A hidden gem!
Everyone is always searching for new fruits and veggies from exotic places that have high levels of antioxidants, and filled with vitamins, minerals, and low calories. Well, guess what? In about every grocery store I go to, I see guavas. And while I realize that they are decently exotic (compared to my New England ecosystem) they are readily available in even the coldest of areas, basically year round, and they are one of these super fruits that everyone is always looking for....right in your local grocers fruit section!
What is so great about guava?
Guava fruits are a yummy fruit that are decently sweet, and have 4 times the Vitamin C than oranges, with relatively low calories (112calories per serving). Guavas have tons of fiber 8.9grams per serving, which is pretty high for a fruit, and they also have a small amount of protein present (4.2grams) which is pretty good for a fruit, right? On top of which they have 20% of your daily needs for folic acid (all you pregnant ladies out there take note!) along with potassium, copper, manganese, and tons of minerals that are good for your body. The red/pink versions (apple guavas) have high antioxidant values, much more than the green apple guavas (as we all have learned, the more color, the more antioxidants!!) With all of these vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, and antioxidants present, no one can deny these tasty treats "super fruit" status!
What were they used for traditionally?
Many different cultures worldwide used guavas as a part of traditional medicine for many different reasons. They have been used to treat diarrhea and dysentery, along with fevers in many countries where they are traditionally grown (Caribbean, Mexico, South America, Central America, Southeast Asia, Africa). Ancient healers have also been known to try and treat diabetes with teas from the bark of the trees. As well, the bark has antimicrobial properties, so the bark was used to clean cuts and to heal various infections. How effective these treatments are in modern days, I am not sure, as we have many other ways to treat these ailments that are most likely superior, but it's good to know that in a pinch you can use guavas and the bark to suit your medical needs!
What are they being used for in modern medicine?
Guavas antioxidants are being studied for their use in fighting/treating cancer; extracts from the guava fruits themselves and the bark are being studied extensively. Not only are the cancer fighting effects being studied, which thus far has been positive, but still in the study phase, but the extracts are being looked at for their use in the treatment of bacterial infections, to find out exactly what bacteria they treat, along with their effect on inflammation and chronic pain. Again, all of these are in various phases of being studied, but the preliminary information is really positive, and you all know how I like to use natural treatments, when at all possible!
These super fruits really are truly amazing, and despite none of the studies being conclusive at this point, what I do know is that eating these yummy fruits are good for you, and chock full of vitamins and all sorts of good stuff. So, even if all of the studies are complete bunk, they are still a pretty tasty treat and you will get a power punch of fiber, vitamins and minerals. So instead of spending tons of money on the trendiest super fruit you hear about in the media, take a peak at the fruit section at your local grocery store and add it to your cart!
Yours in Good Health