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The Nutrition of Guava

Guava is a nutritious fruit which has numerous health benefits. It is considered a super fruit for its rich antioxidants, including vitamin C, polyphenols and caratenoids. The guava fruit is most plentiful in tropical climates such as Florida and Central America. It has a sweet flavor and ranges in color from green to red. You can drink the juice of raw guavas or guava leaves. You can also consume guava raw, as you would any other citrus fruit.

Fiber

Guavas is rich in dietary fiber. To get the most fiber from guava, make it into a pulpy juice or eat the raw guava fruit. The fiber in guava can help you to lose weight and reduce your cholesterol. Guava can help you to lose weight because it causes you to feel full, and it also reduces the absorption of saturated fats and cholesterol. It contains almost 9 grams of dietary fiber per medium sized guava. This is equivalent to 36 percent of the USDA recommended daily amount of dietary fiber.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an important antioxidant found in abundance in the guava fruit. Guavas contain even more vitamin C than oranges. One guava fruit contains approximately 377mg of vitamin C. Vitamin C supports your immune system by protecting it against pathogens and fighting disease. Just one guava provides you with more than 100 percent of the USDA recommended daily intake of vitamin C. Guavas average four to five times more vitamin C per serving than other citrus fruits.

Other Antioxidants

Guava contains both carotenoids and polyphenols. Carotenoids and polyphenols act as antioxidants and support your immune system by eliminating free radicals and protecting your body's cells against damage. Carotenoids are especially important for ocular health and skin health. Both carotenoids and polyohenols have also been thought to prevent certain types of cancer (especially breast cancer and skin cancer). These potent antioxidants are only found in plant sources. Look for guavas that are a reddish-orange color. These contain the most carotenoids and polyphenols.

Minerals

Guava contains important minerals, including potassium in the amount of 688 mg, which is 20 percent of the USDA recommended value. Guava also contains copper in the amount of  0.4 mg, which is 19 percent of the USDA recommended value. Potassium is important for a variety of metabolic functions in your body. It transmits brain signals and maintains your blood osmotic balance. Potassium also regulates your heart function. Copper is an important essential mineral that supports your vital organs, bones and tissue. Copper also helps break down enzymes in order for you to use nutrients more efficiently.

Eating just one serving of guava every day can increase your immune system function and your overall health. Try topping your salads with diced guava, or using guava juice in your smoothies.

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