19 July 2008

Guava: A Natural Source of Disease-fighting Antioxidants

Recent scientific investigations have shown that guava, compared with other tropical fruits, is packed with high-grade antioxidants such as Vitamin C, lycopene, carotenoids and polyphenols.

Let us recall for a moment what these antioxidants do to our body.

Antioxidants are “superstar” chemicals recognized to help reduce the incidence of degenerative diseases such as arthritis, arteriosclerosis, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, inflammation and brain dysfunction. In addition, antioxidants were also reported to retard ageing.

Of course, we want to know how we can easily get hold of these friendly antioxidants from the “little” fruit we all are very familiar with.

Are you all excited? Here it goes…

To obtain these powerful benefits of antioxidants in Guava (Psidium guajava L.) -- which comes in a variety of shapes (round to oval) and colors (white to red), one should take the fruit when they are about to ripen for polyphenols, ripened for Vitamin C and the yellow to red variety for lycopene and carotenoids.

Hmmm…sounds really simple, ha. However, do we have a clue weather the guava we are taking is the quality that provides all these benefits?

Definitely, there is, my friends.

Good quality guavas should be firm and free of bruises. Ripe guavas should exhibit a fragrant fruity aroma. They will continue to ripen after harvest and should be stored at room temperature unless it is very ripe and should be refrigerated.

As a growing kid, back in the province and during my food biochemistry sessions in college, I am completely aware of the high amounts of Vitamin C in guava, but this additional information is certainly a new welcome to my ever growing functional foods dictionary.

What are you waiting for? Start loading your regular meals with guava to harvest these many health benefits.

And, YES! Don’t forget to leave your comments and reactions if you found this article at all useful.

Reactions:

14 comments:

  1. That reminds me, my father used to ask me to eat guavas regularly. We had a good bearing guava tree back then and it reminds me so much of good old innocent memories.

    You forgot to mention that guava leaves are also good for curing cuts and scratches. I used to chew the leaves and apply it as a paste. Funny times :)

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  2. Guava has very high potential. Recently, I went to Sitiawan, Perak, Malaysia. They have 1000 hector of pink large guava plantation supporting both local and Japan customers. The only problem is, it contains high sugar. Japanese companies even commercialized this guava with zero sugar to their customers.

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  3. I love guavas and I agree with all the health benefits it can give. Keep posting.

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  4. WOW! 1000 hectares of pink guava plantation, Atniz? That’s a ton of natural lycopene to devour on. This explains why guava is relatively abundant and oftenly offered as fruit selection in most Malaysian tropical fruit platter serving.

    I am sure Japanese are aware that guava contains only about 6% of total sugars. More than half of this is fructose (58.9%). Glucose is 35.7% while sucrose is 5.3%. It is for this reason why guava or other fruits taste sweet. In fact, sucrose, which is a disaccharide, contains both glucose and fructose. Fructose, again, is what makes it sweet.

    Fructose is what makes fruit taste sweet. It is the sweetest sugar, and is also found in honey. It's so sweet you only need to use about a THIRD of what you normally use, meaning LESS calories for us.

    Glucose provides us with natural, energy, and is found in some carbohydrate foods. It is also known as 'dextrose'. It is better to get our glucose naturally from carbohydrate foods than from sweets and sports drinks.

    Sucrose is the familiar stuff that comes in the packets and is found in cakes and biscuits. It is also commonly know as table sugar and a “sweet poison”.

    What is our take home message then?

    This level of sugar in guava is only realizable when the fruit is extremely mature. When it is freshly picked from the tree or when stored to maintain the original quality, it should not hurt that much.

    Thanks for droppin’ by!

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  5. Hey, Joy0z.

    Thanks much for the visit and the comment.

    Cheers!

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  6. Sounds like a stroll down memory lane, Marc…LOL.

    You are absolutely right, bro. Guava leaves are also good for curing cuts and scratches. For this particular article, however, we are keener on the antioxidant properties of guava, which are primarily found on the edible fruit.

    Thanks for swingin’ by and for helpin’ me recall some fun times and innocent memories.

    Chill!

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  7. We have a red guava in our garden. The fruits are so sweet and juicy when ripe so that I have to share them with the birds who flock there for their food. Not only do I get my daily dose of vitamin C and lycopene but also a feast for my eyes.

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  8. Not only that, Maria Linda. The birds will also share the next generation of sweet and juicy red guavas to your community.

    Cheers!

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  9. thanks for the info!
    really helped a lot for our investigatory project. Godbless!

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  10. Glad you found the article helpful in your current project.

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  11. where did you guys all grow up? Hard to get pink guavas here in New Jersey, USA (unlike Vietnam where I grew up).

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  12. I guess we are very lucky because we live in Asia, where pink guavas are relatively abundant.

    Try to make a transit visit to the Philippines once you come home to Vietnam so you can try a different variety.


    Thanks much for droppin’ by.

    Cheers!

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  13. Glad I found this blog, its got along of information that I haven't been able to find quality content like this in a while. It good to see someone who takes pride in their work, ill follow along with your posts from now on.

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