds. It was like a mix between a pear and a strawberry, two things I would have never mixed together before. Of course, tastes aside, I was curious about the nutritional benefits of this fruit. Were they just a tasty treat or did they pack an extra punch?
I quickly found that guava and guava juice are an amazing source of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Feel free to read on if you want to understand the full gamut of guava juice benefits!
What is Guava Fruit?
According to Wikipedia, guava is a tropical fruit that is native to Mexico, Central America and the northern part of South America. They were later adopted as a crop in other regions such as the southern parts of America, Asia and tropical Africa.
I was surprised to learn that there's more than one type of guava fruit. You can see a great photo display of some different types here. Four Winds Growers also provides a detailed rundown of the taste, shape and color of some different guava types. Some different types of guava include:
- Tropical White
- Tropical Pink
- Mexican Cream
- Red Malaysian
- Lemon Guava
If you're like me, you've likely seen a guava fruit before but weren't sure exactly what to do with it. Luckily my friend showed me a few different ways you can slice and eat them. It's easier than you think!
Check out the following YouTube video and see all the different eating styles for yourself. I was happy to find that you can just bite into one like an apple - super easy for a busy mom like me.
The best part is that when it comes to nutrition, guava fruit really stands out. According to San Francisco Gate, one guava fruit contains:
- 45 calories
- 1 gram protein
- 10 grams carbohydrates
- 5 grams dietary fiber
I love the mix of nutrients here. The perfect blend of protein, carbs, fiber and calories makes it a perfect snack and one I'll definitely be adding to my shopping list.
For today's purposes, I'd like to dig a little deeper and share all the amazing benefits that guava and guava juice have to offer you.
What are the Benefits of Guava Juice?
Guava is Loaded with Vitamin C
When it comes to vitamin C, I bet you always think of orange, right? One of the most surprising guava juice benefits is the amount of vitamin C this fruit packs. Guavas are said to have four times the amount of vitamin C as an orange. Crazy, right?
Surprisingly, guava actually tops the list when it comes to the highest dose of vitamin C. Next is sweet red peppers and then kiwi! I'm still not certain how oranges got the vitamin C claim to fame. They must have paid somebody off!
Vitamin C is an important vitamin and antioxidant when it comes to your immune system. On top of that, it's important for maintaining healthy tissues and helps you absorb iron better. According to the Mayo Clinic, adult women should have up to 75 mg daily while adult men should have up to 90 mg.
Studies prove that vitamin C does in fact slightly decrease the duration of common colds and illnesses. It also is a necessary part of your immune system which means lack of it can cause poor immunity.
According to San Francisco Gate, vitamin C isn't the only vitamin you'll find in guava fruit and guava juice. This tasty, beneficial fruit also provides:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B-6
Now that's what I like to call a vitamin smorgasboard!
Guava is a Powerhouse of Phytonutrients
Phytonutrients are natural compounds found in plants that provide immunity and protection for the plant, and for the human body. Phytonutrients aren't essential for keeping you alive like vitamins and minerals are, but they may help prevent disease and keep your body functioning properly.
There are thousands of phytonutrients with benefits ranging from cancer prevention and beyond. According to Dr. Earth, phytonutrients in guava also have antibacterial and antifungal properties that help fight off some common microbes.
Guava Has Cancer-Fighting Properties
Guava contains an important carotenoid called lycopene. Lycopene is something that gives red fruits and vegetables, like tomatoes, their color. Lycopene just so happens to also help fight off damaging molecules known as free radicals. As I've mentioned time and time again they are the molecules that move around in the body, disrupting our cell function and promoting disease.
Antioxidants like lycopene help annihilate free radicals so they can't damage cells and ruin our immune system. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine tells us that lycopene may help prevent numerous forms of cancer, especially:
- Prostate cancer
- Lung cancer
- Stomach cancer
Lycopene may also have an effect on breast, cervix, colon, rectum, esophagus, oral cavity and pancreas cancers. The PCRM goes on to say that lycopene may also lessen your risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering your "bad" (LDL) cholesterol and lowering your blood pressure.
Guava again tops the list when it comes to this important carotenoid. This was another surprise for me when looking into guava juice benefits. I couldn't believe tomatoes weren't number one source of lycopene. Guavas win again!
Did you know about the anti-cancer broccoli and sweet potato soup? Read more here
Guava Helps Control Blood Sugar
Guava and guava juice are low in sugar and high in fiber. What does this mean for regulating your blood sugar? It means eating guava will slowly, naturally and efficiently raise your sugar levels instead of providing that sudden spike that most unhealthy sugars will.
This LiveStrong article states that "the fiber in guava reduces the digestion of carbohydrates." This is because fiber is not digested by your body, it just passes through without messing with your blood sugar levels. Fiber actually helps negate the amount of carbohydrates you are processing.
As mentioned, one guava fruit contains just 10 grams of carbohydrates along with 5 grams of dietary fiber. This means there are only 5 grams of carbohydrates that will actually affect your blood sugar levels.
Guava Improves Oral Health
Studies show that guava can assist in preventing and breaking down plaque. Guava leaves have traditionally been used for oral hygiene and maintenance. Guava is also used in certain mouthwashes in order to fend off bacteria like E. coli.
The article goes on to state that the vitamin C and bioflavonoids in guava, when mixed with the liquid of root bark, can help speed up the healing process and is used for swollen or bleeding gums. According to Nature's Cures, chewing on guava leaves "is an excellent tonic for teeth and gums. It helps cure bleeding from gums...and stops halitosis (bad breath)."
Guava Maintains Eye Health
Guava is a great source of vitamin A. Vitamin A is involved in eyesight. According to NDTV, guava "can not only prevent degradation of eyesight, but even improve eyesight. It can help slow down the appearance of cataracts and macular degeneration." Although they don't have quite as much vitamin A as carrots do, they are still a decent source.
How Can I Get My Hands On Some Guava Juice?
Guava juice can be bought at the store or juiced right in your own home. If you already have a juicer, or decide to invest in one, you can begin enjoying the benefits of guava juice daily.
As a side note, always be careful when buying juices in a grocery store as many brands have added sugars or even high-fructose corn syrup. Make sure you are buying 100% all-natural, no sugar added juice.
Juicing a guava at home is simple and fun way to get your daily dose of vitamins and fiber from guava, without the added sugars.
The following YouTube video shows a live demo of juicing a guava at home. You don't even have to peel the guava before juicing it. Just slice them in half with the skin still on and toss the halves one at a time into your juicer.
When picking guavas to juice you want to make sure you choose firm guavas that are not too soft. Optimal juicing happens when you have firm produce.
Some people don't like guavas due to the amount of seeds they contain. Juicing can help you break down the seeds easily, making the fruit more enjoyable to consume.
Making Your Own Guava Juice
If you want to try a fancy juice concoction at home, check out this guava juice recipe below. You don't even have to have a juicer for this one, simply using a blender will work just fine.
The following is an amazing juice to try when dealing with the scorching summer heat. The ingredients include:
- 2 green guavas
- 1 lime
- A pinch of lime zest
- 2 tablespoons of honey*
*Honey is very important for the flavor of this drink. Taste the concoction before and after adding the honey and adjust as you like.
You'll first want to wash the guava and cut it into cubes. Then place it in your blender and add some water. Blend the fruit but not for too long as you don't want the seeds to become demolished for this recipe.
Next you'll want to strain the guava pulp with a metal strainer being sure to add a bit of water while straining. Then add your lime zest and squeeze the juice of the lime into the guava juice. Finally you'll want to mix in the honey.
Pour your guava juice concoction over ice and try serving it at your next backyard picnic. Your guests will enjoy a tasty treat and you'll be benefiting their health while you're at it. What a good friend you are! Make sure you explain all the goodness you learned about guavas today and send them over to my site if they are looking for additional ways to improve their life or their health.
The Last Word on Guava Juice
As you can see, no matter which way you slice and dice it, guava and guava juice are very good for you. Not only did you learn that there is more than 1 type of guava, you also learned the amazing nutritional benefits along with the health benefits you'll get from this amazing fruit. Some of these benefits include:
- Delivering a wealth of vitamins and phytonutrients
- Providing cancer-fighting properties
- Helping control blood sugar
- Helping improve oral health
- Maintaining eye health
With all this in mind, I regret not trying this tropical fruit sooner. I'm so glad my friend brought this secret home from Mexico and shared it with me. I actually invited her over later to enjoy some homemade guava juice with me. I may even sneak a little rum into mine, it's been a long week!
How about you? Are you ready to give guavas and guava juice a try? Guava juice benefits are tasty and numerous, it's truly a win-win for everyone. Give me a shout in the comments below after you try them for yourself!