11 things you need to know about Guava
by Federico Lancieri
Guava, on the outside, looks bright green and hardy, while the flesh is white or pink.
It grows in tropical and sub tropical areas. I ate it in Singapore for the first time and I don’t find it easily in Italy. Probably its origins are Latin America and it was imported by the Spanish in the Philippines and by the Portuguese in other South East Asian countries during their colonial period.
In Singapore is very common and they sell it very well wrapped in a plastic tray, together with a small packet of a strange powder.
You have to be somehow trained to eat guava, so please read this blog before eating it!
11 things you need to know before eating guava
- You eat Guava with a powder of salt and plum sugar. First you have to cut the guava in slices, the same way you would cut an apple then you sparkle the plum powder on it.
- Honestly, the juice is better than the fruit itself, which is not very tasty. No wonder, they sell the fruit with the dressing. I really go crazy for the sweet and sour combination.
- Particularly good in winter (if you don’t live in singapore, where we don’t have seasons) as it has a high content of vitamin C, as much as 4 time the amount in the orange. It is then a very effective immunity booster.
- Guava is good for pregnant women for its content of folic acid.
- Guava has a low glicemic index and prevent the development of diabetes. Traditional chinese food therapy recommends guava juice three time a day before meals for diabetes.
- Needless to say, it is very low in calories, which doesn’t surprise me, as it is almost tasteless (the fruit, not the juice). They say it makes you loose weight if you eat a lot of guava instead of sweet, yummy and unhealthy food. Would you?
- It is a good source of fibers. It is very useful in case of constipation.
- Guava leaves are anti-inflammatory and anti bacteria. Guava leaves, cooked to a thick paste, are used to heal tooth pain, swollen gums and open wounds. I think that a regular visit to the dentist is more effective, though.
- It has high content of pectine and therefore it is used to cook jams and jellies as setting agent.
- Guava has also a high content of vitamin A and therefore it is well known to be a booster for vision health. It should even improve eyesight. Vitamin A helps also as an anti-aging agent to prevent wrinkles. Some say that you can even cook, mash, and apply to your face as a beauty mask. We haven’t tried it though cause were not in big need of taking away wrinkles!
- Guava seems to lower the risk of cancer:
“Lycopene, quercetin, vitamin C and other polyphenols act as potent antioxidants which neutralise free radicals generated in the body, preventing the growth of cancer cells. Guavas have shown to be widely successful in reducing prostate cancer risk and also inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells since it is rich in lycopene”, Dr. Manoj K. Ahuja says .
- Tate, Desmond. Tropical Fruit. Singapore : Tien Wah Press, 2002.