During the months of July and August, our guava tree supplies us with yummy and vitamin C-rich guavas which my Step Mom seems to enjoy a lot. Everyday we are able to pick an average of 6 - 7 ripe guavas. During the days when we get much more than that, we give some away to one of our neighbors.
We love guavas because, aside from being yummy and sweet, they are very rich in vitamins and other nutrients. According to http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/guava.html the health benefits of guava are as follows:
- Guavas are low in calories and fats but contain several vital vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant poly-phenolic and flavonoid compounds that play pivotal role in prevention of cancers, anti-aging, immune-booster etc.
- The fruit is very rich source of soluble dietary fiber (5.4 g per 100 g of fruit, about 14% of DRA), which makes it a good bulk laxative. The fiber content helps protect the colon mucous membrane by decreasing exposure time to toxins as well as binding to cancer causing chemicals in the colon.
- Fresh guava-fruit is an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin-C; provides more than three times the DRI (daily-recommended intake). Outer thick rind contains exceptionally higher levels of vitamin C than central pulp.
- Scientific studies shown that regular consumption of fruits rich in vitamin C helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge cancer causing harmful free radicals from the body. Further, the vitamin is required for collagen synthesis in the body. Collagen is the main structural protein in the body required for maintaining the integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones.
- The fruit is very good source of Vitamin-A and flavonoids like beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and cryptoxanthin. The compounds are known to have antioxidant properties and are essential for optimum health. Further, vitamin-A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in carotene is known to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
- Studies suggest that lycopene in pink guavas prevents skin damage from UV rays and offers protection from prostate cancer.
- Fresh fruit is a very rich source of potassium; contains more potassium than banana per 100 g of fruit weight. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure.
- It is also a moderate source of B-complex vitamins such as pantothenic acid, niacin, vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin E and K, and minerals like magnesium, copper, and manganese. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells.
So you see, guava have many benefits. Plus, we never use pesticides unless we have absolutely no choice (like when termites attacked our grape vine and the infestation was so bad we thought the vine would never recover). We also very, very rarely use any chemical fertilizer. This means we can enjoy eating fruits with no worries about what had been sprayed on it.
There is a downside to being so organic though. Bugs tend to ruin things. When the guavas are fully ripe, we do not dare eat them without slicing them first and checking if they have stowaways. More often than not, since the monsoon rains have come, there are tiny white things wiggling in them (eww!). It tends to break our hearts every time we have to discard some fruits due to "stowaways" but we prefer doing that instead of spraying chemicals on the tree to kill them.
My Step Mom serves us ripe guavas twice a day. She slices them, checks for any "hidden gems" (hehehe), discards those that can't be eaten and then sprinkles salt on the fruits we can eat. Then we enjoy the yummy and healthy fresh guava slices. (At times our Yellow Labrador, Lucky, enjoys eating guavas with us).