“We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edge of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories.”
—Margaret Atwood

Friday, November 03, 2017


If pineapple is known as the "king" of fruits, guava is considered the "queen". Thought to be native to southern Central America and Mexico where it's been a major crop for centuries, guavas are members of the myrtle and eucalyptus family, growing throughout the tropics on small trees with smooth, copper-colored bark. Another type, Psidium cattleianum, grown in flower and foliage gardens, is not for eating.

Soft, sweet, and fragrant when ripe, guavas are small and round or oval, with varying colors from yellow to pink to dark red, depending on the variety. Each fruit contains a large number of tiny, edible seeds at the center. Guavas are very good simply sliced for a snack or added to salads. In other areas of the world, guava is popular as a thick, rich paste made into cheese. Fresh guava juice is common in Hawaii. In Fiji, guavas are used to make tasty jelly.

While one of the first references to guava fruit was made in 1526 in the West Indies, they were only introduced in Florida in 1847, where they became familiar commodity within about 40 years. Between 1948 and 1969, 21 guava cultivars from seven countries were introduced in Hawaii. Today, about 125,327 acres are dedicated to guava cultivation in India, yielding more than 27,300 tons every year.

Apparently a somewhat fragile fruit, a sharp dip in temperatures can threaten guava trees in northern California, while the intense heat of Southern California scorches them.
It's no wonder guava is called a “super fruit.” Compared to the same amount of pineapple, guavas contain 30 more calories per serving, but three times the protein and more than four times the fiber. All that fiber makes guavas a great "regulator," while helping to protect the colon by reducing the risk of cancer-causing toxins and chemical build up; the fiber actually binds to the toxins and helps move them out of the body.

While pineapples provide 131% of the daily value of vitamin C in a serving, guavas offer 628%. Guava should be eaten with the skin, like an apple, imparting even higher concentrations of vitamin C. Eating fruits rich in this vitamin helps the body build up resistance to infection, including infectious diseases, while scavenging free radicals that could cause serious illnesses.

Guavas contain: vitamin A (21% of the daily value), essential for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin; folate (20%), great for pregnant women to help prevent neural tube defects. Flavonoids include beta-carotene (a known cancer inhibitor); lycopene, which in pink guava has been found to protect the skin against UV rays and help prevent prostate cancer; lutein and cryptoxanthin, both antioxidants. Guavas have potassium, too - more per serving than even a banana - which is important as heart rate and blood pressure regulators.

Smaller amounts of other vitamins in guava deserve mention: pantothenic acid, niacin, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine),vitamin E and K, and the minerals magnesium, copper, and manganese, the latter imparting the enzymesuperoxide dismutase.

However, consume guavas in moderation because they contain fructose, which may be harmful to your health in excessive amounts.

Amazing Health Benefits of Guava Fruits:
1.Anti-Ageing Properties- Guavas are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C and antioxidants like carotene and lycopene which help protect the skin from wrinkles. A guava a day, keeps fine lines away. Guava is a rich source of vitamins A, B, C and potassium which are good antioxidants and detoxifiers. They fight free radicals, thus keeping your skin glowing and free from premature signs of aging like wrinkles and fine lines. Besides, lycopene protects the healthy cells from toxins that accumulate in the body due to metabolism and environmental pollution. These toxins also cause premature aging by damaging the DNA in charge of growth and development
2. Stress-Buster- The magnesium present in guavas helps to relax the muscles and nerves of the body. So after a hard workout or a long day at the office, a guava is certainly what you need to relax your muscles, combat stress and give your system a good energy boos
3. Good for Your Brain- “Guavas contain vitamin B3 and vitamin B6, also known as niacin and pyridoxine respectively, which help in improving blood circulation to the brain, stimulating cognitive function and relaxing the nerves”, remarks Dr. Manoj K. Ahuja.
4. Weight Loss- Want to shed a few pounds? Guava is just the ticket. Without compromising your intake of proteins, vitamins and fiber, guava helps you lose weight by regulating your metabolism. It’s a win-win! Guava makes for a very filling snack and satisfies the appetite very easily. Guava, especially raw guava, also has far less sugar as compared to apples, oranges, grapes, and other fruits.
5. Cough and Cold- Guava has one of the highest quantities of vitamin-C and iron among fruits, and both are proven to be preventive against cold and viral infections. The juice of raw and immature guavas or a decoction of guava-leaves is very helpful in relieving cough and cold since it helps get rid of mucus and disinfects the respiratory tract, throat and lungs.
6. Guava During Pregnancy- Guavas contain folic acid, or vitamin B-9, which is recommended for pregnant women since it can help in developing the baby’s nervous system and protect the newborn from neurological disorders.
7. Beats Toothache- Guava leaves have a potent anti-inflammatory action and a powerful antibacterial ability which fights infection and kills germs. Thus, consuming guava leaves works as a fantastic home remedy for toothache. The juice of guava leaves has also been known to cure toothaches, swollen gums and oral ulcers.
8. Improves Eyesight- Due to the presence of Vitamin A, guava is well known as a booster for vision health. It can not only prevent degradation of eyesight, but even improve eyesight. It can help slow down the appearance of cataracts and macular degeneration. Even though guavas are not as rich in Vitamin A as carrots, they are still a very good source of the nutrient.
9. Treats Constipation- It is one of the richest sources of dietary fiber in comparison to other fruits and just 1 guava fulfills about 12% of your daily recommended intake of fibre, which makes it extremely beneficial for your digestive health. Guava seeds, if ingested whole or chewed, serve as excellent laxatives too, helping the formation of healthy bowel movements.
10. Heart Healthy- Guavas improve the sodium and potassium balance of the body, thereby regulating blood pressure in patients with hypertension. Guavas also help lower the levels of triglycerides and bad cholesterol (LDL), which contribute to the development of heart disease. This magical fruit improves levels of the good cholesterol (HDL). A study published in the Journal of Human Hypertension showed that dietary adherence to guavas improves the sodium/potassium balance of the body, thereby regulating blood pressure in patients with hypertension. Besides, guavas also help lower the levels of triglycerides and bad cholesterol, which contribute to development of heart disease. They also improve the levels the good cholesterol (HDL).
11. Diabetes-Friendly- Due to the rich fibre content and low glycaemic index, guavas prevent the development of diabetes. While the low glycemic index inhibits a sudden spike in sugar levels, the fibre content ensures the sugar levels are well regulated.
12. Slows Down Sugar Absorption- Guava can aid weight loss as it effectively prevents or slows down the absorption of sugar in the blood. As you know, sugar is a big problem when you are trying to lose weight. It is this ability that makes this fruit great for diabetics.
13. Lowers 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”, says Dr. Manoj K. Ahuja.
14. Immunity Booster- Did you know: Guavas are one of the richest sources of vitamin C? It’s true. Guavas contain 4 times the vitamin C content present in oranges. Vitamin C helps improve immunity and protects you against common infections and pathogens.
15. Thyroid Health- They are a good source for copper, which is an important part of regulating thyroid metabolism by helping to control hormone production and absorption. The thyroid gland is one of the most important glands in the body for regulating hormones and organ system function, so guava can help balance your health in many ways.
16. Helps you relax- Magnesium present in guavas helps in relaxing your nerves and muscles. In today’s stressful times, consuming a guava to combat stress and relax is certainly a good idea. Guava is rich in magnesium which acts as a nervous relaxant. It helps to relax muscles and nerves of the body. So after a hard work out, a guava is certainly what you need to relax your muscles and give your system a nice energy boost.
17. Healthy Mind- It helps to keep your brain functions positive by maintaining good blood flow and also by infusing it with Vit B3 and Vit B6. Vit B6 is pyridoxine which is good for nerves. It keeps your nerves relaxed.
18. Scurvy- Guava can outdo many other fruits, including orange and other citrus fruits, in terms of itsconcentration of vitamin-C. A deficiency of vitamin-C can cause scurvy, and proper intake of vitamin-C is the only known remedy for that dangerous disease. In fact, guavas contain 5X more vitamin-C than oranges, which are often heralded as the absolute best source of that beneficial vitamin.
19. Rich In Fiber- As you know, fiber plays a very important role in weight loss.One guava contains 9 grams of fiber. This nutrient keeps you feeling full for longer, promotes better digestion of food, prevents constipation and also helps in reducing the amount of saturated fat that is absorbed by your body.
20. Dengue Fever- Guava juice is an effective remedy to treat dengue fever. It is recommended to drink the guava juice at least three times in a day for effective results.
21. Cholesterol- Free And Low In Carbs- Another reason that guava is such a great weight loss food is because it is free of cholesterol and very low in digestible carbohydrates . It is one of the best fruits to add to your diet when you want it to be low in carbs. Being cholesterol-free, it protects you from many diseases, including heart disease.
22. Improves Circulation- Guava can improve brain function because it improves circulation in your body. Because it contains high levels of potassium, it helps in regulating blood pressure. It has been reported that this mineral can help in reversing the effects of excessive sodium in the body.
23. Cleanses The Body- With its richness in fiber, guava is an excellent natural body cleanser. This is great when you are trying to shed those unwanted pounds. It helps in flushing toxins out of your body as well as eliminating waste properly. This, in turn, helps you burn more fat.
24. Antibacterial Agent- Guava Juice acts as an antibacterial agent. Guava has a capacity to shrink and contract any open tissues in your body. This has anti-bacterial properties that can flush out the harmful toxins and bacteria from your body.
25. Flu- Guava juice is proven to be a good remedy to cure Flu. Frequent weather condition change, low immunity can cause air-borne diseases like flu. Flu cases always rise during the rainy season. Flu can easily be cured by your own body’s immune system. Vitamin C is the most essential nutrient that can fight off flu-causing viruses and boost the immune system. Guava juice is the best way to get vitamin C from the natural source.
26. Improves Complexion- Guava helps regain the skin’s radiance and freshness. Reap the benefits by preparing a DIY scrub at home: All you have to do is mash some guava flesh with an egg yolk and apply it on your face. Rinse off after 20 minutes with warm water. When used once or twice a week, this scrub will remove dead cells from your skin and lighten your complexion. Guavas are also a great source of Vitamin K, which helps get rid of skin discoloration, dark circles, redness and acne irritation.
27. Improves Texture- Guavas rank high in astringent properties, guava leaves and unripe guavas even higher.Guava helps tone up and tighten the facial muscles, so apply a decoction of the leaves and fruit on your skin and voila.
28. UV Protection- Pink guavas contain twice the amount of lycopene present in tomatoes. Lycopene is an antioxidant that protects your skin from being damaged by UV rays and environmental pollution. A guava provides about 2.9 grams of lycopene.
29. Natural Skin Toner- The high concentration of vitamins, minerals and nutrients in guava helps in keeping your skin toned, fresh and wrinkle free. Guava is effective in enhancing skin texture, tightening the loosened skin and reviving the lost elasticity of the skin. The astringent qualities of guavas keep your skin free from blemishes, acne, wrinkles and pimples. Washing your face with the decoction of immature guava fruit and its leaves beautifies your skin.
30. Skin Hydration- Proper hydration is vital for healthy skin. Water plays an important role in keeping your skin hydrated. Thus, it is recommended to have 8 glasses of water in a day. Guava is an excellent source of water with 81% of the fruit comprising of water. In this way, it plays an important role in skin hydration.
31. Cholesterol- Free And Low In Carbs- Another reason that guava is such a great weight loss food is because it is free of cholesterol and very low in digestible carbohydrates (3). It is one of the best fruits to add to your diet when you want it to be low in carbs. Being cholesterol-free, it protects you from many diseases, including heart disease.
32. Antitumor and Cancer controlling properties- Guava contains a high amount of lycopene (5204 micrograms) which is carotenoid phytonutrients. Lycopene has an anti-tumor and anti-cancer property.Lycopene protects from oxygen free radicals as it actively fights to neutralize it. So eating guava will help to combat prostate cancer. Guava is a rich source of antioxidants, phytonutrients and flavonoid that make it highly beneficial to protect from cancer. It contains a high amount of Vitamin C which protects from oxygen free radicals. Free radicals are produced due to oxidative stress. These free radicals damage cells DNA that turns it into a cancer cell. But antioxidants neutralize these free radicals and acts as a shield to protect DNA from free radicals. As we know the main cause of cancer is free radicals and the damage caused by them to DNA marks the onset of cancer. Guava contains antioxidants that protect from free radicals and lycopene prevents tumor growth. So with both these nutrient guava becomes the healthiest food to prevent cancer. Lycopene is effective to protect from prostate cancer. Guava antioxidants combination of Vitamin C and beta-carotene are effective to protect from breast, skin, stomach, oral cavity, pancreas, rectum, cervix and lung cancer due to its dense antioxidants. It also contains dietary fiber that help to clean toxins from the colon. Thus, it reduces the effects of toxin in the colon and protect from colon cancer.
33. Treatment Of Blackheads And Skin Itchiness- In case of blackheads, you can blend the leaves of the guava fruit with little water and apply it as a scrub on your nose to remove blackheads. Guava leaves can also rid you of skin itchiness as they contain allergy blocking compounds.
34. Combats Hair Loss- Being extremely rich in vitamin C, guava is one of those fruits that promote healthy hair growth. It also helps in combating hair loss problems.
35. Balancing Electrolyte- Guava contains enough Potassium to fulfill about 9% of our daily requirement. Potassium is required to maintain sodium and fluid level in the body also known as an electrolyte. The electrolyte is a composition of minerals like Potassium, Sodium and Chloride and is necessary to transmit the electrical impulses through the body. These electrically charged particles carry neurotransmission and enable muscle function. Many sports persons, after a heavily charged session of exercise and practice experience severe cramps. Those cramps are a direct result of the loss of electrolyte through sweating. So food items rich in these minerals is recommended before and after the physical exertion. Guavas can make a great before or after snack in these robust sessions because they are light, have a bit of fiber and contribute in balancing the electrolyte in the body.
36. Blood Pressure and Blood Production- The Potassium and Vitamin C have an important role to play in overall cardiac health. Potassium is a key element in maintaining the rhythm and function of all the muscles in our body including the heart. The beat of heart lets the blood flow in and out of the heart is muscle contraction. The balance of this rhythm is maintained by potassium that is plentiful in Guava. Apart from muscle function the Vitamin C helps in growth and repair of body tissue and cartilage resulting in healthy blood vessels. This way, together Potassium and Vitamin C regulate blood pressure and help in normalizing the blood flow through the body. Guava also contains vitamins like Vitamin E, K, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, Vitamin B6 and minerals like copper, manganese and magnesium that are important for blood formation. Also due to the high content of Vitamin C, guava increases body’s capacity to absorb iron.
37. Diarrhea and dysentery- Guava is very rich in astringents (compounds that make your gums feel tighter and fresher). After you chew guava leaves, eat a raw guava, or use some guava-based toothpaste), your mouth feels healthier, and the astringent qualities also add substance to loose bowels and reduce symptoms of diarrhea. These astringents are alkaline in nature and have disinfectant and anti-bacterial properties, thus helping to cure dysentery by inhibiting microbial growth and removing extra mucus from the intestines.
Furthermore, other nutrients in guava such as vitamin-C, Carotenoids and potassium, strengthen and tone the digestive system while simultaneously disinfecting it. Guava is also beneficial in treating gastroenteritisfor the same reasons stated above.

Other benefits: There are so many health benefits of guava, it is hard to know where to begin. It is important to know that guava helps control diabetes and protects the prostate. The juice of guava leaves has been known to cure toothaches, swollen gums and oral ulcers, and the juice speeds up the healing process of wounds when applied externally. Finally, it reduces the frequency of convulsions, epilepsy, and bacterial infections.
As with many alternative foods and supplements, there is little risk in eating them in natural form, but you must do your due diligence when taking it in medical forms. Be cautious when adding any new medicinal form of guava into your diet, and it is better to stick to eating guava in its natural form as a raw fruit.

Tips for Usage (Cooking/ Eating)
As stated earlier, guava is a nutritious fruit with edible seeds and skin. Several varieties are available with each variety having a unique flavor and aroma. Before proceeding to eat guavas, it is necessary to wash them in cold running water to remove any dust and insecticide residues. The floral ends and remnants ire. sepals should be removed and the tips ends should be cut with a sharp knife. Guavas can then be cubed or sliced like an apple. Guavas should be eaten with their skin on as the edible rind contains abundant amounts of vitamin C. Even the seeds can be eaten; and are very tasty and crunchy. Besides being eaten raw, guavas are often cooked to eliminate their strong odor as some people do not like it. Given below are some tips and recipes to enjoy this exotic fruit.

1. Guava juice and nectar are refreshing drinks and are often used as an ingredient in cold or frozen drinks or in mixed liquor beverages.
2. Due to its unique flavor, guavas are often used to make jelly. They have a high content of pectin, a chemical substance that helps jelly to set. The juice from half-ripe guavas can be combined with hibiscus flowers or low pectin fruits to make jelly. Guavas are sometimes also used in butter, jams, marmalades, and preserves.
3. Fresh guavas can be simply sliced and topped with a little sugar and cream. Guava cubes can be added to other tropical fruits in a salad. Guavas can also be used with cheeses or in apple dishes or as sauces for meat and poultry. Another way to eat a guava is to simply cut it in half and sprinkle with a little lemon juice; and eat flesh and seeds with a spoon, discarding the skin.
4. Freshly extracted juice of pinkish or reddish fleshed guava is not only sweet and yummy but also rich in vitamins. In fact, it can give a tough competition to any refreshment. You can easily prepare it at home. Wash and peel a guava. Add some sugar, ½ inch ginger (optional) and cold water; and blend it in a blender or juicer. Filter out the hard seeds and add some ice cubes while serving. This juice is quite tasty and refreshing, especially in hot weather.
5. You can prepare a cool and refreshing drink by combining guava pulp and lemonade with a dash of lemon juice and sugar syrup. For this purpose, take about 8 large guavas, peel and cut them into big pieces and blend them in a blender with very little water. After removing and straining, add 4 teaspoons lemon juice, sugar syrup and a few drops of light pink color. Mix well and keep it in a bottle. While serving, add 1 teaspoon of this mixture and 3 ice cubes to ½ a bottle of lemonade.
6. You can prepare a delicious salad by combining roasted guava with feta cheese. For this purpose, cut the guavas into thin round slices and marinate them with some chopped parsley, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, black pepper powder and salt. Roast the slices till they turn golden brown and caramelize the pine nuts with honey. Mix the roasted slices of guava with caramelized pine nuts, lettuce leaves and cubes of feta cheese. Pour this dressing on the salad and garnish with chopped parsley and feta cheese. It can be served cold.
7. Guava can be combined with apple to prepare a delicious curry. For this purpose, take two apples and two guavas; and cut them into big pieces. Melt two tablespoons ghee in a pot and put 3 cloves and 3 cinnamon pieces. Roast 10 to 12 raisins and 4 to 5 cashew nuts for two minutes and then add the guavas and apples. Cook for some time and add 2 tablespoons red chili powder, 1 ½ tablespoons turmeric powder, 1 tablespoon coriander seeds powder and cumin seeds powder; and some salt and sugar. Remove and stir the mixture.
8. The sweet taste and strong fragrance of Florida pink guava make it suitable for dessert type dishes. Guava kheer is one such dessert that is quiet simple to prepare. All you need.to do is pressure cook the guava and remove the seeds. Sieve it through a strainer. Adding sugar and milk to the pulp, bring it to a boil. When the sugar gets dissolved, add cardamom powder and garnish with roasted dry fruits.

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