A large number of studies have shown that Guava can be effective in preventing or treating several health conditions such as anemia, diabetes, cancer, bladder infections, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, indigestion and heart disease. This article will concentrate on the health benefits of Guava in detail. But before we do that let’s look at the nutritional value of this wonderful fruit:
What is Guava?
Guava is a small, sweet fruit, which grows on a tropical tree. Guava is a healthy fruit because it contains high levels of vitamins C and A. Guava fruits are eaten raw or cooked in various dishes from all over the world. Guavas are used in making delicious ice creams, juices and jams too. At times, they are also preserved for winter consumption. The fruit can be eaten fresh or dried as well.
Many health benefits of Guava are attributed to the high content of Vitamin A in it. The fruit is rich in antioxidants that help to fight free radicals which cause cell damage that leads to ageing and many other health problems like cancer and heart diseases.
Nutritional Content of Guava
Guavas are very rich in dietary fiber and minerals such as magnesium, iron, potassium and calcium which makes it a healthy choice for people with constipation problems or stomach disorders.
The fruit also contains good amounts of vitamin C and vitamin B6 which can help to improve your overall immune system and keep you away from respiratory infections. It also contains some protein content and can be useful for people with low protein diets.
Guavas contain antioxidants which help to protect our body from free radicals which can cause cell damage and eventually lead to premature ageing and various health problems like heart diseases and cancer.
The antioxidants are also effective in lowering blood pressure levels. Antioxidants can also prevent cardiovascular diseases like stroke by preventing cholesterol accumulation in our arteries. Antioxidants can also prevent kidney stones by neutralizing oxalic acid that has been linked with the formation of kidney stones.
The niacin in guavas helps to maintain a healthy digestive system by increasing the secretion of digestive enzymes from the stomach lining thus promoting healthy digestion. Niacin also helps to lower blood cholesterol levels by increasing its excretion from the body through urine thus reducing your risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases like heart attack or stroke. Niacin also helps to reduce your risk of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease by slowing down the breakdown of brain cells due to its ability to increase blood flow into the brain tissues.
Magnesium present in guavas helps to regulate nerve impulses throughout your body thus improving your overall nervous system health. Magnesium also helps in relaxing your muscles thus preventing muscle spasms. Magnesium is also known for its anti-clotting properties. The magnesium present in guavas lowers blood pressure levels by relaxing your blood vessels thus increasing blood flow throughout your body which reduces your risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases like stroke or heart attack. Magnesium is good for bone development especially during pregnancy since magnesium helps in regulating calcium metabolism throughout our body thus reducing our risk of suffering from osteoporosis.
Potassium found in guavas helps to balance out our electrolyte levels throughout our bodies thus preventing muscle cramps or seizures. Potassium is also helpful for maintaining healthy heart rhythm since it lowers blood pressure levels by helping remove excess sodium from our bodies. Potassium is an important mineral for pregnant women since it contains nutrients necessary for bone development especially during pregnancy. This mineral has also been linked with lowering your risk of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease since it slows brain cell degeneration due to its ability to increase blood flow into brain tissues. In addition, potassium helps to maintain normal body temperature since it regulates heat production by combining with sodium erythorbate thereby increasing heat production when needed.
Folic acid present in guavas helps you fight anemia effectively. It also improves the growth speed of infants during pregnancy and prevents birth defects such as neural tube defects (NTD) like spina bifida that occurs when babies do not develop their spinal cord properly while developing inside their mother’s womb. Folic acid has been linked with lowering your risk of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease since it slows brain cell degeneration due to its ability to increase blood flow into brain tissues. It also lowers homocysteine levels (an amino acid) within our bodies since folic acid plays a major role in breaking down homocysteine into harmless amino acids. This process is necessary because high levels of homocysteine have been linked with increased risks of suffering from cardiovascular diseases like heart attack or stroke along with certain types of cancers especially colon cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer.
Guavas contain tryptophan, an amino acid that induces sleep naturally without any side effects due to its high safety level, unlike other sleep inducing drugs such as benzodiazepines (liquor) or barbiturates (sleeping pills). This property makes this fruit very useful as a natural remedy against insomnia for adults as well as children who cannot fall asleep easily at night. Tryptophan found within guavas boosts serotonin production within our brains (a chemical messenger substance) which induces relaxation thereby aiding sleep naturally without any side effects whatsoever like those caused by taking sleeping pills containing harmful chemicals that lead you feeling groggy after waking up even after having taken only one pill per night. Furthermore, tryptophan promotes repair within our brains resulting from stress-induced damages caused by overwork resulting into memory impairment, anxiety attacks, mood swings and depression.
Indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a compound found within guavas can help fight breast cancer effectively since it acts as a phytoestrogen which has anti-carcinogenic properties within our bodies. I3C also suppresses estrogen production within women who have excessive estrogen resulting in breast cancer. I3C works on eliminating harmful estrogens such as estradiol (E2) since these estrogens promote growth within breast tissue resulting in tumorous growth. I3C has been proven effective at inhibiting breast tumor growth along with preventing recurrence despite taking Tamoxifen therapy.
Saponins found within guavas have anti-inflammatory properties hence they are very beneficial for people suffering from inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Saponins found within guavas help stimulate new bone growth along with new skin tissue regeneration. They have anti-cancer properties too that help prevent tumor growth. They even help stimulate production within white blood cells along with antibodies thus fighting infections more effectively. These saponins are especially good at destroying free radicals that can cause cell damage leading to premature ageing. They can even reduce lung inflammation caused by respiratory ailments such as asthma and bronchitis. These saponins are very effective at reducing colitis symptoms. They stop diarrhea caused by colitis too! This research carried out on animals suggests that saponins found within guavas may be helpful against HIV infection.
Manganese found within guavas helps promote new bone growth along with new skin tissue regeneration due to its ability to stimulate collagen production throughout our bodies resulting in stronger bones along with healthier skin. Manganese found within guavas protects us against osteoporosis since it prevents calcium deficiency throughout our bones leading to weaker bones because calcium deficiency results in weaker bones. Manganese plays an important role in metabolizing fats. It acts through activating enzymes needed for fat metabolism – lipases. Manganese acts through activating more than 50 different enzymes due their importance in synthesizing proteins, fats, carbohydrates and nucleic acids. If you combine manganese deficiency with iron deficiency then this will result in poor protein synthesis resulting in weak muscles. Manganese works synergistically with other minerals such as zinc and copper.
More generally speaking, Guava is useful in the following conditions:
The anti-inflammatory properties of guava are mostly due to its antioxidant content. It is rich in flavonoids called quercetin and kaempferol which are known for their anti-inflammatory properties.
These flavonoids are also found in red wine and green tea. Antioxidants can shield your body from free radicals that cause inflammation. Consuming guava regularly will help prevent and treat inflammation associated conditions like arthritis and asthma.
It has been shown that compounds found in guava have anti-cancer activity on colon cancer cells effectively killing 90% of them without any toxic effects to normal cells. The study was published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer in March 2014. Another study showed that guava leaves contain chemicals that can kill cancer cells without harming normal cells. These natural cancer fighting properties could be attributed to the presence of phenolic acid, quercetin, gallic acid, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), and epicatechin gallate (ECG). These compounds are natural polyphenols that can kill colon cancer cells without harming healthy cells or harming the body’s immune system. This makes it a natural cancer treatment option for people who cannot tolerate chemotherapy or radiation therapy because it does not cause adverse side effects or toxicity to the body like conventional chemotherapy drugs do.
Boosts the Immune System
The high vitamin C content in guava makes it a potent antioxidant that strengthens your immune system by increasing antibody production against bacteria and viruses. It also helps fight off common colds due to its high vitamin C content while helping you recover faster as well as ward off other infections caused by bacteria like pneumonia. Aside from vitamin C it also contains many other antioxidants which include beta carotene, cryptoxanthin, alpha carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, lycopene, ferulic acid, quercetin etc., that help fight off free radicals and boost your immunity against infections. In fact Guava is an excellent fruit for sick people because it helps ease symptoms of coughs due to its expectorant properties which loosen up mucus making it easier to cough out and get rid of phlegm.
Other Health Benefits of Guava
Guava is effective against cough and colds, especially in children. The vitamin C and pectin in guava prevent the virus from entering the body. It is also effective against influenza and tonsillitis.
Guava contains vitamin C, which is an anti-inflammatory agent that slows down the production of prostaglandins. As a result, it helps in reducing inflammation and pain in the throat. Guava is also effective against sore throats and pharyngitis. It also helps to combat the symptoms of colds, flu and tonsillitis by reducing fever, reducing inflammation and pain.
Guava is useful for weight loss. It is rich in antioxidants, like vitamin C and lycopene, which can help you to lose weight. The fruit also contains a high amount of dietary fiber (1.9 gm per 100 gms) and helps to keep your digestive system healthy.
Guava improves insulin sensitivity and helps to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. This makes it an excellent choice for people who are suffering from diabetes.
The fruit helps to lower bad cholesterol (LDL) levels. It also regulates the levels of good cholesterol (HDL). Studies have shown that guava prevents heart diseases and atherosclerosis.
Guava is rich in vitamin K, which can help to prevent cancer of the pancreas, liver, colon and breast cancer. It has also been found to be effective against leukemia and brain tumors. In addition to this, guava contains a high amount of carotenoids, including beta-carotene and lutein. These compounds can protect you from various types of cancers. They also reduce your risk of developing heart disease by preventing the oxidation of blood vessels.
Studies have shown that guava is rich in antioxidants like flavonoids and phenolic acids that prevent cell damage caused by oxidants or free radicals. It also contains a compound called lignin peroxidase that prevents lipid peroxidation in the body and protects your cells from damage caused due to free radicals or oxidants.
Guava is an excellent source of vitamin A, C, E & B2 (Riboflavin). Vitamin B2 plays a crucial role in the production of red blood cells in our body. Guava is also rich in minerals like copper, phosphorus, potassium, calcium & iron. The high amount of copper present in this fruit can help to stimulate the production of red blood cells as well as hemoglobin in our bodies while iron helps to boost our energy level by transporting oxygen throughout our body.
The high amount of dietary fiber present in guava helps us feel full without increasing our calorie intake significantly. This makes guava an excellent choice for people who are trying to lose weight or simply want to maintain their ideal weight as it helps us feel fuller for longer duration without increasing calorie intake significantly as well as boosts digestion and prevents constipation.
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