Guavas are the fruits of a small tree native to Central America. The trees thrive in many of the world’s tropical and subtropical regions where the climate is warm. When grown in the right conditions, a tree can start bearing fruit within 2 years from planting and can live up to 40 years.
There are dozens of varieties of guavas being grown in the world today; and depending on the variety, a guava fruit can be round, oval or pear-shaped. Peel color may range from green to yellow and the pulp can be white, yellow, pink or red. Small, brown-colored seeds can be found in the center of the fruit, although seedless varieties have been developed in recent years. Ripe guavas give off a fragrant aroma and have strong flavor. To enjoy guavas, you can eat them fresh like apples or combine guava slices with other salad ingredients. The fruit is also made into jams and jellies, beverages, candies and sauces.
With its exotic status, the guava might not be as popular as the more familiar fruits; however, it is slowly gaining its rightful place in the world. Here are some interesting facts about the guava that could contribute to its rising popularity.
- Nutrition-wise, guavas may be one of the healthiest fruits. In fact, it has been dubbed by nutritionists as a “super fruit.” It provides more than 600% of the daily requirement of Vitamin C, which can help the body ward off infections as well as minimize cell damage done by free radicals. In addition, the fiber in guavas contributes to a healthy digestive system. Other nutrients that can be obtained from eating guavas include Vitamin A, B-complex vitamins, various minerals, antioxidants and flavonoids that are not only anti-aging but aids in the prevention of diseases.
- Consumption of guavas has increased in recent years as more and more people are recognizing its health benefits. Many believe that the guava will be the next “it” fruit.
- Unlike many types of fruit, cultivating guavas does not require much use of pesticides. They are among the least chemically-treated fruits in the world today.
- In the Philippines, ripe guavas are used to flavor a soup called “sinigang.”
- Guava trees are not only prized for the fruits that they bear but also for their wood. Guava wood has an aroma that can be described as semi-sweet, which makes it ideal for smoking meat, poultry and fish. The wood is likewise made into furniture.
- In some countries, a tea made from boiling young guava leaves in water is used to cleanse wounds and treat certain ailments like fever, dysentery, and diarrhea.
- The oil extracted from guava seeds, which is known to be rich in linoleic acid, is a component in many cosmetic products.