Nutritional qualities and Benefits

Good news about the guava!

It is an exceptional source of the antioxidant Vitamin C, beating even oranges and lemons. One hundred grams of guava provide you with 151.4 mg of Vitamin C; the same amount of orange contains only 39.6 mg and 32.6 mg for the same amount of lemon. Compare this with the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for Vitamin C which, according to the Linus Pauling Institute, should be 90 mg/day for male non-smokers and 75 mg/day for female non-smokers and 125 mg/day for male smokers and 110 mg/day for female smokers.

Health wise, you'll be better off having a glass of guava juice or GJ than OJ for breakfast. Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, scavenges or feeds on free radicals that damage the cells of the body, thus protecting our body from the development of cancer and other serious and debilitating diseases. Vitamin C also makes it possible for the body to synthesize collagen, which is necessary for our blood vessels, skin, organs and bones.

One hundred grams of guava provide you with 10 mg Vitamin A, which is vital for maintaining good eyesight especially in older people, and 6.8 grams of dietary fiber, which is 68 times the fiber provided by oranges. In contrast, there are less than 3 grams fiber in 3/4 cup cooked oatmeal or a spinach, tomato, cucumber and broccoli. The appreciation of the connection between fiber and good health is growing. Fiber helps maintain regularity, prevent constipation and prevent colon cancer. It also helps keep our heart healthy by controlling the levels of our blood pressure and cholesterol.

The Vitamins A, B, C, potassium and astringents in guava are good for our skin, keeping it healthy, clear and free from wrinkles. (Guava tea made from guava leaves is a good source of skin-friendly astringents.) It even beats bananas as a source of potassium, a mineral which helps control our heart rate and blood pressure.

Guavas are also rich in betacarotene, a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and lycopene, an antioxidant, antifungal and antibacterial which protects our body from some cancers. In a study conducted by scientists from Harvard University, involving 48,000 men, those who were given the highest amount of lycopene reduced their risk of developing prostate cancer by 45 percent compared to other patients.

To top it all, the delicious guava, the new Superfruit, is a low calorie treat that contains very little saturated fat, sodium and cholesterol. One serving contains only 24 calories.