Guavas are a delicious fruit that is usually between the size of a golf and lacrosse ball. There are a few varieties of guavas but the most commonly available ones are greenish-yellow skinned guavas with either pink or whitish insides. Guavas are full of sweet pulp with little crunchy edible seeds on the inside and the skin is also edible, albeit a bit sour. To choose ripe guavas you want to choose ones that are firm but slightly soft to the touch, the insides will be softer than the protective skin. Guavas are very nutritious food, containing a little of almost all vitamins and minerals.
Nutritional Value of Guava
1 cup of guava
Fat: 2g / 2% DV
Carbohydrates: 24g / 8% DV
Fiber: 9g / 36% DV
Vitamin C: 377mg / 628% DV
Vitamin A: 1030 IU / 21% DV
Folate: 80.8mcg / 20% DV
Potassium: 688mg / 20% DV
Health Benefits of Guavas
- Guavas are a high source of folate! Folate is a vitamin helps produce DNA and RNA and works in part with vitamin B12 to form hemoglobin for red blood cells. This nutrient is especially important for pregnant mothers, without enough folate babies can be born with neural tube defects, like Spina Bifida. For those at risk of cardiovascular disease, consuming enough folate will help control plasma homocysteine levels.
- Potassium is an electrolyte that helps to regulate mineral and fluid balance inside and in extracellular fluid. It is also important for maintaining normal blood pressure by blunting the effects sodium/salt has on blood pressure. Furthermore, this is a very important mineral because it helps transmit nerve impulses, which signal muscle contractions. Getting enough potassium is especially important for anyone who is an athlete or is heavily exercising or spending long hours in hot environments.
- Vitamin A is a carotenoid that promotes good vision and is especially important for night vision. It also promotes healthy cells, skin and tissues in your body. Have healthy cells and skin barriers reduces your risk of getting infections. Additionally it helps regulate the immune system and fights free radicals as an antioxidant.
- This is also a fruit that has quite a bit of fiber and protein in it, which helps your stay fuller longer. Eating guavas can be a great part of your weight management plans.
Guavas and Vitamin C
Guavas contain 628% of your daily value for vitamin C in just one serving! Here are just a few of the ways vitamin C works in the body:
- Works as an antioxidant to slow damage caused by free radicals in body fluids.
- Improves the rate of healing for cuts and wounds.
- Helps protect you from infection and boosts immunity by signaling for antibodies.
- Iron and folate absorption is increased when consumed with vitamin C foods. If you are worried about anemia or iron deficiency, consume guavas with iron-rich foods.
- Helps improve oral health.
- Although vitamin C will not "cure" a cold, it does play an important role in fighting infections. Extra vitamin C may have a small antihistamine effect, which may in turn shorten the length of sick time and make the symptoms milder.
- Research is exploring if there is a link to reduced risk of cancer and cataracts with consuming vitamin C.
- Protects you from bruising by helping blood vessels and capillary walls stay strong.
- Plays a part in producing collagen, which is a connective tissue that holds muscles, tissues and bones together.
Emily DeLacey MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian and currently working in Jamaica as a HIV/ AIDS Prevention Specialist. She attended Central Washington University for her Bachelor's Degree in Science and Dietetics and continued on after her internship to Kent State University for her Master's Degree in Science and Nutrition, with a focus on public health and advocacy. She served as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Malawi 2012-2014 working as a Community Health Advisor in a rural village, immersing in the joys of life without electricity or running water. She has been to 20+ countries and 47 of the 50 states in the US. Traveling, adventuring and experiencing new cultures has made her a passionate advocate for the equality of nutrition and wellness for all people.