By Sean Zucker –
Summer may be over and fall’s crisp pumpkin spice season at hand, but it’s still easy to reminisce about brighter, warmer days, especially if there’s a sweet tropical treat nearby, like guava. A common fruit native to Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and northern South America, guava are recognized by their neon green outer shell and eye-catching pinkish core. What’s less known to many is this tasty treat has been coveted for centuries by locals for its diversity and nutritional benefits.
Those in the know, however, acknowledge that Guava’s unique draw begins with its taste. Digital powerhouse Insanely Good Recipes may have summed it up best when it described guava as having a: “sweet and flowery flavor with a crunchy, grainy, and pear-like texture. Some say it is a cross between a pear, a mango, and a strawberry, while others say it’s a combo of a grapefruit and a pear. I say it’s delicious.” If that’s not enough, the site goes on to praise the fruit’s robust texture and fantastic aroma.
Okay, so it looks, smells and tastes great. There’s more. Guava apparently is loaded with antioxidants and vitamins, making it a perfect immune refresher and disease fighter. Healthline, for one, highlights Guava’s incredibility high levels of Vitamin C and the various benefits that provides. One guava, in fact, holds about double the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C, which is nearly twice the amount contained in an orange. That’s big news since healthy levels of Vitamin C can reduce the risk of infections and illness, as well as helping the body’s ability to fight off colds.
Healthline praise of guava nutritional potency didn’t end with Vitamin C. The sites adds that the fruit’s burgeoning range of antioxidants can do wonders for a person’s skin, especially aging skin. The fruit’s antioxidants protect skin from damage, while simultaneously slowing down its aging process and helping to prevent wrinkles. Its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties may even help treat acne, though Healthline notes more research is needed to confirm.
Due to guava’s high fiber count and low calories, it offers a boost in digestive health and may support weight loss. Shape reports one cup of guava includes only 112 calories but nearly 9 grams of fiber. While this level of fiber would help anyone and optimize their digestion system, Shape also applauds Guava’s ability to provide massive relief to sufferers of irritable bowel syndrome by contributing to a healthy gut microbiome.
“In regard to weight loss, fresh fruit like guava contains high amounts of dietary fiber—especially pectin—a soluble fiber that can help you to feel full and regulates the digestive system, moving waste through the body quickly and encouraging elimination,” Eliza Savage, a dietitian told Shape, “When a sweet craving hits, guava is a naturally satisfying, healthy alternative to typical sugar-sweetened treats, and provides a variety of health benefits.”
Still not convinced that Guava is the real deal? It may even fight cancer, at least according to a 2012 study published by the American Association for Cancer Research found that some properties of guava can block signals in the body that lead to the development of tumors. This report was preceded by a study out of Kyung Hee University in South Korea that linked guava extract with slowing down, possibly even stopping, cancer cell growth. Kyung Hee attributed this phenomenon to the fruit’s high levels of powerful antioxidants, which can prevent free radicals from damaging cells, one of the main causes of cancer.
The Food Network even signaled its endorsement of guava, noting its wide-ranging versatility was its most underrated trait. It backed up this claim by listing an array of related recipes that included everything from guava-based empanadas to guava grilled cheese. The famed channel also highlighted guava’s ability to compliment sweets such as pound cake and tropical sundaes.
For those keeping score, this quirky fruit tastes great and can make you feel better, look better, lose weight, build immune systems and perhaps fight cancer. Perhaps then, a trip to Guava Island is in order.