Guava is another tropical fruit rich in high-profile nutrients. With its unique flavor, taste, and health-promoting qualities, the fruit and leaves easily fits into the category of new functional super fruits
It is an evergreen, tropical shrub or small low-growing tree probably originated in the central Americas. Guavas actually thrive well under both humid and dry climates and can tolerate brief periods of cold spells, but can only withstand a few degrees of frost.
Botanically, this wonderful fruit belongs to the family of Myrtaceae, of the genus: Psidium. Scientific name: Psidium guajava.
During each season, a guava tree bears many, round to ovoid or pear-shaped fruits, each about 5-10 cm long and weigh around 50–200 g. Different cultivar types of guava grown all over the world which may vary widely in flavor, pulp color, and seed composition.
The fruit is soft when ripe with sweet musky aroma and creamy texture. Internally, its flesh varies in color depending up on the cultivar and may be white, pink, yellow, or red. Ripe fruits have a rich flavor with a sweet-tart taste. Each fruit contains numerous tiny, semi-hard edible seeds, concentrated especially at its center.
Guava is low in calories and fats and carry several vital vitamins, minerals, and polyphenolic and flavonoid compounds that play a pivotal role in the supporting healthy living.
The fruit is a very rich source of soluble dietary fiber (5.4 g per 100 g of fruit, about 14% of DRA), which makes it a good bulk laxative. The fiber content helps support the colon function.
Guava-fruit is an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin-C. 100 g fresh fruit provides 228 mg of this vitamin, more than three times the required DRI (daily-recommended intake). Flesh just underneath its thick outer rind composes exceptionally higher levels of vitamin-C than its inner creamy pulp.
It is essential for collagen synthesis within the body. Collagen is one of the chief structural protein in the human body necessary for maintaining the integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones.
The fruit is a very good source of Vitamin-A, and flavonoids like beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and cryptoxanthin. The compounds are known to have properties essential for optimum health. Further, is also critical to maintaining healthy mucosa and skin.
100 g of pink guava fruit provides 5204 µg of lycopene, nearly twice the amount than in tomatoes. (100 g tomato contains 2573 µg of lycopene). Studies suggest that lycopenein pink guavas helps maintain healthy skin.
Fresh fruit is a very rich source of potassium. It contains more potassium than other fruits like banana weight per weight. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps maintain heart rate and blood pressure function
Further, the fruit is also a moderate source of B-complex vitamins such as pantothenic acid, niacin, vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin E and K, as well as minerals like magnesium, copper, and manganese. The human body uses manganese as a co-factor for the enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper required for the production of red blood cells.