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15 Reasons To Eat More Guavas (We Didn’t Know The Leaves Were So Healing!)
Guavas have a very distinctive flavor and scent that doesn’t get nearly enough attention. This luscious little fruit is actually a super fruit because it has so many healthy compounds. Even the bark and leaves of the tree are loaded with health benefits.
As you can imagine, guavas are high in vitamins A and C, but did you know that one little guava has four times the vitamin C of an orange? It also has 10 times the vitamin A found in lemons.
Guavas contain almost no fat, but they do have plenty of potassium, fiber, calcium, and folate, and iron, phosphorus, along with vitamins B2, K, and E. Whew! How do they pack all that healthy goodness in one little fruit?!
Guavas can be consumed just as they are, right off the tree (organic of course!), and they make a super sweet juice that needs no sugar. You can also find guava jam, jelly, candies, and sauces.
If you haven’t tried guavas, or if you haven’t tried them lately, keep reading! We have 15 surprising things you never knew about guavas that will have you eating more of them. Even the leaves of the tree have things to offer us!
1. Help You Relax
Guavas are rich in a mineral that most Americans are deficient in — magnesium! Magnesium supplements are difficult for the body to absorb, which makes getting your daily requirement of magnesium easy, if you eat a few guavas. In today’s stressful environment, drinking guava juice or eating guavas can get you muscle-relaxing magnesium.
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2. Super Fruit for Pregnant Women
Guavas are loaded with folic acid, otherwise known as vitamin B-9, which is important for pregnant women. Folic acid is vital to the healthy development of your baby’s nervous system and for protecting your newborn from neurological problems. Eat a few guavas daily or drink a glass of juice each day.
3. Supports Oral Health
One of the major culprits behind poor oral health is dental plaque. The leaves of guava trees contain natural anti-plaque forming compounds that can treat existing, and prevent future, dental problems. Guava leaves have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and analgesic compounds that can reduce inflammation of the gums and give you clean, fresh breath. If you are lucky enough to have a guava tree, simply chew one or two of the younger, tenderer leaves each day. Alternatively, you can boil a half dozen mature leaves in about two cups of water for about five minutes. Cover and cool. Strain out the leaves and use this water as a mouthwash.
4. Supports Heart Health
The Journal of Human Hypertension published a study in 1993 finding that people who consumed guavas or juice had lower blood pressure levels and lower cholesterol levels than those who did not indulge. This is due to guavas’ high potassium compounds, vitamin C, and soluble fiber. Potassium binds with salt to remove it from the body, lowering blood pressure. Vitamin C is vital for keeping blood vessels flexible and healthy. Guavas that have pink flesh also contain lycopene, which is well-known for reducing heart disease. Even the leaves can fight cholesterol. Make a tea from the leaves to lower the bad (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides for super heart health.
5. Treats Constipation
Just one little guava will give you 12 percent of your daily recommended consumption of fiber. This makes guavas super for your entire digestive system, allowing your body to naturally detox itself. Guavas can help keep things moving along, if you know what we mean, and relieve constipation.
6. Controls Diabetes
Guavas have been used in Chinese medicine for the treatment of diabetes for thousands of years. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine published a study in 1983 finding that guava juice had a hypoglycemic effect, which is very useful for the treatment of diabetes. Guavas also have a low glycemic index and high fiber levels, making it the perfect fruit for diabetics. You can also drink guava leaf tea by boiling the leaves and drinking the tea twice a day for the prevention of diabetes.
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7. Stops Toothaches
Guava leaves contain analgesic compounds, which can stop common mouth pain, such as toothaches or canker sores. They also contain powerful anti-inflammatory compound. Make a tea by boiling a half dozen or so leaves in some water, then use the tea as a mouthwash after it cools. You can also try mashing the leaves with a bit of water until you have a paste, then apply the paste directly to the affected area.
8. Lowers the Risk of Cancer
The quercetin, lycopene, vitamin C, and high levels of polyphenols in guavas make them one of the most perfect anti-cancer foods on the planet. All of these compounds work in the body as potent antioxidants, neutralizing free radical damage in the body, which can lead to cancer. The journal Nutrition and Cancer published a study in 2010 which found that guava extract reduced the size of cancerous prostate tumors. Other studies have found that regular consumption of guava extract can reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Eating guavas or drinking guava juice regularly can help to prevent numerous other types of cancer including oral cancer, skin cancer, stomach and colon cancer, lung cancer, and breast cancer.
9. Treats Diarrhea
The Revista De Instituto de Medicine Tropical in Brazil published a study in 2008 which found that guava leaf extract inhibited the growth of a common type of bacteria that was behind diarrhea (staphylococcus aureus). If you are suffering from diarrhea, try drinking guava leaf tea two or three times each day until you get relief from your symptoms.
10. Supports Healthy Vision
For good eyesight, you need to consume vitamin A regularly. Guavas are a great source of vitamin A. This vitamin works to keep clear corneas and protects the cells in your eyes from damage. A deficiency in this important vitamin is associated with a disease called Night Blindness. Guavas also contain high levels of vitamin C, which improves the blood vessels that give the retinas oxygen. Regular consumption of this delicious fruit can also slow or prevent the development of age related macular degeneration and cataracts.
11. Supports a Healthy Immune System
Guavas, although they are small, are one of the richest sources of vitamin C on the planet. One medium guava has double the amount of vitamin C you need each day. Vitamin C is vital for your immune system to function properly. This fruit also has anti-inflammatory compounds that can help reduce symptoms of inflammatory conditions like arthritis.
12. Regulates Thyroid Health
One mineral you do not hear much about is copper — at least, not in terms of your health! Copper helps to control hormone production, as well as hormone absorption, which regulates the function of the thyroid gland. Your thyroid controls so many systems in your body, when it doesn’t function right, you can have numerous problems. Guavas are also high in potassium, which helps to support healthy thyroid function.
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13. Stimulates Brain Function
Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia are becoming more and more common in our modern world. If you want to retain brain function your entire life, eat more guavas! This super fruit is a powerful anti-inflammatory, which is known to play a part in the development of Alzheimer’s. Its high level of vitamin C and other antioxidants can nourish the brain and stimulate mental functioning. Guavas also have B6 and B3, which improve blood flow to the brain. To improve the electrical conductivity of the brain, you need potassium. Guava is a great source of this mineral as well, which is important for improving recall capacity and thinking skills. Give your brain what it needs, and eat guavas!
14. Gives You Beautiful Skin
If you want to have younger looking, more beautiful skin, you need plenty of antioxidants. You can get several types of powerful antioxidants in guavas. Antioxidants neutralize the damage that free radicals do to our bodies. Free radicals cause damage right down on a cellular level and have been associated with premature aging. Premature aging of the skin causes fine lines, sagging skin, and wrinkles. The vitamin C in guavas is vital for the production of elastin and collagen, which are the proteins that keep your skin firm yet flexible. Guavas with red flesh have especially high levels of skin protecting compounds. Enjoy some guavas or guava juice each day for improved skin health and look younger naturally!
15. They Taste Great!
Seriously, what good is any food, no matter how healthy it is, if you won’t eat it? Guavas can be purchased all over the world. If you live in a warmer climate, you can even grow your own tree. These little fruits are super tasty and make the tastiest juice ever. Try some guava juice for breakfast, and you will never go back to plain old orange or grapefruit juice again! If possible, choose the red guava (sometimes called pink) as this variety has even more powerful antioxidants and healthy compounds than the regular fruit.
You can’t beat guavas for super health and a super taste. It only makes sense — after all, these are super fruits we are talking about!